xml:space="preserve">

Gilman's nationally ranked football keeps rolling as only a few of the Greyhounds' most celebrated teams have in the past.

Coach Biff Poggi's squad moved into the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Football rankings at No. 24 this week after winning its sixth consecutive game.

Advertisement

The Greyhounds (6-1) aren't just winning, they are overwhelming foes by an average of 33 points in their past five games. They were even more dominant in a 63-12 drubbing of Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference rival St. Frances in their last triumph.

"I used to coach in Howard County, and River Hill was a really talented squad," Archbishop Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt said. "There was an intimidation factor. I think Gilman does that in this league."

Schmitt doesn't want his team being reduced to just another blowout loss on Gilman's schedule when the Cavaliers (6-1), ranked No. 7 in the metro area, travel to Roland Park to face the No. 1 Greyhounds at 4 p.m. on Oct. 16.

Gilman assistant coach Henry Russell said there will be a playoff atmosphere at the game.

"We are the only two teams in the league without a loss," Russell said. "We are both 3-0 [in MIAA A]. It's a huge game for both teams."

Gilman hasn't seen a quarterback this season playing as well as 6-foot-1, 180-pound junior Evan Fochtman, who has 18 touchdown passes and only one interception this fall while completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 1,338 yards.

Fochtman has also rushed for nine touchdowns and 564 yards on 92 carries.

"He is just really intelligent, which enables us to do a lot of things," said Schmitt, whose team is averaging 39 points a game. "We give him a lot of pre-and-post-snap reads. He puts the ball on the money, and his legs can bail him out of some problems. It really makes the defense defend all 11 players on the field."

Senior wide receivers David Harding and CJ Bradford and sophomore slot back Jamari Jones are Fochtman's prime targets.

Senior running backs Joshua Chase (135 carries, 886 yards, five TDs) and Rylan Sweetney (43, 167, three) are also a big part of the offense.

"They have two really good running backs," said Russell, who coaches Gilman's linebackers. "They run all over teams."

Spalding's defense — led by junior linebacker Nick Vermillion, senior linebacker Mike Mancuso and senior nose guard Cody Winokur — shouldn't be overlooked. The Cavaliers have allowed 14 points or less in each of their last five games. The stretch includes victories over St. Mary's, Riverdale Baptist, St. Frances, Loyola Blakefield and Calvert Hall.

"Our defense is playing at a high level," Schmitt said. "They are getting turnovers and putting people in long-yardage situations. It allows us to take chances on offense because of how well the defense is playing."

Spalding's defense could have problems slowing down Gilman's offense, which is led by junior quarterback Kasim Hill, a first-year starter who has a combined 18 touchdowns rushing and passing.

Advertisement

Senior running backs Antonio Dupree (890 yards, eight TDS) and Dorian Maddox (425, seven) get the bulk of the carries running behind a big and physical line that boasts four seniors committed to play in college: tackles Devery Hamilton (6 feet 7, 290 pounds, Michigan) and Stephen Spanellis (6-5, 320, Virginia), center Stewart Keehner (6-5, 280) and guard Wes Mehl (6-3, 280).

"We have to get them outside of their comfort zone," Schmitt said. "They love to dominate you on the offensive line and run the football. If we allow them to do that, it's going to be a long day."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement