Zach Thomas had little in the way of a scouting report on No. 8 Dulaney, the opponent he and his St. Paul's teammates faced yesterday in the first of two games in the Lacrosse Showdown at Johns Hopkins.
But what the senior did have was motivation from his father, Charles "Buzzy" Thomas, a 1980 graduate of Dulaney.
"He told me he wanted us to beat up on them," the younger Thomas said. "He wanted that pretty badly."
Thomas did much of the damage to the Lions of his father's former coach, scoring four of No. 2 St. Paul's six first-half goals and five on the day in a 12-6 victory.
Bart Wagner (two goals, two assists), Gavin Gill (four assists) and Greg Seaman (two goals) also contributed for the Crusaders (13-2), who led only 2-0 after one quarter and 6-3 at the half against a stubborn defense anchored by Dulaney's Carl Grund, Aaron Buckheit, Jeff Breeding and goalie Justin Woodford (13 saves).
"My senior year was [Gary] Schreiber's first year at Dulaney, and we won states," said Charles Thomas, 41, who shook hands with Schreiber after the game. "Coach Schreiber's a good man, and I love to see him doing well. But I also love to see them lose to St. Paul's."
Their game was part of the eighth annual event's doubleheader, which matched the state's best two public school teams against two from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference - considered the nation's premier high school league.
"We were looking forward to playing against one of the top public schools," said St. Paul's Thomas Zimmerman, a defender in front of goalie Matt Landsman (12 saves). "We've already clinched a playoff spot in our league, so this was our chance to show what the MIAA is like."
Thomas' effort overcame an equally solid one by Dulaney's 5-foot-11, 205-pound Ryan Hoff, who finished with five goals - three of which were assisted by Matt Lafferty. Hoff has a team-high 37 goals this season.
"This competition is better than what we're used to - by a long shot," said Hoff, whose Lions are four-time defending Class 4A-3A state champions. "We came out and played with all of our heart."
In the first game, McDonogh's Skylar Hopkins had three goals and four assists, Travis Reed scored three times and Collins Carey had a goal and two assists in No. 6 McDonogh's 15-4 rout of 4A-3A runner-up and No. 12 Severna Park (7-3).
The game featured two of the area's better underclassmen goalies. McDonogh junior Joe Pike finished with 15 saves, and Severna Park sophomore Mike Gvozden had 16.
McDonogh sophomore Bryn Holmes won 19 of 21 faceoffs, enabling the Eagles (16-3) to wear down the Falcons' defense. After a 4-2 first-quarter lead, McDonogh took off offensively.
"When you're winning faceoffs like we were today," Holmes said, "it gives your attackmen a chance to really catch fire."
In all, the Eagles got contributions from 11 players, including nine in the first half, after which they led 9-3.
McDonogh scored five of the six second-quarter goals, and led 13-3 with 4:48 left in the third period after Eric Loeb's second goal started the running clock - a mercy rule that becomes active when one team builds a 10-goal lead after halftime.
"They got a lot of trash goals and that got to us mentally," Gvozden said. "They'd hit the pipe and somehow pick it up and dunk it."
McDonogh defender Brennan Kelly shadowed Severna Park's Ben Hunt, who did not have a goal or an assist in the game.
The win came over a Severna Park program that was state champion in 1999, and runner-up to Dulaney in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
"Severna Park is one of the better public school teams in the state. They had a good offense, good defense and a great goalie," said Hopkins, who had three goals and two assists in the first half. "It was a great nonleague game to get under our belts without a lot of pressure. We were moving the ball around well and moving our feet well, and we were getting a lot of good shots off."