This isn’t the season Calvert Hall’s Emilie Dore anticipated. Coming off back-to-back journeys to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship sport, his Cardinals have endured a spate of accidents, a brutal schedule and a few poor luck in successful simply 4 video games.
To Dore, nonetheless, win No. 5 would change all the things.
In Thursday’s 103rd Turkey Bowl, set for 10 a.m. at Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium, Calvert Hall can salvage its season in its annual Thanksgiving Day sport in opposition to No. 5 Loyola Blakefield in one of many nation’s longest-running Catholic prep faculty rivalries.
“I told my guys, ‘This game is our redemption for the season,’” Dore stated. “It hasn’t been the ideal year for us, but we’ve got a chance to offset all that. Go out with a win and be remembered as the 2023 Turkey Bowl champs.”
Calvert Hall (4-6) entered this fall ranked No. 4 within the space by The Baltimore Sun however noticed its season crumble throughout a six-week stretch through which it misplaced 5 video games, together with three by a landing or much less. The Cardinals had been formally bumped out of the MIAA playoff image with a 42-14 loss to McDonogh in late October in a sport that secured its first dropping document since 2015.
“Losing to McDonogh a few weeks back obviously really hurt, knowing that our chances for the playoffs were dead,” Dore stated. “We were defeated, but we woke up the next morning knowing that we have a chance to be reborn and redeem our season.”
“You win this game, and … it would be like you won the Super Bowl,” Calvert Hall coach Josh Ward stated. “We start talking about it early in the season … then as soon as our focus is on it, we try to explain to our guys the importance of the game and the history of the game. I think that’s really how we build it up. We explain to everybody that this game has been played 103 years. It’s bigger than you.”
The scenario is analogous for Loyola, which made the four-team A Conference playoffs however had desires of its first convention title since 2008 dashed by a 28-10 loss to Archbishop Spalding. Playing in a venerable collection that predates the formation of the modern-day NFL, nonetheless, affords the Dons a chance that the majority different groups merely by no means get.
“We set goals in the beginning of the year. One of our goals was to go undefeated, to win the A Conference and to win the Turkey Bowl,” Dons coach Anthony Zehyoue stated. “We didn’t go undefeated or win the A Conference, but we have a chance to reach one of our three goals. Because of the institutional history between the two schools and because of the legacy of the game, it’s massive. If we’re fortunate enough to win on Thanksgiving, everyone will forget about what happened [against Spalding].”
For Loyola’s Jayden Moore, merely getting the possibility to play in one other Turkey Bowl holds its personal significance. The explosive playmaker, who is ready to proceed his profession at Duke, missed final season’s sport after tearing his ACL, and like the remainder of his teammates, didn’t get to play in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He bought a style of the collection as a sophomore and even had a key play in Loyola’s 41-35 win when he took the ball on a primary quarter reverse and threw a 6-yard landing cross to Marcus Hines.
Now, the senior is wanting ahead to at least one final probability to participate within the Thanksgiving showcase, which yearly attracts upward of 10,000 followers along with a big tv viewers.
“I’ve definitely been trying to hold my excitement for the end of the year … especially not being able to play last year and [with] COVID freshman year,” Moore stated. “I’ve only really been able to play in one Turkey Bowl, so I’m definitely excited to play again.”
Zehyoue stated Moore might be a “massive part of the game plan,” lining up in varied positions on offense and serving to to create mismatches everywhere in the area. His presence, together with that of junior working again Kendrick Worthington, who Zehyoue believes is one other Division I expertise, will current a serious problem for Calvert Hall’s protection.
“Their running game is incredible,” Dore stated. “I think we’ve got the upper hand in this game if we can stop the run. I think we’ll be able to do it.”
The Dons, very like the Cardinals, are hoping the sport affords them the chance to finish their season on a excessive word, leaving previous heartache behind.
“Obviously this won’t redeem our whole season, because we fell short in the playoffs and no one likes that,” Moore stated. “But I think that winning this and sending our seniors off on a good note definitely helps.”
103rd Turkey Bowl
No. 5 Loyola (6-4) vs. Calvert Hall (4-6)
Towson University’s Johnny Unitas Stadium
Thursday, 10 a.m.
Series: Loyola leads, 50-44-8.
Last assembly: Calvert Hall, 17-14
Streak: Calvert Hall has received seven of eight and 11 of 13
Coaches: Calvert Hall’s Josh Ward (fourth season); Loyola Blakefield’s Anthony Zehyoue (seventh season)
Players to observe
Loyola Blakefield: ATH Jayden Moore (41 catches, 800 yards; 38 carries, 411 yds; 9 complete TDs); RB Kendrick Worthington (177 catches, 912 yards, 9 TDs); QB Brad Seiss (109 of 201, 1,482 yards, 11 TDs, 8 INTs); WR-CB Ezra Carter (25 catches, 233 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs); WR Christian Renaldo (11 catches, 146 yards, 1 TD); LB Tommy Tucker (96 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks); LB Jonas Kligys (93 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks); DT Trevor Szymanski (5 sacks).
Calvert Hall: QB Nick Humpf (255 passing yards, 5 TDs); QB Jae’oyn Williams (515 passing yards, 4 TDs, 4 INTs; 389 speeding yards, 6 TDs); WR Chris Hewitt (16 catches, 113 yards, 2 TDs); TE JT Taggart (21 catches, 292 yards, 4 TDs); WR Dane Grunder (8 catches, 167 yards, 2 TDs); Harrison O’Connell (40 carries, 246 yds); DL Emilie Dore (64 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks); DE Cole Ferrara (52 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks); DB Darius Smith (88 tackles); S Byron Baldwin Jr. (79 tackles, 2 INTs).
Outlook: Calvert Hall has dominated this collection in recent times, however Loyola will attempt to change that behind two of the world’s most dynamic playmakers. Moore, a Duke commit, can use his velocity and athleticism to wreak havoc from anyplace on the sector, whereas Worthington can each elude tacklers and bowl them over. Together with Seiss, the Dons have averaged greater than 27 factors per sport on offense, scoring greater than 30 4 instances.
The Cardinals, who entered this season because the No. 4-ranked group within the metro space, might want to restrict Loyola’s large performs, significantly within the working sport, and win the battle of turnovers. Humpf and dual-threat sophomore Williams ought to every see time at quarterback, and sophomore O’Connell and junior Jarrod Mack, a former beginning working again who’s again to full power after struggling a knee damage in August, ought to see the majority of the carries.
The first 5 minutes of every half might be vital in a collection that runs excessive on emotion. The group scoring first has received every of the previous seven conferences.