The Bishop McNamara High School football team showed why it has been generating some preseason buzz, and the Mustangs also showed why the program has struggled in recent years in a 31-23 victory Saturday against Mount St. Joseph in Baltimore.
Namely the first and second halves.
In the first half, McNamara rushed out to a 28-0 lead, holding the Gaels (0-1) to just 58 yards of total offense. In the second half, the Mustangs (1-0) gave up 264 yards of offense, allowing MSJ to rally within a touchdown and successful two-point conversion of tying the game.
“We lightened up a little bit [in the second half],” said McNamara junior running back Adam Gillis. “There were a lot of mistakes that we made, a lot of penalties.”
Gillis was one of the reasons for the quick start. He rushed for 154 yards in the game and both of his touchdowns came the first half.
“We have a big offensive line and I trust them and believe in them that they’ll do their jobs, and sure enough they did,” Gillis said.
McNamara went 80 yards in five plays to score on the game’s first drive, a 6-yard touchdown run by Gillis. The big play on the drive was senior quarterback Milan Collins’ 47-yard pass to junior wide receiver Jordan Crockett.
The Mustangs extended it on a Gillis 1-yard run with 10:15 to play in the first half. On the Mustangs’ next drive, senior Jyquan Thompson scored on a 24-yard run.
To cap an excellent defensive first half, senior cornerback Jordan Martin intercepted Mount St. Joseph quarterback Bryan Jangro twice in the final minute, returning the first of those 29 yards for a touchdown.
“The first receiver ran a drag route, I just broke on the drag route and just made a play on the ball,” Martin said.
On the second interception, Martin said he “rolled his ankle” which led to him watching most of MSJ’s second-half comeback from the bench. Martin said he doesn’t think it will slow him this week and he did reenter the game in the fourth quarter when the Gaels were made the score close.
Another key player on defense for McNamara was senior linebacker Marlon Crook, who had two sacks.
Jangro provided most of the offense for MSJ in the second half, finishing with 261 yards passing and two passing touchdowns and one rushing.
Jangro’s quarterback sneak made the score 31-15 with 3:29 to play. MSJ executed an onside kick, which the Gaels recovered. On the next play Jangro tossed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Betts. His two-point conversion pass to Kyle Offerman made it 31-23 with 3:41 left.
But instead of risking another onside kick, Gaels coach Blake Henry had his team kick it deep. McNamara senior tailback Jyquan Thompson rushed for 33 yards to keep the clock rolling and Mount St. Joseph never got the ball back.
“Coming off the years we’ve had, winning is a habit, and you have to learn how to win,” said McNamara coach Bryce Bevill, whose team went winless in 2010 and was 3-6 last year. “What we can take from this is we won, and we can still learn.”
Bishop McNamara 31, Mount St. Joseph 23
McNamara (1-0) 7 21 0 3 — 31
Mount St. Joseph (0-1) 0 0 7 16 — 23
BM — Adam Gillis 6 run (Travis Arnold kick)
BM — Adam Gillis 1 run (Travis Arnold kick)
BM — Jyquan Thompson 24 run (Travis Arnold kick)
BM — Jordan Martin 29 interception return (Travis Arnold kick)
MSJ — Brandon Betts 11 pass from Bryan Jangro (James Nelson kick)
BM — Travis Arnold 35 FG
MSJ — Bryan Jangro 1 run (Nevone McCrimmon 2-point run)
MSJ — Brandon Betts 48 pass from Bryan Jangro (Kyle Offerman 2-point pass from Bryan Jangro)
McNamara — Adam Gillis 24-154; Jyquan Thompson 11-64; Jordan Martin 1-21; James Thomas 1-13; Tyrelle Lattimore 1-7; Marquis Barnes 2-5; Milan Collins 7-(-7).
Mount St. Joseph — Nevone McCrimmon 13-47; Carey Wells-Jowers 4-26; Brandon Betts 1-11; Bryan Jangro 4-(-23).
McNamara — Milan Collins 6 of 16 for 129 yards, 0 interceptions.
Mount St. Joseph — Bryan Jangro 19 of 28 for 261 yards, 3 interceptions.
McNamara — Jordan Crockett 3-80; Kevin Robbins 1-32; Wayne Johnson 1-11; Malik Self 1-6.
Mount St. Joseph — Brandon Betts 5-145; Carey Wells-Jowers 7-57; Taylor White 3-27; Kyle Offerman 3-26; Nevone McCrimmon 6.