From 2003 to 2008, no football team in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) was better than the DeMatha Stags. The Hyattsville, Md. natives had controlled the conference, winning six consecutive titles in dominant fashion.

But their streak came to an abrupt halt last season when Olney, MD’s Good Counsel Falcons knocked them off 14-7 in the WCAC title game. Looking to start their own run, Good Counsel made it two straight championships over DeMatha, beating them 42-3 at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis on Nov. 21.

Good Counsel built a 21-3 halftime lead behind quarterback Zach Dancel’s three first half touchdowns, including a 61-yard run which gave Good Counsel their first lead at 7-3 with just under three minutes left in the first quarter.

Dancel then passed for his next two scores, finding Stefon Diggs on a screen pass who broke free for 50 yards, and the pair ended the half with a 30-yard touchdown hookup. Good Counsel opted for the ground attack to open the second half as Dorian O’Daniel and Wes Brown ripped off scoring runs of 18 and 14 yards to give the Falcons a 35-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Dancel and Diggs then put the final touches on their 2010 championship when the pair hooked up for one last score with just over a minute left in the final quarter. Winners of four in a row coming into the game, it wasn’t just the win that opened eyes for many of the fans in attendance—Good Counsel’s control of the game from start to finish left much of the DeMatha faithful shaking their heads.

“I didn’t know what it was going to be like,” Diggs said about his team’s margin of victory.
Good Counsel Dominates DeMatha 42-3
“Every time we play DeMatha, it’s kind of shaky; you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

After ripping through the conference for much of the decade, it was a resounding wakeup call for DeMatha (9-3). The Stags won their regular season matchup against Good Counsel 31-28, but Good Counsel (10-2) was playing shorthanded at the time, going without starting running back Brown who missed the game with an ankle injury.

With Brown back in the mix, Good Counsel marched through the 2010 campaign as the best team in the conference while leaving DeMatha with a host of questions.

“We’re going to be fine, we’re DeMatha,” Coach Bill McGregor said. “The expectations are very very high, we’ll just come back, regroup and go from there. That’s all we can do.”


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO