DeMatha (9-3, 4-2) hung with first-place Good Counsel (11-1, 6-0) for much of Sunday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game, but the latter ultimately proved too tough. The Falcons jumped ahead in the third quarter and never looked back, winning 26-14 to capture the team’s fourth consecutive league title.
Brendan Marshall, not to be compared with stud Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall, came through with his best outing of the season at the most opportune time. The senior signal caller threw three touchdown passes, all to senior Kendall Fuller, to lead the victory. He finished with 198 yards passing, more than he produced in all but one contest this year.
Fuller, who stepped up as the Falcons number one target this year after the graduation of Stefon Diggs (Maryland), caught 9 passes for 129 yards including three touchdown catches of six, 20 and 31 yards, respectively. His leaping 20-yard grab in the third proved to be the deciding score.
DeMatha took an early lead on a John Lovett touchdown run, but Good Counsel answered when Marshall found Fuller in the second quarter. Their second hookup later in the quarter gave the Falcons a 14-6 lead going into the locker room. That play was set up by a successful fake punt, a risk that paid off big time as the team went on to seize its first lead.
After the break, DeMatha only managed one scoring drive as the Good Counsel defense picked up its intensity, limiting the Stags to just one first down in the final quarter and a half. It was a complete team victory for the Falcons, who rattled off 11 straight wins after losing their season opener to an out-of-state opponent.
Good Counsel’s Dorian O’Daniel, a 6-foot-1 200-pound bruiser who shattered school records this season in key victories, allowed his team to take precious time off the clock in the second half. He ran for over 100 yards after halftime, finishing with 117 yards on the ground and a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that put the game virtually out of reach.
Lovett threw for 161 yards and one passing touchdown in addition to his rushing score in a losing effort for DeMatha, which appeared in a remarkable 15th WCAC championship in 16 seasons. The Stags tied the score in the third quarter on a touchdown pass from Lovett to Darryl Turner. But the offense couldn’t put anything together after that and DeMatha played second fiddle to Good Counsel in the heated rivalry once again.
1Q: DeMatha Touchdown: Lovett 5-yard run (kick failed)
2Q: Good Counsel Touchdown: 6-yard pass from Marshal to Fuller (Strittmatter kick)
2Q: Good Counsel Touchdown: 31-yard pass from Marshall to Fuller (Strittmatter kick)
3Q: DeMatha Touchdown: 9-yard pass from Lovett to Turner (Harrison run)
3Q: Good Counsel Touchdown: 20-yard pass from Marshall to Fuller (kick failed)
4Q: Good Counsel Touchdown: 4-yard run by Dorian O’Daniel (run failed)
DeMatha: Taiwan Deal 10-31, Lorenzo Harrison 6-29, John Lovett 5-14, Cameron Phillips 1-2
Good Counsel: Dorian O’Daniel 22-117, Chris Dawson 3-14, Kendall Fuller 2-8, Kirk Garner 1-2
DeMatha: John Lovett 15-27-2-161
Good Counsel: Brendan Marshall 15-24-198
DeMatha: Chris Jones 4-65, Jordan Pittman 4-47, Alek Schultz 3-32, Cameron Phillips 2-14, Darryl Turner 1-9, Jerad Washington 1-8
Good Counsel: Kendall Fuller 9-129, Leo Ekwoge 1-31, CJ Carroll 1-11, Nicholas Miller 1-11, Myles Robinson 1-7, Lucas Morley 1-6, Chris Dawson 1-3