WCAC Football Week 1 Recap

 

The Gonzaga Purple Eagles missed out on a tremendous opportunity to show the DCIAA why they have been the whipping boys of the WCAC throughout history. Instead it was the Coolidge Colts that put on an offensive display that had them coming back from a 14-0 deficit to eventually win 36-34.

So what does this say about Gonzaga’s defense? The Purple Eagles may have forecasted dire implications for the rest of their season if they can’t stop the run or the pass. The unbridled Colts torched Gonzaga with 400 yards on the ground and four scores through the air.

Gonzaga starts off the 2008 season in an unlikely 0-1 fashion by losing to a Coolidge team that they probably should have beaten if they want to be considered seriously for a WCAC playoff berth. By proving that the Colts were too much for Gonzaga, the Purple Eagles have given an added mental incentive to teams that might have thought they wouldn’t ordinarily have a shot against them in WCAC play.

Look for McNamara and Saint Johns to beat Gonzaga during the regular season, as they have managed to do for the last two years. Also watch out for strong cases from Paul VI, Bishop O’Connell and even the Archbishop Carroll Lions to be emboldened by Gonzaga’s missteps and to play more spirited games.

Speaking of the Carroll Lions, they have demonstrated that they have their work cut out for them this season as they continued their streak of losses into 2008. The Lions have amassed nine losses in a row dating back to September 14, 2007 when they fell to Dunbar’s Crimson Tide, 22-6.

This season’s opening loss to former WCAC member Bishop Ireton was especially hurtful for the Lions after the hiring of new Assistant Athletic Director and head football coach Rick Houchens. Houchens, a controversial pick because he is rumored not to possess a college degree, was expected to show early signs of turning the recently beleaguered program around.

Despite the fact that Carroll wasn’t able to score an offensive touchdown in their 28-7 loss, the Lions did manage to give the impression that they were at least willing to confront their storied history in the effort to revive the program. Freshly cut grass, championship banners and a proud bronze mascot adorning Maus Collins Field contributed to a resurgence in the football culture and an electric atmosphere that remind some of the glory days of old.

At least one team with a rich history in the WCAC and beyond was able to win their game on opening day: St. Johns defeated Calvert Hall 19-16. The Cadets may have found the answer to their question mark at the quarterback position in senior Ed Thomas (pictured with ball on the left) and they are looking to make the playoffs again this year.

In a day and age when St. Johns hasn’t won a championship in quite a while after being credited with putting football in the District of Columbia on the map, the Cadets are looking to leap to the forefront again. Yet the former vanguards may have to yield to upcoming WCAC member Saint Mary’s Ryken for the most remarkable opening day after they shut out their opponent in their first ever varsity level game.

Even though Saint Mary’s Ryken will not officially compete in the WCAC this year perhaps they will provide even more promising glimpses in the future during their abbreviated conference schedule games. If Saint Mary’s Ryken continues to be impressive and successful then it might entice Bishop Ireton back into WCAC fold or at least be indicative of the competitiveness of the league.

Early on in the season, however, some skeptics are questioning whether or not the overall health of the WCAC is declining –often citing the struggles of former powerhouses with DCIAA public school teams. Prudence has shown us that it may be too early to tell, as the league’s brightest stars have yet to hold their season openers.

Dandini’s 2008 WCAC Week 1 Power Rankings reflects little change, as a result.

1.  DeMatha (0-0)
2.  Good Counsel (0-0)
3.  Saint Johns College (1-0)
4.  Bishop McNamara (0-0)
5.  Bishop O’Connell (0-0)
6.  Paul VI (0-0)
7.  Gonzaga (0-1)
8.  Archbishop Carroll (0-1)

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