BALTIMORE –- “We play like brothers, we're going to win this game today”
That's what senior running back Alvonte Thompson told his squad before the game, and his band of brothers, didn't let him down. When it came time for Thompson carry his team to victory, he walked into the moment.
Alvonte's 3-yard touchdown will go down into Gael history. Thompson was very emotional after the game, letting out tears of joy, finally defeating one of the powerhouses of the MIAA for the first time in his high school career.
“A lot of my teammates over the past two weeks came up to me and told I have to go back to the old Alvonte” Thompson said “I did some soul searching.....I said alright, we have to do something, this is the time to make a statement”
The Gaels (4-1) built a 16-6 lead in the third quarter, after scoring off of a safety then again on the ensuing possession, Jaden Blue catching a touchdown in the back of the endzone. At that point, all the momentum had shifted to the Gaels, and it look like they were prepared to stifle the Eagles for the rest of the game.
On a third and long, Jansen Durham connected with BJ Farrare for a 63 yard touchdown that cut the Gaels lead to 13-16. On the ensuing possession, freshman defensive end, D'von Ellies intercepted, setting the Eagles offense up at the Gaels' 28 yard line to end the third quarter.
Mike Shinsky tied it at 16 after the Gaels held the Eagles to field goal inside the 5-yard line. On the Eagles next possession, Durham gave the eagles the lead with a QB sneak from the two yard line. Momentum had took a complete 180.
First year head coach, Rich Holzer, wasn't rattle by the 17-point swing by the eagles, telling his guys ,“I looked at the offense and our quarterback [Bryan Costabile] and said we're going down the field”
That's exactly what they did. Costabile connected with Josh Pieniazek for a 37-yard touchdown to cap off an 80 yard drive, tying the ball game at 23 with 1:21 remaining in the game.
In overtime, the Eagles forced double-overtime with a 21-yard touchdown reception by Farrare. Coach Domico gave credit to his super sophomore but also noted that he can not be their only playmaker on the outside.
The Gaels answered with a good defensive possession, holding the Eagles to another field goal, setting up their offense for the game winning touchdown.
The Gaels front seven, had a very good game. Thompson and Maliek Carr did a great job at the linebacker position, putting heavy pressure on Durham with delayed blitzes up the middle, where the Eagles were missing their starting center.
Mylique McGriff was also out this game with a concussion injury. His backup, freshman back Jabriel Johnson, did the best he could to provide the same effect of McGriff. On the Eagles drive to take the lead, Johnson was the one that put the Eagles inside the 10-yard line.
Next for the Gaels is one of the toughest teams in the state, MIAA rival Gilman Greyhounds.
“It's like a buzzsaw in this conference,” Holzer said. “You have a great win against a tremendously coached team like McDonogh then you turnaround and you're facing a team that is just as well coach, just as tremendously talented if not more, but that's part of what you sign up for playing in this league."
For the Gaels they will look to defeat their third team ranked in the state's top 25.
McDonogh will look to end their 2-game win streak against La Salle College out of Pennsylvania.