A year ago, said Gilman's Hugh Green, "I was a backup linebacker and a fifth-string tight end."
But in yesterday's 36-0 rout of 13th-ranked Mount St. Joseph -- Gilman's fourth shutout -- the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder did his best imitation of a former NFL star by the same name as the top-ranked Greyhounds (6-0, 1-0) won for the 16th straight time in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference opener for both squads.
Green keyed the total shutdown of a host Gaels squad that was riding a three-game winning streak during which it averaged 41.5 points.
He set the tone in the first period, when he twice sacked Joe Peeler, once for a safety and a 9-0 lead on the Gaels' first offensive play. Green also had another tackle for a loss in the first period.
"I was free to roam because the backers, Sterrett Esworthy and John Averitt, they covered for me," Green said.
Also playing well, defensively, was Mike Faust, with a sack and a fumble recovery, Esworthy (two sacks) and John Scheff (one sack). There was also a crunching hit by 6-4, 210-pound freshman Victor Abiamiri, who is 13 years old, near game's end.
But Green's effort conjured memories of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers star Hugh Green, who played alongside Gilman coach Biff Poggi at Pittsburgh. "I thought he was extraordinary, taking away their option game, single-handedly," Poggi said.
So was the Gilman offense, which has outscored the opposition, 246-17, and, yesterday, ran up 306 of its 398 yards on the ground primarily behind Randy Vane, Dan Zito and Mike Kutzer.
All-Metro quarterback Ryan Boyle rushed for two scores. Boyle's first, a 13-yarder, capped Gilman's game-opening eight-play, 58-yard drive for a 7-0 lead with 7: 51 left in the first period.
Gilman led, 15-0, only 11 seconds later after Faust (5-10, 220) finished another 58-yard march with his 21-yard touchdown run, his first of two scores.
Next up was sophomore Malcolm Ruff (15 carries, 143 yards), who took Boyle's option pitch and sprinted 90 yards for a 22-0 lead 5: 03 before the second quarter.
After Tilghman Morton converted his fourth extra point kick for a 36-0 lead with 6: 06 to play, officials invoked the mercy rule, which calls for a running clock as soon as one team builds a lead of 35 points or more.
The Gaels (151 total offensive yards) threatened to score three times, twice within the game's final three minutes against Gilman's reserves. But Matt Bruns ended the first of those drives with a fumble recovery at Gilman's 15-yard-line, and, Justin Redd's end zone interception ended the other.
Sophomore Isaac Kufour (89 rushing yards) was a bright spot for the Gaels, twice burning Gilman for 62 yards on fake punts.
"I wish we could have lined up in punt formation all day," said Gaels coach Mike Working, who starts four sophomores. "There were things open in their defense, but we couldn't block them."