Sixth-ranked Calvert Hall wasted no time taking control of its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference football opener, using two big plays to get the jump on No. 13 Mount St. Joseph and cruise to a 28-0 road victory Saturday afternoon.
On their first series, the Cardinals needed just three plays to score. The first was a 53-yard pass from quarterback Thomas Stuart to CJ Williams to set up Stuart's 1-yard touchdown run just over two minutes into the game.
Two possessions later, Trevor Williams returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown. Kicker Matt Levis, who was a perfect 4-for-4 on the afternoon, added the extra point and the Cardinals (5-0, 1-0 A Conference) had a 14-0 lead with 3:26 still to go in the first quarter.
"It was a just a big time play," Stuart said of the opening touchdown. "CJ made a great catch. And then the punt return was a great play by Trevor individually. The blocking was really good and the line really gave me a lot of time on that first pass to get the ball to CJ."
Stuart led the Cardinals with three touchdowns, two passing and one rushing. The junior completed 17-of-27 passes for 242 yards. He used a lot of targets, but CJ Williams caught seven passes for 112 yards.
The Gaels (3-1, 0-1) had allowed only 18 points coming into the game and were coming off a big win at perennial public school power Fort Hill in Western Maryland. They had also ripped a tough Bishop McNamara team, 29-6, three weeks ago at the I-95 Kickoff Classic. But in their first home game, not much went right.
Carey Wells-Jowers led the Gaels with 74 yards on 15 carries, but quarterback Craig Costible struggled, going 5-for-23 for 67 yards.
The Gaels had a chance to get a little momentum going when Calvert Hall's Brandon Neverdon fumbled going into the end zone after a long run and the Gaels got the touchback. But the Gaels couldn't manage a first down and that proved costly, because the Cardinals then marched 56 yards in 2:12 for a 21-0 lead 6.4 seconds before the half. Stuart finished off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Joe Carroll.
The Cardinals didn't allow the Gaels any momentum in the second half either. On a 16-play opening drive that included overcoming a first-and-45, the Cardinals went 70 yards, capped by Stuart's six-yard scoring pass to Trevor Williams.
"The play calling by the coaches was just really good and it opened up a lot of stuff," Stuart said. "At one point, we were running the ball a lot and then we were passing the ball a lot and we got a nice medium and when we came out in the third quarter, we went down there and drove it in. That was big."
CH 14 7 7 0 -- 28
MSJ 0 0 0 0 -- 0
CH—Stuart 1 run (Levis kick)
CH—T. Williams 51 punt ret. (Levis kick)
CH—Carroll 8 pass from Stuart (Levis kick)
CH—T.Williams 6 pass from Stuart (Levis kick)