Calvert Hall wasn't very fancy on offense Friday night against McDonogh. The Cardinals kept grinding it out and just wore the Eagles down.
No. 2 Calvert Hall kept mixing runs and short passes to take command in the second half. The host Cardinals scored 21 consecutive points in the final two quarters en route to a 28-15 victory over No. 8 McDonogh in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game
Garrett Keene, Brandon Neverdon and quarterback Thomas Stuart all ran for short touchdowns in the second half as Calvert Hall (9-1, 3-1) bounced back from a 9-7 halftime deficit. The Cardinals ate up lots of yardage and time in the second half and gradually pulled away.
"Everything slowed down in the second half," Stuart said. "We went to the shotgun, and I love the shotgun because it allows us a little more time to block."
The Cardinals gained just 91 yards of total offense in the first half, but they got 175 yards and scored 21 points in the second half.
The Cardinals scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives after halftime to turn the two-point deficit into a 28-9 fourth-quarter lead. Stuart completed four of six for 44 yards in the first half but was 7-for-8 for 66 yards in the second half.
"We didn't play up to our capabilities," Calvert Hall defensive back Adrian Amos said of the team's performance in the first half. "We said that we can do better."
Calvert Hall took the second-half kickoff and marched 68 yards on 10 plays, capping it with Keene's 2-yard touchdown run. Matt Levis added the extra point for a 14-9 lead.
After McDonogh (6-3, 1-3) punted, Calvert Hall came back again. This time, the Cardinals drove 78 yards — helped by two penalties — and scored on Neverdon's 9-yard run. Amos set up the final score with an interception that he returned to the McDonogh 6-yard line.
Stuart snuck in from 1 yard out to make it 28-9 with 6:54 left in the game.
The weather played a role in helping both teams' offenses in the first half. An 8-yard McDonogh punt into a gusting wind gave Calvert Hall the ball at its 48 on it's first possession. The Cardinals quickly marched downfield and scored when Stuart threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Flannery for a 7-0 lead.
The Eagles began to move the ball later in the quarter and scored on the second play of the second quarter when Joel Jorgensen hit Miles Crump for a 17-yard touchdown pass. McDonogh went for two, but Jorgensen couldn't get in on a run, and Calvert Hall held a 7-6 lead.
McDonogh had a good chance to score on its next drive before Will Johnson picked off a Jorgensen pass in the end zone. But then the Eagles got a break when Calvert Hall had to punt into the strong wind and got off only a 10-yard kick.
That gave McDonogh the ball at the Calvert Hall 30. Evan Glaser kicked a 36-yard field goal with 34 seconds left in the half to give the Eagles a 9-7 lead.