In a 1970 photo, halfback Rick Macsherry of Georgetown Prep rips off a big gain against DeMatha, as the undefeated Little Hoyas beat the Stags, 30-8. The DeMatha defenders included, at left, Kevin Costello (74) and Bob Barton (72).
In a 1970 photo, halfback Rick Macsherry of Georgetown Prep rips off a big gain against DeMatha, as the undefeated Little Hoyas beat the Stags, 30-8. The DeMatha defenders included, at left, Kevin Costello (74) and Bob Barton (72).
In 1970, Jim Fegan entered his ninth year as the head football coach at Georgetown Prep. He had been brought to Prep by Jesuit Father Thomas Dugan from the CYO to revive the Little Hoyas' proud football tradition. In 1948, Prep had one of its best teams and was on its way to the city championship game when a polio scare forced the school to close for a month, ending the season and the dream of being the best team in the area. Father Dugan still had that dream.

Fegan had quickly turned the program around. His first team won half their games. The next seven teams won 56 out of 62 games, claiming five IAC championships along the way. Prep had managed to crack the Post and Star rankings but only to a point. The local high school writers referred to them as the "king of the B's." They were thought of as a team that was way too good for their league.

By the end of the 1969 season, league members agreed, and both Landon and St. James dropped Prep from the schedule, making them ineligible for the league championship. Prep had won 22 straight games by an average score of 45-4. Jim Fegan knew how good his program was. He saw 1970 as an opportunity to convince the skeptics and take a seat at the big table.

In addition to Gonzaga, he added three more Catholic league teams including preseason No. 1 DeMatha to the schedule. Woodberry Forest, a perennial private school power, was also added as a ninth game. The 1970 Prep team featured All -Mets Billy Maloney, widely acknowledged as the best running back in the city, Andy Chacos and Rick Macsherry. The team was experienced and deep.

They opened the season by crushing their first two Catholic league foes by a combined score of 70-6. When Woodberry fell 38-6 in mid-season, Prep climbed to #4 in the weekly polls, behind DeMatha, Richard Montgomery and W.T. Woodson. In late October, DeMatha lost to East Liverpool (Ohio), and Woodson lost to Annandale vaulting Richard Montgomery to #1 and Prep to #2. The season finales would feature Prep playing #3 DeMatha and Richard Montgomery playing #4 Wheaton.

Georgetown Prep's moment had arrived. Interest in the game with the Stags was so great it was moved to Georgetown University. This game would prove whether the little school from Garrett Park could play in the heavyweight division.

DeMatha, with its decided size advantage, was expected to control the line of scrimmage and grind out first downs with handoffs to Kenny Roy. However, it was Prep that struck first, using a carefully constructed game plan of trap blocking and misdirection. Midway through the first quarter, Paul Maloney threw a short pass to John Gibaldo who broke two tackles for a 59 yard gain to the Stag 6 yard line. Billy Maloney took it in from there. Following a DeMatha punt, Rick Mac-sherry ran 42 yards untouched for a 16-0 lead.

DeMatha cut the lead in half with a long drive featuring the running of Kenny Roy. Fegan thought the Stag's next possession decided the game. Lined up to punt with 30 seconds to play, DeMatha fumbled the snap inside its own 10 yard line. Billy Maloney skirted left end with three seconds remaining to make it 24-8 at the half. "That play seemed to take a lot out of them," said Fegan. Following a scoreless third quarter, Prep clinched the game driving 88 yards following a DeMatha fumble with Don Hathaway scooting the last 11 yards to make the final score 30-8.

The 1970 season was perfect. The winning streak was extended to 31 games , the local writers acknowledged they had badly underestimated the team and later that afternoon Wheaton defeated Richard Montgomery to place Georgetown Prep as the No. 1 team in the city. Father Dugan smiled.