Eagles win for the fourth straight time in the 105th Gilman-McDonogh game


The Gilman-McDonogh football game is always a big deal, but the 105th meeting, which took place on Saturday afternoon in Roland Park, carried the added weight of a winner-take-all ticket into the MIAA A Conference football playoffs.

That ticket will go to the visiting and 5th-ranked Eagles, who dominated in all three phase of the game, to capture a 45-6 victory over their arch-rivals.

McDonogh (5-5 overall, 2-3 MIAA A) scored on offense, defense and special teams in the first half to take a 21-0 halftime lead and built its lead to 45-0 before Gilman scored in the final minute of the contest to prevent the shutout.

After forcing Gilman to punt from its own end zone on the first possession of the game, McDonogh began its first drive at the Gilman 37. They covered that distance in just seven plays with Stefan Egbe going the final three yards for the day’s first touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Gilman’s defense kept the Eagles at bay for much of the remainder of the first half, but the Greyhounds turned what seemed to be a big momentum swing in its favor into a disaster.

Following a stalled drive, the Greyhounds punted to McDonogh and the ball was muffed by the Eagles before being recovered by Gilman’s Kenyon Green, near midfield. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Greyhound quarterback Matthew Parker threw a pass high over the middle where it was intercepted by the Eagles Niles Riding at the 22-yard line. Riding sprinted up the McDonogh sideline, broke a tackle and went all the way with a 78-yard pick six.

Pulling out all the stops on its next possession, Gilman went for a fake punt, and more disaster struck for the Greyhounds.

Parker, who is also the Greyhounds punter, threw out of punt formation to Green in the flat for an apparent first down. As soon as the catch was made, however, McDonogh’s Mathani Paul-Swinson delivered a massive hit, dislodging the ball from Green before scooping it off the turf and racing 41 yards for the Eagles’ third touchdown of the afternoon.

McDonogh ended any suspense when they held the ball for more than seven minutes on the opening drive of the third quarter and stretched their lead to 28-0 on a 5-yard touchdown run by quarterback Preston Howard.

Later in the third quarter, Asplen booted a 40-yard field goal for the Eagles. In the fourth quarter, McDonogh added a 12-yard touchdown run by Egbe and, after a blocked punt, a 5-yard TD run by sophomore Chase Green.

Gilman avoided the shutout in the final minute of play when Parker hit a streaking Colt Pearce for a 72-yard touchdown strike.

It was McDonogh’s fourth straight win in the historic series and they will retain the Price Memorial Trophy. Gilman still leads the all-time series by a wide margin, 61-39-5. The two teams did not play last year because of COVID-19. It was only the third time in the last 108 years that the two teams did not meet.

McDonogh will now play at top-seeded Archbishop Spalding next Friday in the MIAA A Conference semifinals. Earlier this year, McDonogh held Spalding to a season low 14 points in a 14-3 loss.

Gilman completed its season at 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the A Conference.

Pictured above: The McDonogh football team poses with the Price Memorial Trophy after the Eagles defeated Gilman, 45-6, in the 105th edition of the Gilman-McDonogh rivalry, clinching a spot in next week’s MIAA A Conference football playoffs.

NO. 5 MCDONOGH 45, GILMAN 6

MCD 7 14 10 14 — 45
GIL 0 0 0 6 — 6

1STQ
MCD-Stefan Egbe 3 run (Sam Asplen kick)

2NDQ
MCD-Niles Riding 78 interception return (Asplen kick)
MCD-Mathani Paul-Swinson 41 fumble return (Asplen kick)

3RDQ
MCD-Preston Howard 5 run (Asplen kick)

4THQ
MCD-Egbe 12 run (Asplen kick)
MCD-Chase Green 5 run (Asplen kick)
GIL-Colt Pearce 72 pass from Matthew Parker (kick failed)