No. 8 Loyola spoils John Carroll’s Homecoming, moves to 6-0; Umoja and Robinson combine for 5 TDs (VIDEO HERE!)

Loyola Blakefield had a fun time in Bel Air Friday evening as the No. 8 Dons improved to 6-0 with a 48-20 decision over 18th-ranked John Carroll, ruining the Patriots’ Homecoming.

by Donald Daniels

Loyola Blakefield football team wanted to take John Carroll School’s Homecoming audience out of play for Friday night’s non-league contest. It didn’t take long.

The eighth-ranked Dons ranked up 35 first half points en route to a 48-20 decision over the No. 18 Patriots in Bel Air. Zaire Umoja rushed for 120 yards with three touchdowns, two rushing and receiving, for Loyola.

At 6-0, the Dons are one of seven undefeated squads in the area. The Towson school private school, playing an independent schedule for the second straight year after taking a hiatus from the MIAA A Conference, won 6 games last season.

Loyola had extra motivation being the Homecoming opponent.

“We just wanted to come in here and upset the Homecoming crowd,” Umoja said. “We knew that this would be a tough game and we had to stay focused.”

“When you schedule someone for homecoming you feel as though that you should beat that team, I that was our guiding force all week, Loyola coach Anthony Zehyoue. “We did not want to let that [John Carroll] win happen.”

Loyola junior quarterback Jordan Moore was impressive completing 11 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown and scored on the ground as well. John Carroll junior running back Roman Hemby rushed for 92 yards and two scores.

The Dons scored on a 9-play, 52-yard drive, capped with Umoja’s 3-yard run for the early lead. Sophomore Micah Robinson capped off a 67-yard drive four minutes later when barreled his way into the end zone from 8 yards.

John Carroll gave its Homecoming audience some excitement on their ensuing drive as senior quarterback Austin Brinkman connected with Dominic Berndt for a 23-yard pass to Loyola’s 12-yard line. Hemby danced his way to left side of the field and ran in for a 12-yard score.

“We knew that they were going to out and make a few plays, but we just had to stay focused and keeping grinding,” Umoja said.

The Dons were looking to reclaim their double digit lead in the early in the second quarter, only to have Caleb Atabong leap up and pick off a Moore pass giving the Patriots the ball at the Loyola 15-yard line. On the next play the Patriots fumbled the ball which was recovered by Loyola’s Michael Lotz to end the potential game-tying Patriot drive.

“We knew that they were going to out and make a few plays, but we just had to stay focused and keeping grinding,” Umoja said.

The Dons ceased full control over the final 6 minutes of the first half. Robinson walked into the end zone from 2 yards. Umoja intercepted a pass, and moments later, hauled in a Moore pass in the end zone for another score. Umoja and Moore connected again, this time from 25 yards, giving Loyola a 35-14 halftime advantage.

“We have really talented guys running the football for us, but I feel as though our offensive line has been the unsung heroes of this team and they played really well again tonight,” Zehyoue said.

Moore put the game out of reach on the Dons’ first possession of the second half, eluding Patriots press and weaved his way to the end zone for a 20-yard score.

Hemby added a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for John Carroll, and London Hammond had a 44-yard run in the fourth. The Patriots turn their attention back to MIAA B Conference next Friday at 12th-ranked and two-time defending champ St. Mary’s.

“The last time we loss, we followed it up going on a four game winning streak, so if we are able to do that again will be conference champions,” said John Carroll coach Ken Brinkman.

No. 8 Loyola Blakefield 48, No. 18 John Carroll School 20

Loyola 14 21 6 7 – 48

John Carroll 7 7 0 6 – 20

First quarter

Loyola – Kaire Umoja 3 run (Connor Gill kick)

Loyola – Micah Robinson 8 run (Gill kick)

John Carroll – Roman Hemby 12 run (Gavin Greene kick)

Second quarter

Loyola – Robinson 2 run (Gill kick)

John Carroll – Hemby 3 run (Greene kick)

Loyola – Umoja 3 run (Gill kick)

Loyola – Umoja 25 pass from Jordan Moore (Gill kick)

Third quarter

Loyola – Moore 20 run (kick failed)

Fourth quarter

Loyola – Josh Buck 6 run (Gill kick)

John Carroll – London Drummond 44 run (kick failed)