Gilman (Baltimore) might be the best 1-2 high school football team in the country.
The Greyhounds, No. 16 in the USA TODAY Sports Super 25 preseason rankings, embarked on a schedule that saw them facing two teams in the Super 25 and last year’s Super 25 champion, Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), to start the season.
Gilman lost 35-14 at then-No. 14 Moeller (Cincinnati), then fell in 20-19 in overtime at then-No. 20 Good Counsel (Olney, Md.). While Don Bosco wasn’t ranked in the Super 25, it had won 46 in row before Gilman defeated the Ironmen 13-6 in Annapolis, Md., on Saturday.
“Don Bosco was as good as both the teams we played,” Gilman coach Biff Poggi said. “They are so well polished, so physical. And they have so many guys you have to defend for.”
With the win, Gilman is likely to move back into consideration for the national rankings. (The next USA TODAY Sports Super 25 will be released Monday afternoon).
Poggi said the earlier defeats prepared his team for the hard-hitting effort needed to beat a team that hadn’t lost since Sept. 13, 2008, when it fell 17-10 at St. Xavier (Cincinnati).
“You start wondering if you’re going to get a win with our schedule,” Poggi said. “We played a bad first half against Moeller and outplayed them in the second half. We lost a heartbreaker to Good Counsel. Both those games we felt like we should have won. We were looking at being 0-3 if we lost to Don Bosco. At what point does that schedule look like a bad decision? Now, it looks like an unbelievably good decision to have that schedule. We’ve learned that we can play with these teams, and that will help us in our league.”
Clairton, Pa., which has won three consecutive state Class A (the state’s smallest classification) titles, has the nation’s current longest winning streak at 49 games after it defeated Carlynton (Carnegie, Pa.) 50-7 on Friday.
Hornell, N.Y., has the second-longest current winning streak at 41 games. The national record for consecutive wins is held by De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) at 151 in a row from 1992 to 2004.
Don Bosco Prep wasn’t the only Northeastern team to see a long winning streak end. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) defeated St. Anthony’s (Melville, N.Y.), 59-21 on Saturday, to end a 29-game winning streak.