Several members of the Calvert Hall football team believed they had something to prove in yesterday's season opener against St. John's (D.C.). And they proved it with authority.
The Cardinals rushed for 307 yards in a convincing 42-15 victory, and avenged a humiliating 31-point defeat to the Cadets in last season's opener.
Senior Marques Thompson rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries, and senior Nick Williams added 100 yards and a touchdown on eight carries.
Junior quarterback Andrew Goldbeck also threw touchdown passes of 6 and 19 yards to senior Dan Spriggs and junior Lamar Williams as part of a 28-point second quarter.
"After last season ended, all we were all worrying about was beating St. John's," said Thompson, who scored on carries of 1 and 49 yards. "We got them back."
Thompson and Nick Williams ran behind a dominant offensive line, led by 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior Matt Janowski. The Cardinals' front five constantly pushed back the Cadets' defensive line, which includes NCAA Division I prospect Conrad Bolston (6-5, 270).
"Holes were just opening wide," Thompson added. "They were just spreading. I've got to give credit to my offensive line. They opened it up."
Calvert Hall coach Jay Robinson was unable to stay to the end of the game to celebrate the victory with his team, however. Robinson, who has a pre-existing heart condition in which his heart sometimes beats out of rhythm, was driven by an assistant coach to St. Joseph's Hospital in the fourth quarter.
Robinson began to feel discomfort late in the third quarter, and according to Calvert Hall athletic trainer Chris Zinn, he had an elevated heart rate.
"We decided he should be sent to St. Joseph's for precautionary reasons, but it was completely precautionary," Zinn said.
Robinson walked out of the stadium under his own power.
Robinson's early departure was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect afternoon for Calvert Hall.
The Cardinals fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter on a fluke play in which St. John's Bobby Lalli dropped the snap in punt formation, then picked the ball up and ran 77 yards for a touchdown.
Calvert Hall scored touchdowns on its next four possessions to move ahead 28-7 at halftime. St. John's closed to 28-15 after a 15-play, 92-yard drive, capped by a Lalli-to-Will Bahler 4-yard touchdown pass with 3:46 remaining in the third quarter. But four plays later, Thompson turned a simple counter into a 49-yard touchdown run.
"We planned on this," Goldbeck said. "We've planned on this for a long time."