“They put it on me for a reason,” Lloyd said. “I wanted to be there for my team and make sure that we won this game. I just believed in my line.”
The Stags (5-1, 1-0 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) stormed onto the field and swarmed Lloyd to celebrate, pouring water on him. After the game, DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks gathered his players and told them how proud he was that his team overcame adversity to pull off its first conference victory of the year.
Both teams survived scares in overtime to extend their respective drives and the game. For the Stags, Lloyd punched the ball into the end zone on fourth and goal in the first overtime.
The Eagles converted a fourth down in the second overtime on a pass from quarterback Caleb Williams to wide receiver Dean Engram. On the following play, Williams ran in for a 12-yard touchdown to set up the third overtime.
“Our guys really worked hard throughout the week to prepare for these opportunities,” Brooks said. “For them to be able to do this shows a lot about their character.”
Lloyd played on the scout team during practice this week both to prepare himself for the Eagles’ tough defensive front and to allow the defense to prepare for a potent offense that had scored at least 30 points in each game.
DeMatha’s defense did its part, holding Gonzaga well under its average, and Hellams, Dominic Logan-Nealy and Nick Cross all intercepted Williams passes.
“You got arguably one of the top quarterbacks in the country slinging the ball around,” Brooks said. “For those guys to play coverage well, I thought they did a fantastic job.”
Eagles Coach Randy Trivers said his team was fortunate to stay in the game last week, a 38-31 loss to Good Counsel. Although two of the three interceptions this week came in overtime, it was enough to hold back the Eagles.
Gonzaga has lost consecutive WCAC games and fell to 6-2 overall. While the Eagles are not out of playoff contention, last year’s conference runners-up must regroup quickly.
DeMatha, which had won the WCAC for four consecutive years, lost grip of its crown last year as St. John’s prevailed. DeMatha knows there’s a lot more work to be done to regain the title.
“[The win] was against a rival, a great Gonzaga team that we’ll probably see again down the line,” Brooks said. “We’re basically playing for field position.”