TOWSON – A seasoned Calvert Hall football team was not about to let its seniors conclude their high school careers with anything less than another victory over Loyola Blakefield.
The Cardinals rolled to a 27-6 victory over the Dons in the 98th annual Turkey Bowl Nov. 23 at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium. The class of 2018 showed the way on Thanksgiving Day, starting with Chance Campbell, who had a pair of willful touchdown runs on offense, and two sacks and an interception on the defensive side.
It was the fourth straight victory for Calvert Hall in the series, what is believed to be the longest continuous Catholic prep rivalry in the nation. Only once since 1979 have the Cardinals enjoyed a larger margin of victory in a series that the Dons lead, 49-41-8.
“Coach puts that in us, and we adopt it,” Campbell said, of a multi-generational mindset to the game that begins with coach Donald Davis, a 1996 graduate of Calvert Hall.
The Cardinals drove 88 and 70 yards for quick–strike touchdowns in the first nine minutes and were in the red zone on their next two possessions, but a younger Loyola Blakefield squad steadied itself and kept the outcome in suspense until the final minute of the third quarter.
“We got out quick, and they answered,” said Davis, whose team finished 7-5 overall.
Hundreds were still in line waiting to pass through security when the Cardinals jumped on top for good on their third snap of the game.
Junior quarterback Mike Campbell, who threw for more than 2,000 yards this season, benefited from plenty of time and a blown coverage in the Dons’ secondary to find Chris Cooper wide open on the Cardinals’ 35-yard line. Cooper raced 65 yards down the right side for a 7-0 lead with 5:36 elapsed.
After a quick three and out by Loyola Blakefield, Calvert Hall drove 70 yards on six plays. While Chance Campbell went into the end zone standing from seven yards out, the big play came on a 40-yard run from junior Tariq Fields.
Seven freshmen suited up for first-year Dons’ coach Anthony Zehyoue, most prominently Jordan Moore, who began the game set out wide, but moved under center and rolled right for a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Evan Boozer with 56 seconds left in the first half. It was Boozer’s second catch of the season.
Loyola Blakefield got its fifth and sixth straight defensive stops, before Calvert Hall went back to basics behind an offensive line that consists of junior Luke Whitty at right guard and four seniors: left tackle Reggie Sutton, left guard Grant Engle, center Pipe Guerra and right tackle George Minas.
“I told them at halftime, we’re going to put this in their hands,” Davis said.
A seven-play, 66-yard touchdown drive came all on the ground, with sophomore Adewale Obayanju zigging and zagging to a 28-yard run that made it 21-6 with six seconds left in the third quarter.
On the third play of the fourth quarter, Chance Campbell got his interception, courtesy of a tip at the line of scrimmage by Sutton. Campbell bulled his way in from six yards out to conclude the scoring with 8:05 remaining.
Campbell and Sutton are two of the three Calvert Hall players who regularly go both ways, the other being fellow senior Pierce Robinson.
Campbell has accepted a scholarship to play at the University of Maryland, while the 6-feet-4-inch, 290-pound Sutton has accepted one from Rutgers University. Sutton said the two “talk all the time” about playing against each other in the Big Ten Conference, where the Scarlet Knights beat the Terps earlier this month.
“I got bragging rights this year,” Sutton said.
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Email Paul McMullen at pmcmullen@CatholicReview.org