Gonzaga Shuts Out Calvert Hall, 26-0

There was a slight chill in the air as the sun began to set over a packed Buchanan Field on the first day of September. With the Gonzaga student section showcasing a sea of purple and the smell of the concession stand grill piercing through the air, one was thing was clear: high school
football was officially back in the nation’s capital. Tonight, it was Gonzaga hosting Calvert Hall, and the Eagles made sure that they were going to put on a show for their home fans, putting together a dominant 26-0 win.

The game started out hot for the Eagles. On the defensive front, they forced a punt before the Cardinals were able to make it to midfield. Senior quarterback Aidan Conrath quickly began to pick apart the Calvert Hall defense with short passes, and the receivers consistently gained yards after the catch. The Eagles opened the scoring on an impressive 30-yard rushing touchdown by Cody Hobson, much to the delight of the roaring Gonzaga crowd. Hobson broke through several tackles on the play and charged into the end zone, capping a successful first drive. Following a Calvert Hall fumble on the ensuing drive, it appeared that the Eagle offense had punched it in again, but a holding penalty negated it immediately.

Gonzaga Kicker John Holley added a field goal in the final minutes of the first quarter. Meanwhile, the Calvert Hall offense simply couldn’t get anything going. After one quarter, it was 10-0 Gonzaga. With the exception of a called-back Gonzaga punt return, the second quarter was relatively uneventful, as the Cardinal defense began to stiffen up and the Eagles defense remained sturdy. Gonzaga failed to score on their sole red zone possession in the quarter, which ended in a missed field goal. The 10-0 score would hold until the half.

The second half began with Gonzaga picking up big chunks of yardage using the ground game, quickly getting into Cardinal territory. But their momentum was halted when the Calvert Hall defense forced a fumble. It appeared that the Cardinals were about to capitalize on their defensive stand, moving the ball down to the red zone. It was then that the mighty Gonzaga defense sacked the helpless CH QB, pushing them out of field goal range. The CH quarterback’s short pass on fourth and long was complete, but well-short of the first down. A long run by Conrath on the ensuing drive set up a goal-line score from Kai Hobson that put the Eagles up 17-0.

With the Gonzaga defense dominating, the touchdown felt like a dagger to the hearts of the outmatched Cardinals. The CH offensive struggles continued in the second half, and the Eagle offense quickly got the ball back. It was from there that two of the most impressive players on the field took over the game.

Junior wide receiver Lincoln Fischer was a force to be reckoned with in the passing game. In the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Conrath threw up a 50-50 ball to Fischer, who jumped up and reeled in the ball for an outstanding catch. It was one of the premier highlights of the game. The very next play, it was topped. From the 25-yard line, Conrath threw up a gorgeous fade to the back of the end zone. Fighting through tight coverage, Fischer was there to leap up again and make a ridiculous catch. A brief scuffle ensued immediately after the score. In contested catches, Fischer was hard to stop.

The Conrath-Fischer connection was working all night. It was clear that they were two of the best players on the field. Conrath was in control of the offense from the first snap. His quick, sharp passes were methodical in pushing the ball down the field and wearing down the CH defense. His third
quarter run was the defining play on their second touchdown. On the fourth quarter fade pass, he put the ball in one of the only places Fischer could make a play on the ball. He made very few mistakes all night.

In addition to Conrath and Fischer, the entire defensive line was masterful throughout the whole night, making it extremely hard for CH to gain any sort of rhythm on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the running game. It became very clear early on that the aggressive Gonzaga defense is at its best when the lights are brightest. In the kicking game, Holley finished 2/3 on the night, with 35-yard and 36-yard field goals, as well as two extra points. The 2-0 Eagles will look to build upon their great start next week when they head up to The Bronx for a non-league game against Fordham Prep.

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