St. Mary’s Ryken loses to Paul VI in WCAC foot­ball

Seven-game win­ning streak ends as Paul VI beats SMR; Hor­nets shut out Raiders

The Enterprise - - Front Page - By COLIN STOECKER cstoecker@somd­news.com

In a tor­ren­tial down­pour St. Mary’s Ryken was ex­cited to face Paul VI High School of Vir­ginia for its home­com­ing foot­ball game on Fri­day night, but they didn’t ex­pect the team that they beat 35-0 last year to dom­i­nate.

Paul VI scored two touch­downs early in the fourth quar­ter to re­gain its lead from ear­lier in the game and was able to hold off St. Mary’s Ryken in the Wash­ing­ton Catholic Ath­letic Con­fer­ence con­test 27-24.

“It felt great. The O-line was block­ing great all game,” Pan­thers se­nior quar­ter­back Devon Zack­avy said. “The en­ergy was up the whole game. My team­mates had trust in me, and if I saw a hole, I didn’t sec­ond guess it. I went for it. We just kept grind­ing and kept bat­tling in there. We knew we had to stop them and the game was ours. We have one more game af­ter this. We haven’t had a streak like this in a while, and we just want to keep it rolling.”

The win is the sev­enth in a row for Paul VI af­ter los­ing its first two games to start the sea­son. And it also snapped St. Mary’s Ryken’s seven-game win­ning streak.

“I don’t have words. It be­longs to my kids,” Paul VI head coach Michael Gran­dizio said. “I’ll be hon­est with you. No­body be­lieved. They saw it on DC Sports­fan. They saw it on the write-up. St. Mary’s Ryken was num­ber five in the re­gion, num­ber one in the con­fer­ence,

at trap­ping an­i­mals the way his fa­ther had taught him. It was a sim­ple but pleas­ant way of life.

As the days got shorter and the nights colder, the chil­dren and their grand­mother spent the evenings hud­dled by the fire to stay warm.

Late one evening, a fierce wind be­gan to howl through the trees, down the hill and over the cabin. It shook the roof and rat­tled the door. And un­der the scream­ing wind, a haunt­ing whis­per could be heard, mur­mur­ing what sounded like “Gilbert.”

Gilbert looked out the win­dow. He could see a dim light in the dis­tance.

Some­one must be lost. Gilbert put on his heavy coat and strode to the door.

His grand­mother’s fig­ure blocked the door­way. She pushed him back and said, “Get ahold of your­self, boy. That light is not a vis­i­tor. Who would be out­side in the dead of night in this cold? Those are de­mons, come to prey on you, poor or­phan.”

She told Han­nah and Gilbert that as long as they stayed in­side their cabin, they’d be safe. “But never go out­side,” she warned. “You’ll be safe only in here.”

Ev­ery night the de­mons re­turned. Their whis­pers be­came ag­o­niz­ing moans. “Gil-bert” the voices would wail, and the shrieks would reach such a fren­zied pitch

that it ter­ri­fied even the grand­mother who said prayers to stave off the evil spir­its.

Gilbert tried as hard as he could to re­sist their beck­ons. He stuffed cot­ton in his ears and buried his head un­der his pil­low. The de­mons re­turned night af­ter night, screech­ing his name and claw­ing at the door. “Gil-bert! Gil-bert!” Their keen­ing and wail­ing nearly drove him mad, and his grand­mother and sis­ter had to lash him to his bed to keep him safe.

Then, as sud­denly as they be­gan, the night vis­its stopped. The fam­ily was no longer ter­ror­ized by de­mons. Life re­turned to nor­mal.

On a warm sum­mer night, Gilbert was awak­ened by a light knock at the door. He

quickly pulled on his trousers and put his feet in his shoes. Out­side, a woman’s voice sweetly in­toned, “Gilbert?” It was his mother.

Mo­ments later, Han­nah awoke to a breeze on her toes. The cabin’s door was wide open and Gilbert’s bed was empty. She ran to the door in time to see a faint light as­cend­ing a hill in the dis­tance. Gilbert was un­der the de­mons’ spell.

Han­nah screamed to her brother, “Run! Gilbert! Run!” Her scream­ing woke their grand­mother, and both women stood in the door­way, their pan­icked shouts echo­ing all around the coun­try­side, “Run! Gilbert! Run!”

Their voices broke his trance. Gilbert looked to his side and saw not his

mother, but a grue­some spec­tre come to take him away. He be­gan to run as fast as his legs could take him.

“Gilbert! Run!” his sis­ter shouted. Gilbert crashed down the hill, speed­ing blindly through the dark­ness. He reached the edge of the lake and strug­gled to get away, but he could feel some­thing pulling at his feet.

He thrashed with all his might, but the weeds grow­ing along the edge of the pond had en­tan­gled him and were pulling him un­der. As his face slipped be­neath the wa­ter, the last words he heard were, “Run, Gilbert, Run.”

Fish­er­men have said that on dark, sum­mer nights, the ghost of young Gilbert can some­times be seen run­ning along the shores of the lake, try­ing to find his way back home.

Happy Hal­loween.

STAFF PHOTO BY COLIN STOECKER

St. Mary’s Ryken run­ning back Jonathan Wynn ran the ball 21 times for 286 yards and two touch­downs in Fri­day night’s 27-24 loss to Paul VI.

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