Two teams that have given some the best teams in the MIAA A Conference strong challenges, only to come up short in each effort, met on Saturday afternoon at Gilman School, each searching for their elusive first league win of 2016.
Behind a sensational afternoon from running back Brandon Madison, who rushed for 261 yards and two touchdowns and caught a TD pass, it was the host Greyhounds (2-7, 1-3 MIAA A) who found the “W,” prevailing, 43-26, over Loyola Blakefield.
All three Madison touchdowns were in the second half, as Gilman came from behind and then pulled away for the victory.
Madison’s first score followed a fumble recovery by Thomas Booker, which setup an 18-yard TD burst, which turned a Loyola lead into a 28-26 Gilman advantage.
The Gilman defense setup the next Madison touchdown as well, a 28-yard flea-flicker pass from Piper Bond, following an interception by Tyler Cashman. The Greyhound defense really turned the game around in the second half, forcing three turnovers, including an interception by senior Drew Ehrlich.
Madison capped the scoring, late in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run.
Gilman was also strong early in the game, building a 22-6 lead, but the Dons rallied to within three, at the half, a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Will Koras, a 9-yard strike to Omar Whiting and 34-yard toss to Kenny Lewis.
Loyola (4-5, 0-5) then vaulted on top, 26-22, with a defensive touchdown in the third quarter, as Evan Boozer returned a fumble 12-yards for a touchdown.
Despite the two picks, Koras kept the Dons afloat, completing 21-of-35 for 290 yards.
Loyola will return home next Saturday to host Edmondson, as the Dons seek to snap a five-game losing streak and build some momentum heading into their Thanksgiving Day game with No. 9 Calvert Hall College at M&T Bank Stadium.
Gilman will visit No. 1 Archbishop Spalding next Friday night and then close its season Nov. 12th, at home, with arch-rival and seventh-ranked McDonogh School.