They are known as the “Rowdy Red” at Mike Whittles Field in Severn and they are the Archbishop Spalding football fans and their beloved second-ranked Cavaliers. Friday night the Rowdy Red got rowdy at the expense of the visiting and No. 8 Calvert Hall College and the home team posted a 42-14 victory in MIAA A Conference action.
Rowdy Red improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference with the Hall falling to 4-3 and 0-2. The PA announcer could not stop calling out the names of Evan Fochtman and Julius Chestnut, especially in the early going, much to the delight of the Cavaliers’ racous Homecoming crowd. His chants of “Rowdy Red” inspired the students and fans of the capacity crowd who were fueled by the exploits of the Cavaliers.
Fochtman completed 11-of-16 passes for 160 including a TD pass and ran for another in his 85 yards rushing while Chestnut ran for 140 yards and four touchdowns.
Spalding struck like lightning, taking a 14-0 lead in the first five minutes of the game on a three-yard TD run by Chestnut, to cap a 10-play 70-yard game opening drive and recovery of an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff to Calvert Hall. Jared Innis smothered the perfectly placed kick by Camden Price, who would go 7-for-7 on extra point kicks on the night. Innis gained possession of the pigskin at the Redbird 35 and three plays later, Chestnut raced 30 yards to paydirt for his second of three first half scores.
“Coach (Kyle Schmitt) kept reminding us of the importance of jumping on them early,” said the 5-foot-11, 195-pound Chestnut, who led all ball carriers with 127 yards on 18 totes and his four touchdowns.
Fourth-year head coach Kyle Schmitt, the former University of Maryland 6-foot-5, 295-pound center (who is now 6-5, 250) under coach Ralph Friedgen, verified Chestnut’s claim.
“I told the kids, it was very important to jump on them early,” said Schmitt. “Teams try to slow us down and keep the ball from us, but we didn’t let it happen.”
No doubt the fast start was key for the Cavs because the Cardinals answered after the second Chestnut score with a 72-yard touchdown pass play of quarterback Emmett Avery to Chris Cooper to make it a 14-7 game with 7 minues left in the opening quarter.
Spalding then marched 91 yards in 10 plays with Chestnut going in from the four and the kick by Price made it 21-7. The early deficit that Spalding fostered was so important because the Cards would fail to capitalize on three opportunities to get back in the game in the second period.
First a goal line stand led by and finished by senior linebacker Nick Vermillion, at the Spalding one-yard line, thwarted a Hall scoring attempt and the Cards then failed to take advantage of a fumble recovery. The Redbirds were then driving near the end of the half as QB Ben Brooks completed four passes down to the Spalding 15, but the Cavs’ defense would force them to give it up on downs with 1:42 left before intermission.
The Hall never really recovered.
“Our defense played well and made the stops when they had to,” said Schmitt.
In contrast, the Cardinals could not make the necessary stops on the Rowdy Red in the first half of the third quarter as Spalding scored a pair of crucial touchdowns to pretty much put the game away. After Calvert Hall punted on fourth down to Jamari “Juice” Jones, who broke loose for 51 yards to the Redbird 15 on the return, Chestnut tallied his fourth and final TD from that point to make it 28-7.
Calvert Hall would punt away again on its next possession to the Spalding 30. Several plays and penalties later, the Cavs had a 1st-and-15 at the Redbird 35. Fochtman then found Jones alone in the secondary and the latter cut to the sideline and tip-toed just inside the line in his silver slippers with cleats into the end zone.
Suddenly, it was 35-7 with 6:34 remaining in the third stanza. Each team would then score a six-pointer in the final 12 minutes, the Hall on a six-yard run by Brooks and Spalding on a five-yard run by Fochtman with 4:06 left.
“Our defense played well along with our special teams and our jumping on them at 14-0 off that onside kick was big,” said Fochtman, who Schmitt said is “the heart of this team and is class on and off the field.”
“We are getting better each week and we have matured as a team.”
Just in time with several key conference games looming including a visit to top-ranked McDonogh School in two weeks.
“The conference is taking form and it’s like being in the playoffs each week,” said Schmitt.
NO. 2 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 42, NO. 8 CALVERT HALL COLLEGE 14
CH 7 0 0 7 — 14
AS 21 0 14 7 — 42
AS – Chestnut 1 run (Price kick)
AS – Chestnut 30 run (Price kick)
CH – Cooper 74 pass from Avery (Kordenbrock kick)
AS – Chestnut 3 run (Price kick)
AS – Chestnut 15 run (Price kick)
AS – J. Jones 35 pass from Fochtman (Price kick)
CH – Brooks 6 run (Kordenbrock kick)
AS – Fochtman 5 run (Price kick)