xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Ferrara's field goal gives Calvert Hall 25-22 win in 95th Turkey Bowl

Peter Ferrara wasn't thinking about the two extra points he missed earlier in the game, or the gravity of attempting the potential game-winning field goal.

With 2:11 left in Thursday's 95th Turkey Bowl, the Calvert Hall junior thought mostly about his teammates, who a year ago suffered through an agonizing overtime loss to Loyola Blakefield — courtesy of a blocked kick — on Thanksgiving.

Advertisement

"I just knew I had to get it for the seniors," Ferrara said. "They were there, they were going to block for me, and there was no way anyone was getting through. I just knew if I did what I had done all season, I was going to put it through."

Ferrara then stepped up and knocked down a 30-yard field goal to give the No. 9 Cardinals the lead for good in a 25-22 win over the Dons before an announced 7,614 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The kick, coupled with teammate Jeff Wheaton's fumble recovery moments later that ended Loyola's final threat, gave Calvert Hall (7-4) its fifth win in six years in the series, which it now trails, 49-38-8.

The Cardinals first had to overcome a 15-0 deficit by outgaining the Dons, 278-67, in the second half.

"We've been in some rough spots, where there's stuff swirling around and people don't believe. These guys believed," Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis said. "It comes down to the mental toughness of our kids."

Led by senior quarterback Kenji Bahar (15 of 17, 156 yards, two touchdowns), the Cardinals scored on each of their first two possessions of the second half, passes of 22 and 14 yards to wide receiver Morgan Scroggins. Time and again, the 6-foot-3 senior torched Loyola's defense on the underneath route.

Advertisement

"Their cornerbacks played off, so I was just taking what they gave me, and that was those quick, short passes," Bahar said. "So we just kept taking those. Then they were playing up, so the run opened up."

Still, the Dons (3-8) managed to extend their lead on a controversial fumble return.

Loyola kickoff returner Zack Wiedeck appeared to be down by contact at his own 35, but coughed up the ball on what was ruled a fumble. Teammate Ryan Gallagher, standing in front of the pile, picked up the loose ball and took off 65 yards untouched.

"We just had to keep our heads up," Scroggins said.

It proved to be a blip for the Cardinals, who minutes later tied the game on sophomore B.J. Watson's 40-yard touchdown run.

Calvert Hall, moving the ball effectively behind the running of sophomore Timothy Smith (11 carries 71 yards), had a chance to pull out front early in the fourth. When Smith left the game with an apparent injury to his right knee, however, the drive stalled, and the Cardinals lost the ball on downs.

After forcing a punt, Calvert Hall embarked on what would be the game-winning drive. Led byWatson's running and 3-for-3 passing by Bahar, the Cardinals moved the ball to the Dons' 13, setting up Ferrara's field goal attempt.

"I fell to my knees," Scroggins said. "I didn't want to watch it at first because I was nervous, but I believed in Pete. He came through a lot of times for us."

The kick was perfect, setting off a wild celebration along the Calvert Hall sideline. Among the most proud was Davis, who said he never had any doubts about kicking rather than going for it on what would have been a fourth-and-7.

"When the chips are down and guys got to have it, you depend on your brothers and they depend on you," Davis said. "You come through and you do the very best you can. I believe he did the best he could."

For Loyola, there were no regrets.

"We gave everything we had," Dons coach Brant Hall said. "We know we're not the most athletic, we're not the biggest, we're not the fastest, but we left it all out there."

Loyola broke on top with 8:56 left in the first half, when Marcellus Brown — a 5-foot-6, 145-pound senior — took the handoff, got hit at the 12, spun and kept moving his legs as his blockers pushed him into the end zone.

The Dons then used a bit of trickery on the conversion attempt, switching out of the extra point formation late and having kicker Jake Barwick throw a quick pass to center John Staab — who was lined up as an eligible receiver — for the two-point conversion.

Loyola, however, wasn't done, getting the ball back on a quick turnover when Cardinals receiver Lawrence Cager fumbled along the sideline and defensive back Michael Bell recovered.

Seven plays later, quarterback John Goska tossed a screen in the flat to unvcovered running back Azende Smith, who ran 23 yards down the sideline to extend the lead to 15-0

Calvert Hall got on the board on the final play of the half, when a pair of five-yard penalties set up Ferrara's 36-yard field goal.

"That hurt," Hall said.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement