For about 31/2 quarters Saturday, No. 14 Loyola hung with DeMatha, thanks to its passing game and a solid defensive effort against a bigger, more experienced team. Near the end of the game, however, just about everything went DeMatha's way.
The Stags, ranked No. 2 by The Washington Post, scored 22 points in the final 7:35 to take a 45-31 victory over the Dons in the I-95 Kickoff Classic at Towson University's Johnny Unitas Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
First-year starting quarterback Mike Fafaul was 17-for-37 passing for 226 yards and three touchdowns, but the Stags' Jordan Lomax intercepted him and ran 70 yards for a touchdown that all but sealed the win, giving the Stags a 38-24 lead with 6:13 to go. Desmond Williams added an 8-yard touchdown run less than three minutes later, boosting the lead to 45-24 with 3:33 left.
"There's no doubt their size and their numbers wear you down," Loyola coach Brian Abbott said. "But we had opportunities to make some plays. There were plays out there defensively and offensively, but I thought our boys played well."
Jordan Floyd caught eight passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, while Deemer Class had six receptions for 35 yards and two touchdowns.
Fafaul's short pass to Class, who broke open for 73 yards into the end zone, tied the game at 14. Floyd then caught a 9-yard pass from the senior to push the Dons' lead to 21-14 with 5:50 left in the first half.
The Dons took their last lead, 24-23, on Jamie Dubyoski's 22-yard field goal a minute into the fourth quarter, but the Stags responded with a 7-play drive capped by Delonte Morton's tackle-breaking, 36-yard touchdown run. That gave the Stags a 31-24 edge and was followed just over a minute later by Lomax's interception return.
Mount St. Joseph 29, Bishop McNamara 6: In their season opener, the Gaels shut out the Mustangs after giving up an 89-yard touchdown to Franklyn Williams in the first 15 seconds off the opening kickoff at the I-95 Kickoff Classic.
The Mount got terrific defensive performances from lineman Brandon Austin and cornerback Devonte Jones. Javan Carter returned a Bishop McNamara fumble 57 yards for a touchdown, and Thaddeus Moore recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.