Wednesday, April 23, 2014 8:05 AM
Published on: Friday, November 16, 2012
By Brandy L. Simms
DeMatha and Good Counsel are scheduled to renew their storied gridiron rivalry in Annapolis this weekend.
Sunday’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium pits the state’s top private school football programs against one another in a head-to-head matchup for the league trophy.
When the teams met during the regular season, Good Counsel won a nail-biter on their home field, 13-10. However, when the league rivals clash this weekend, the game will be played on a neutral field.
With the exception of last season, DeMatha and Good Counsel have played each other for the league title every year since 2004.
DeMatha captured six straight WCAC titles before their winning streak was snapped by Good Counsel in 2009. The Stags are looking to claim their first championship in four years.
DeMatha (9-2) avenged a regular season loss to Gonzaga with a 40-27 victory over the Purple Eagles last weekend. The Stags were led by junior quarterback John Lovett along with running backs Taiwan Deal and Lorenzo Harrison.
Deal, a sophomore, rushed for 191 yards on 25 carries and scored five touchdowns while Harrison, a freshman, finished with 70 yards rushing on nine carries and scored a touchdown.
The Stags seek to avenge the loss to Good Counsel but they know it will not be an easy task.
“John Lovett has been our leader,” DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks said. “He’s got to make throws and do a great job managing the game.”
Offensively, Good Counsel (10-1) boasts an all-league quarterback in Brendan Marshall (Virginia) along with running backs Dorian O’ Daniel (Clemson) and Leo Ekwoge. Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech) is a threat at wide receiver.
O’Daniel, a two-way standout who also toils at linebacker, has rushed for more than 1,100 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this season.
“They have an outstanding running back in Dorian O’Daniel, who is a load to bring down,” Brooks said.
Defensively, the Falcons feature linebackers Reggie McGee (Houston), Marcel Ngachie, Darien Carr (Harvard) and O’Daniel while the secondary boasts Fuller and Kirk Garner (Virginia).
“They’ve got the best defense we’ve faced this year,” Brooks said. “We’re going to have our hands full.”