By JOHN JAMES MARSHALL, Journal Sports
Usually, turning points in a football game happen in the fourth quarter or at least at some point in the second half.
But if there is such a thing as a turning point in a 40-point game, there is no doubt when it occurred in Calvary’s 50-10 win over Loyola Friday night at Jerry Barker Field that lifted the Cavaliers to a perfect 10-0 regular-season finish.
The Flyers took the opening kickoff and methodically worked their way down the field until Patrick Gosslee busted loose for a 51-yard run. Loyola thought it was a 52-yard run, but it was ruled that Gosslee had not scored.
Two running plays from the Calvary 1 netted zero yards. On third down, the Flyers tried a direct snap to Gosslee, but he never got a handle on it and Calvary linebacker Cole Miller was there to scoop it up and race 96 yards for a touchdown.
“The fumble recovery was huge,” Calvary coach Rodney Guin said, “because if they score there, I think they would have had an onside kick and so the whole game could have been different. At least the first half.”
The Flyers had a hard time recovering from that sudden turn of events and by the time they got another first down, it was already 22-0 as running back James Simon scored on runs of 1 and 5 yards.
From there, the Cavaliers went to the air as Chris Jackson got behind the Loyola secondary and caught an 89-yard strike from Abram Wardell, one play after Loyola’s Evan Lirette put the Flyers on the board with a 33-yard field goal.
Simon completed the first-half scoring with a 25-yard run on a four-play drive in which the Cavs got a first down on every play.
How is this for efficiency? Calvary scored 36 points in the first half and did it on just 17 offensive plays.
“We’ve been efficient on offense all year long,” Guin said. “All five (receivers) can catch it and we can run it pretty well.”
The Flyers had no trouble running plays – they had 70 in the game – but couldn’t finish drives. Loyola had drives that reached the Calvary 1, 14 and 8 yard lines in the first half but had only three points to show for it. Loyola’s only touchdown came on an 11-yard pass from Bryce Carpenter to Jake Black in the third quarter.
“I thought we ran the ball pretty well,” Loyola coach Mike Greene. “That’s something we thought we could do coming into the game. But we didn’t tackle anybody all night.”
Gosslee led the Flyers with 120 yards on 25 carries.
“Offensively, we played well. I thought they ran the ball on us a little bit, but that’s what they do,” Guin said. “We were a little sloppy. Way too many penalties, which we haven’t done all year long. We don’t typically do that so we’ve got to clean that up.”
Simon’s three touchdown night came on consecutive carries and rushed for 133 yards. Wardell completed 20 of 24 for 322 yards. Aubrey Hermes had a touchdown and led Calvary with six catches. Julius Moss finished the scoring with a 5-yard run with 6:01 to play.
After completing the regular season with a 10-0 record, the Cavaliers will have a week off before heading into the Division III (select) playoffs as one of the top seeds.
Loyola (4-5, 3-2) was in a precarious spot in trying to keep its chances of a home playoff game alive, but it appears though the Flyers will now have to hit the road in the opening round.
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CALVARY 50, LOYOLA 10
LCP 0 3 7 0 – 10
CBA 14 22 0 14 – 50
C – Cole Miller 96 fumble return (Ty Knight kick)
C – James Simon 1 run (Knight kick)
C – Simon 5 run (Lavorziesa Houston pass from Taylor Guerriero)
L – FG Evan Lirette 33
C – Chris Jackson 89 pass from Abram Wardell (Knight kick)
C – Simon 25 run (Knight kick)
L – Jake Black 11 pass from Bryce Carpenter (Lirette kick)
C – Aubrey Hermes 9 pass from Wardell (Knight kick)
C – Julius Moss 5 run (Knight kick)
RUSHING: LCP (47-163), Patrick Gosslee 25-120, Carpenter 16-37, Rowen Guthikonda 2-13, Bryce Restovich 1-mnus-2, Team 3-minus-5. CBA (21-132), Simon 13-133, Moss 2-6, Chaz Whitaker 1-3, Wardell 5-minus-10.
PASSING: LCP, Carpenter 11-23-1-105-1TD. CBA, Wardell 20-24-0-322-2TD
RECEIVING: LCP, Reagan Coyle 4-49, Black 3-32-1TD, Restovich 1-14, Gosslee 1-5, Jude Gaitan 1-4, Guthikonda 1-1. CBA, Hermes 6-77-1TD, Kolby Thomas 5-81, Jackson 4-120-1, John Simon 3-42, Taylor Guerrero 2-17