Calvert 37, Gwynn Park 0
Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Speechless. Floored. Shocked. Those were words that came from Calvert Coach Brad Criss as he tried to describe his team's 37-0 victory over previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Gwynn Park in a Maryland 3A quarterfinal game Friday night in Prince Frederick.
"I never expected this," Criss said. "There was just no way -- I never thought the score would end up like this."
And neither did fourth-seeded Calvert or fifth-seeded Gwynn Park's players as Calvert forced six turnovers, including five interceptions, and scored on its first three possessions to take a 17-0 lead. The Cavaliers then extended the lead to 24-0 at the half following senior quarterback Joe Procopio's 66-yard touchdown pass to senior Taros Harris.
"I was confident that we would win because the talent we have is incredible," said Calvert senior running back Dervon Wallace, who had 13 carries for 100 yards, highlighted by a 92-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that pushed the Cavaliers' lead to 31-0. "The way this team has come together reminds me a lot of what we had two years ago when we won the state title."
Southern Maryland Athletic Conference champion Calvert (9-2), which won the 3A title in 2000, will host No. 8 seed Seneca Valley (8-2) -- a 35-13 winner over No. 1 Annapolis last night -- in the semifinals at 7 p.m. this Friday.
Prince George's County 3A/2A/1A champion Gwynn Park (9-1), which entered the postseason for a school-record third straight year and coming off its first undefeated regular season, was shut out for just the second time in Coach Danny Hayes's five seasons. It was blanked for the first time since 1999.
Calvert took a 7-0 lead when Procopio threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior Jerome Brooks just 3 minutes 45 seconds into the game. The Cavaliers doubled the lead when Harris scored on a one-yard sneak seven plays after senior linebacker Dane Donnelly made the first of his two interceptions to give Calvert the ball on Gwynn Park's 30-yard line.
Calvert extended its lead to 24-0 at the half following senior Matt Bancroft's 22-yard field goal and Procopio's 66-yard touchdown pass to Harris with 4:46 left in the second quarter.
"This was as close to perfect as we have played all season," said Harris, who also had seven carries for 25 yards, and threw for 21 yards. "We didn't say much before the game, but we were confident, and I think it showed."