BALTIMORE — There were dueling images of elation and defeat as time expired at Calvert Hall on Saturday.
In an energetic, back-and-forth game, No. 3 Wise fell to Calvert Hall, 19-14, ending its winning streak at 43. Wise had previously been tied with Damascus for the nation’s second longest active win streak.
The Pumas somberly listened as Coach DaLawn Parrish spoke in their postgame huddle.
“You learn from this mistake, and you move forward,” Parrish said to his team.
Across the field, the Cardinals (3-0) gleefully cheered with their fans, chanting “43 and one” together.
Calvert Hall has historically been a tough opponent for Wise (1-1). Last September, Calvert Hall nearly ended Wise’s win streak at 30 games, but the Pumas eked out a 15-13 win.
Parrish was critical of the officiating, pointing out that calls were disproportionate against his team. In the second quarter, a would-be Wise touchdown was instead ruled an incomplete pass after referees conferred.
The Cardinals sacked Wise senior quarterback Quinton Williams nine times and held the Pumas’ offense to just 27 yards on 35 carries.
“I thought he was relentless with the pressure he faced tonight,” Parrish said. “He stayed in the pocket. I thought he played great.”
Senior running back Brandon Bell scored both of Wise’s touchdowns at the end of short drives, including one which regained the lead, 14-13, late in the third quarter. In both of their contests this season the Pumas have relied on late scoring surges, scoring 21 of their 34 points in the second half.
In the waning seconds Saturday it looked like Wise was poised for a comeback as they got into scoring position, but Calvert Hall’s defense sacked Williams to run out the clock.
Parrish said the end of the streak is a learning experience for the players.
“It’s like a sign of a real man how you deal with adversity,” Parrish said. “At some point you got to lose, and you got to deal with that.”
Damascus is now in sole possession of the second-longest win streak in the nation. After its 35-14 win over Sherwood on Saturday, Damascus has 44 consecutive wins.
At the end of his postgame huddle, Parrish looked at his team and exclaimed “are you ready to go on that journey?”
Energized, a resounding “Yes, sir!” rang out. The Pumas will look to get back in the win column next week against Bladensburg.