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Calvert Hall ready for 'redemption' in 102nd Turkey Bowl

Cardinals enter Thanksgiving game against rival Loyola coming off Turkey Bowl loss in 2021 and loss in 2022 MIAA championship game
Calvert Hall Football
Posted at 2:33 PM, Nov 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-23 17:34:06-05

TOWSON, Md. — As the Calvert Hall College High School football team practices, the scoreboard at the end of the field says it all - Dons 41, Cards 35. That was the final score of last year’s Turkey Bowl.

"We’ve had that score up on the scoreboard all week," said Calvert Hall head coach Josh Ward. "Our guys have a lot of passion and fuel behind that."

That score serves as a constant reminder for the Cardinals as they prepare for the 102nd Turkey Bowl. For the first time in eight years they head into the epic Thanksgiving game against rival Loyola looking to reclaim the Alumni Memorial Trophy.

"We want to bring the trophy back home. Obviously last year, that still has a bad taste in our mouth," said Ward.

"Last year my Thanksgiving was trash. I know a lot of other peoples' Thanksgiving was trash over here. So, we at least want the alumni to have a good Thanksgiving," added junior outside linebacker Darius Smith.

The Hall is led by quarterback Noah Brannock, one of the best QB’s in the state of Maryland. He is heading to the College of William & Mary next year. He has experienced everything the Turkey Bowl has to offer - a victory in 2019, a game cancelled by COVID in 2020 and a loss in 2021.

"I know what it feels like to win and I also know what it feels like to not play at all and also to lose. So, all three phases," he said. "Winning is definitely the better experience. So, hopefully we can get a win this year and everyone can experience that."

"He is going to go down as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play here at Calvert Hall," said Ward. "We got him for one more game and I’m excited he’s fighting for me on my sideline."

One of the big differences this year is how Calvert Hall comes into this game. In 2021 they took the field just five days after the high of winning the MIAA Championship. In 2022 they suit up following the low of losing Friday’s MIAA title game to Spalding. Even with the heartbreak of last weekend’s result, they know a win on Thanksgiving will make their season.

"It will make us forget Friday, for the time being obviously," said Ward. "Winning the Turkey Bowl, that’s the last game of the year, it’s just kind of redemption for our guys from Friday night."

"Unfortunately we ended up on the short end on Friday night. So, we have a lot more to play for this year," added Brannock.

"This is like our second championship," said Smith. "Some of these seniors haven’t experienced winning a Turkey Bowl. I haven’t experienced winning a Turkey Bowl. So, this is like our second chance to really win a championship."

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook