Even though seventh-ranked Archbishop Spalding plays in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference, the Cavaliers have no fear of their A Conference foes.
Spalding already took No. 6 Calvert Hall to triple overtime before losing earlier this season, and earned an even better result Friday night against No. 13 Loyola. Host Spalding erased an early two-touchdown deficit by scoring seven consecutive touchdowns en route to a 49-21 victory.
The Cavaliers' K.K. Smith scored three touchdown, including a 65-yard run and a 60-yard punt return.
"Loyola is an outstanding football team," Spalding coach Mike Whittles said. "Our kids worked really hard across the board, offense, defense and special teams. It was a great second half for us with 49 unanswered points. We did that against a very good defensive team."
Loyola (1-2) returns seven starters on offense this season and was appearing to gel heading into the heart of its A Conference schedule. However, Dons quarterback Mike Fafaul was knocked out of Friday's game on a hard sack with 3:03 left in the second quarter. He was taken to an ambulance after halftime as a precaution and his status was uncertain.
Trailing by seven at the half, Spalding (2-2) opened the third quarter with a 73-yard run by J.D. Izon. The Cavaliers tied the game on the next play on another 15-yard run by Shelley White. The Cavaliers then forced a fumble on Loyola's ensuing possession, and Smith ran three consecutive times from inside the 20, ending with a 6-yard touchdown, to give the Cavaliers their first lead, 21-14, with 8:41 remaining.
Spalding's defense kept the Dons pinned in their own territory for much of the second half and did its part to increase the lead on a 22-yard interception return by White with 40 seconds left in the third quarter. Another 65-yard touchdown run and the 60-yard punt return by Smith and 44-yard run by Izon sealed the blowout.
"We had a job and we did it all day," Smith said. "We just have to move on from here."
It was another impressive performance against one of the top teams in the area. In addition to Loyola and Calvert Hall, Spalding, the defending MIAA B conference champions, also faced top-ranked Gilman of the A conference this season, losing 41-14.
The Don' opened the scoring on the opening possession with a seven-play, 53-yard drive capped by a 5-yard run by Ryan Young. Loyola then increased the lead to 14 on its next possession on a 7-yard pass from Fafaul to Jordan Floyd.
Spalding got back into the game behind Smith, who cut the margin to seven on a 12-yard run with 6:30 left in the half.
"Defensively, we just had to control the line and play hard," White said. "On offense, we wanted to control the line of scrimmage and make long drives down the field to tire them out. We can compete with anyone."
An earlier version of this article misidentified the player who scored Loyola's first touchdown. The Baltimore Sun regrets the error.