DeMatha Football | No. 5 DeMatha’s defense dominates in 32-2 win over No. 2 Good Counsel
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No. 5 DeMatha’s defense dominates in 32-2 win over No. 2 Good Counsel

No. 5 DeMatha’s defense dominates in 32-2 win over No. 2 Good Counsel

No. 5 DeMatha’s defense dominates in 32-2 win over No. 2 Good Counsel

DeMatha huddles on the sideline during the second half of their convincing victory over Gonzaga on Friday. (Samantha Pell/Washington Post)

October 19

DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks stood in front of his team Friday night on the Good Counsel football field, dozens of players staring at him as he released his postgame message. A week after his team had defeated another Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opponent in triple overtime, Brooks had his back turned to the flashing red scoreboard showing a 32-2 win for his Stags.

It wasn’t Friday night’s final score Brooks would rave about. It was the long-term outlook and what the win meant in an ultracompetitive conference such as the WCAC.

“Now that’s how you make a statement,” Brooks shouted. “We know it’s just a regular season game, but tonight we came to take it all.”

With the victory over No. 2 Good Counsel, No. 5 DeMatha improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the conference, while the Falcons dropped to 5-3, 1-2. The DeMatha defense forced five turnovers — two interceptions and three fumbles — and jumped ahead of Good Counsel 14-0 in the first quarter.

“We’re trying to position ourselves for the playoffs, and we are trying to play good football,” Brooks said. “I thought our guys came out and were focused and executed the game plans, and I was proud of what they did tonight.”

The showdown between two of the top teams in the area brought out a large crowd. Last year, Good Counsel beat DeMatha, 20-14, in overtime when running back Latrele Palmer ran for the game-winning touchdown. This year, Palmer was bottled up by the DeMatha defense.

By halftime Friday, the Stags were up 29-2, with Good Counsel’s only points coming from a safety early in the second quarter.

DeMatha beat Gonzaga in triple overtime last week, winning its first WCAC game of the season. Good Counsel last week lost to No. 1 St. John’s, 31-10, in a national showdown broadcast live on ESPN2.

“We came off a big win off Gonzaga, and they challenged us to not live off of that high,” DeMatha defensive back Nick Cross said. “They told us to come in and come to work, and we had a good week of practice and left it all out on the field.”

Good Counsel relied heavily on its pair of running backs: Palmer and Sy’Veon Wilkerson. Quarterback Kam Snell didn’t play Friday because of injury. In his place was junior Darion Crawford.

Crawford wasn’t able to generate much offense. Facing stifling play from the DeMatha defensive line as well as lockdown coverage in the secondary, the Falcons were unable to get in any rhythm.

“They had a nice offense two nights back, so for us, we held them to zero touchdowns, zero offense points, I think that is a strong showing for us,” said DeMatha defensive back DeMarcco Hellams, an Alabama commit. “Our coaches prepared us, and we challenged each other as players, and we compete to make plays.”