DeMatha 28, Gonzaga 0
After DeMatha's game was canceled last week because of weather-related complications, senior Brandon Peterson said the top-ranked Stags were determined to take out their pent up aggression on somebody. Unfortunately for the Gonzaga Eagles, they happened to be the Stags' opponent yesterday.
Peterson hauled in four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns, senior Jeff Allen rushed for 140 yards and a score on 14 carries, and a hard-hitting Stags defense limited No. 17 Gonzaga to 48 yards of total offense as DeMatha won, 28-0, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Dunbar.
"After not hitting anyone for a week, we were just ready to play," Peterson said, referring to last Saturday's scheduled game against Dunbar, which was canceled after remnants of Hurricane Ivan forced the game to be rescheduled and the teams couldn't agree on a makeup date. "When you don't get to play a game, it makes you so [much] more hungry the next time you're out on the field. . . After the way we came out in the first quarter, I knew this would be good day."
DeMatha (3-0) wasted no time building a comfortable lead against the Eagles (3-1). Peterson scored on a 20-yard screen pass from junior quarterback Marc Poblador midway through the first quarter. Five minutes later, Allen, a bruising 6-foot-3, 215-pound Maryland recruit, broke free on a 35-yard sweep that put DeMatha ahead 14-0.
"It's great to get a big win like this, especially against Gonzaga," Allen said. "I owe it all to my offensive line. When they open up holes the way they did today, I can't help but gain yards."
DeMatha's margin of victory was somewhat surprising considering the Stags were without Anthony Wiseman, their game-breaker and leading rusher from last season who is sidelined with a knee injury, and because of the intense rivalry between the teams, who have met in three consecutive conference title games. DeMatha took two of those championships, including last season's.
DeMatha didn't let up in the second quarter yesterday. Poblador connected with Peterson again for a 54-yard touchdown pass early, and Poblador, a first-year starter, took one in himself from a yard out right before halftime to stretch the Stags' lead to 28-0. Poblador finished 7 of 12 for 135 yards and an interception.
"They are talented all over the place, and at every position," Gonzaga Coach Kenny Lucas said. "They came right at us. The better team won today. But fortunately, it's a long season. You can lose a game or two early in this league and still make the playoffs."
"We're pleased. But it's just one game," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "The goal is to get to the playoffs. That's when it matters. There's a lot of football left. Anything can happen in this league."
DeMatha's defense was as punishing as the Stags' offense was efficient. Led by linebacker Kenny Jefferson (two sacks) and end Ryan Griffith, the Stags held Gonzaga tailback Joe Taylor to 27 yards on seven carries and a net total of eight yards rushing. The Eagles got only one first down.
Yesterday's game was scheduled to be played at Gonzaga, but was moved to Dunbar because Gonzaga's new synthetic turf field is not completed. Lucas said he hopes the field will be ready in three to four weeks.