Germantown Academy could do little wrong in its rollicking 44-0 win over Neumann-Goretti Saturday night.
Southpaw quarterback Kyle McCloskey was lights-out, K.J. Cartwright finally started to get his gears turning, and the special teams and defense all contributed in the win.
McCloskey finished the game with just five pass attempts, but he made them all count. The senior finished 4-for-5 for a touchdown and 162 yards (all to junior receiver Mike Reilly) to go along with a two-yard score on the ground.
“The offensive line did a really nice job, and the backs did a good job in blitz pickup,” Dence said. “Kyle put it on the money—when all those things happen, he’s going to look good.”
It wasn’t just him, though.
“Every unit that we coached performed well,” GA coach Matt Dence said. “They did what we hoped that they would do, so yes, I’m happy.”
In addition to McCloskey’s exploits, K.J. Cartwright ran for 40 yards and a pair of scores to go with a 60-yard second-quarter kickoff return following a Saint safety. The Pats managed five interceptions on the other side of the ball, and scored all 44 points in just two quarters to get the clock running in the second half.
The scoring fun started from the get-go, when a middrive 39-yard connection from McCloskey to Reilly set the Pats up inside the Saint 15. Four plays later, McCloskey punched it in from two out.
McCloskey hit Reilly for a 55-yard touchdown strike on the first play in the next Patriot possession following Neumann-Goretti’s three-and-out, and two plays after Shane Harkins snatched Saint QB Savion Jewett’s errant pass, Cartwright scored again from three yards out.
The second quarter wasn’t much different. Neumann-Goretti did force a GA punt, but otherwise, Cartwright’s return (on a safety kick) and three-yard TD run on the next drive, followed by Tanner Long’s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown put the game fully out of reach.
“When you get a big turnover, especially when a team’s driving, it sparks you,” Dence said. “Not to mention K.J. always does things that spark us. He’s that type of player.”
“It was pretty cool to watch everything work to perfection,” he went on.
The win, following a loss two weeks ago against Father Judge in which the Pats were generally outclassed, should serve to get them back on track. Though GA was slated to play Bishop McDevitt last Friday, Mother Nature thought otherwise, bringing 90-plus degree heat and another week to let the loss ruminate.
“It’s a huge one for us,” McCloskey said. “Going back to last year, we had lost four in a row in four really tough ways. I’m proud of how we executed today.”
“We didn’t really play down to our competition,” he went on. “We got up and did the things we planned and needed to do.”
Coming up for the Pats is a date next Saturday against the Academy of the New Church, an independent team (they play their basketball games in the Friends League).
“They’re a tough, well-coached team,” Dence said. “I know that their staff works as hard as anybody.”
“We handed them a tough loss last year,” Dence went on. “I think they’re going to really mark us as a game that’ll be a statement win if they can knock us off.”
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