WASHINGTON, D.C. — Under the lights at Georgetown University on Saturday night, the St. Mary’s Ryken football team got off to a fast start against Calvert Hall from Baltimore in search of the team’s first win of the season.
“We came out and jumped up 14-0, and when you play a really good football team they are going to comeback,” Knights head coach Aaron Brady said.
After racing out to a 14-0 lead after one quarter of play, St. Mary’s Ryken was outscored 34-0 in the final three quarters and fell by a final score of 34-14.
“[Calvert Hall] is a physical team and they do a great job,” Brady said. “They are a top program in the state and probably one of the best on the east coast.”
On Calvert Hall’s first possession of the game, St. Mary’s Ryken junior Jack Smith picked off Cardinals quarterback Amir Jenkins to give the Knights’ offense a short field in their second possession of the contest.
St. Mary’s Ryken sophomore running back Londyn Thomas punched in a 1-yard touchdown run up the middle to give the Knights a 7-0 lead with 6 minutes 44 seconds left in the first quarter.
St. Mary’s Ryken (0-2 overall) scored on its first play the next time the offense touched the ball as junior quarterback Trev Nored found junior Dez Williams open up the middle of the field as the receiver out ran the coverage and scampered in for a 93-yard touchdown catch and run which put the Knights on top 14-0 in the final minute of the first quarter.
Calvert Hall (3-0) didn’t panic after falling behind by double digits, and instead rallied to score 24 points in the second quarter, including a 73-yard touchdown run by senior Sean Tucker who is committed to play football at Syracuse University next year.
“Obviously their running back [Tucker] is going to Syracuse for a reason next year,” Brady said. “He’s good and they have some other running backs that are really good, too. We’ve had two tough games to open the season, but this was a great venue for our kids and gave them a chance to compete.”
The Knights had moved the ball up the field and were inside the red zone, threatening to add points to the scoreboard on their first possession of the third quarter before Nored’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Ty Trinh.
“We just didn’t finish a couple of drives. When you play a really good team you can’t make too many mistakes, and we had too many turnovers against a team like this,” Brady said. “We have to go back and look at the film to see where we can get better, but I think there were enough positives from the game for us to continue with.”
Despite falling to 0-2 to begin the season, Brady noted that the challenging early portion of the schedule was to challenge his team to better prepare themselves for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference portion of the schedule and he was proud of how his seniors competed.
“All of our goals are still in place. We played this tough schedule in order to get ready for our [WCAC] regular season and the playoffs because those are really the only games that matter for us for our WCAC playoffs,” Brady said. “I was proud of how our seniors played tonight. I thought they played really hard. In particular, I think that Ryan Wheeler and Colyn Webster had really good games on defense for us. They stepped up and played really hard.”
Wheeler noted how the coaching staff helped the squad prepare for the contest and the experience was something he will always remember.
“As a unit, we were in a position to make the plays because our coaching staff prepped us all week,” Wheeler said. “We just didn’t execute the game plan, but playing at Georgetown University was a great experience getting to feel what the college game day environment would feel like. There’s nothing better than being in Washington, D.C. on a Saturday night under the lights.”
Nored passed for a season-high 193 yards on 13 completed passes. Williams finished with a season-high 163 yards receiving on six catches, while Thomas led the Knights on the ground with 10 carries for 32 yards.
St. Mary’s Ryken will look for its first win of 2019 on Saturday when it is scheduled to play at Bishop McNamara in Prince George’s County at 2 p.m.