This would not be the third straight shutout of Georgetown Prep by Gonzaga in the teams’ annual showdown, and Gonzaga’s seven-game win streak in the series sat in jeopardy, too. When the Eagles scored just three total points on two red-zone trips and then gave up an 83-yard touchdown drive, they committed the perilous rivalry-game blunder of letting the underdog believe.

Georgetown Prep’s sideline came to life, as did its student section. But the Little Hoyas played only one half of the game they came to Washington to play. No. 1 Gonzaga (3-0) bulldozed No. 13 Prep (1-2) after halftime, rolling to a 31-7 victory Saturday at Buchanan Field.

The Little Hoyas believed, but the Eagles did not panic. They did not grant Prep any more miscues after a sack ended their last first-half possession. In the locker room at halftime, the Eagles were “smiling and joking,” star quarterback Caleb Williams said later, and they reminded each other that if they played their best in the second half, they would win.

“It wasn’t me being cocky or anything like that,” Williams said. “It was just confidence in how we were playing. . . . If we all do our one-eleventh, we will come out with a victory.”

It helped that Gonzaga was in a similar spot eight days earlier at powerhouse Don Bosco Prep (N.J.), trailing 14-0 early and still behind 21-14 in the second half. At that point, Williams took over, producing three straight touchdowns to bring home a 35-21 win.

This time, it was senior running back Malcolm Terry II who shouldered the second-half load. Gonzaga took the lead on its first possession of the second half with an eight-play, 78-yard touchdown drive, capped by Joseph Hammond Jr.’s seven-yard touchdown run.

“We knew [the running game] was there,” Terry said. “We came in at halftime, said we were going to run it down their throat. So we came out in the second half, and I was ready, because I made a couple bad cuts in the first half, left a touchdown on the board.”

Prep committed its second turnover when quarterback Kyonte Hamilton and running back Jalen Hampton fumbled an exchange. Three plays and 43 seconds later, Terry scored again on a five-yard scamper. The Eagles finished with four rushing touchdowns. Their next task is to play with the same intensity from the outset, and they can focus on that with their undefeated record intact.

“We just have to do a better job [in the] first half and do the same thing [in the] second half that we’ve been doing these past three weeks,” Williams said, “and we’ll dominate and crush teams.”

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