When Calvert Hall quarterback Colar Kuhns dropped back to pass deep in his own territory with 1:35 left in a tie game, the 93rd Turkey Bowl had all the trimmings of an upset in the making.
Despite costly turnovers and penalties, a stout Loyola squad (5-5) that refused to quit looked ready to take the Cards (7-2) into overtime. The game once again revealed that regular season records in this rivalry are meaningless.
Kuhns unleashed a picturesque bomb to senior wide receiver Logan Kurek streaking down the left sideline and he outran his defender for an 83-yard game-winning touchdown. Calvert Hall prevailed, 21-14.
This play, "Kuhns to Kurek" will have its place in the annals of the rivalry and will be remembered for decades to come by the Calvert Hall faithful along with Gil Marsiglia’s last second 42-field goal in 1969 and an unexpected reverse on the kick-off that ruined Loyola’s perfect season in 1983.
Calvert Hall had just enough to stave off the Dons when it counted.
"Our kids hung in there," said Loyola Dean of Students John Stewart who played in the Turkey bowl in the late 50s. "They played very well."
Calvert Hall broke a scoreless tie in the first quarter on an eighteen-yard pass play from Kuhns to Kyle Levere. The drive was aided by 35 yards in Loyola penalties. The Dons tied the score in the second quarter on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Jake Clise.
Loyola fumbled on their own 31 to begin the second half. Three plays later, Stephen Kelly ran the ball around the right side for the go ahead score. But again Loyola roared back behind seniors Jake Clise and Alex Hunt to tie the score with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Despite playing on four days rest after a tough loss against Gilman for the MIAA championship, Calvert Hall Coach Donald Davis knew his team would be ready.
"This game is so big—you’re talking decades of alumni that have been in it as kids, players, parents, coaches and the community. They are going to be up for it."
For both schools, the season hinges on the Turkey Bowl. Calvert Hall’s 31 seniors have never lost a Thanksgiving Day game.
"It’s important to them. This is the last time that many of them will play organized football in front of all of Baltimore," Davis said.
Davis, a Calvert Hall grad and first year Loyola head coach Brant Hall both played in the Turkey Bowl.
"Brant has brought an energy and an enthusiasm to the job," Stewart said. "He has done a superb job. It came down to a play they made and one that we didn’t."