WCAC Football 2009: Week 6 Recap

WCAC Football Reigns Supreme And So Does Briana Loyd

We’re really getting into the full swing of WCAC football now in the second week of league competition.  There is no hiding place with a league where two of the eight teams vying for the title are nationally ranked. Every single match-up has serious implications and the highest level of high school football is often on display. The first weekend of October offered no surprises and no upsets; rather it was more of a prelude of even better football to come.

The Bishop O’Connell Knights defended their home turf pretty well against the cellar dwelling Archbishop Carroll Lions, 23 – 8. I don’t really want to comment on how bad Carroll is because we’ll get to see when they travel to Paul VI this Friday. The Knights’ William Conner rushed only twelve times for 120 yards and two touchdowns, though. Giving up 10 yards per carry to one kid is probably justification enough, right there, to conclude that Carroll has some problems stopping the run. And you probably already know what they say about teams that can’t stop the run…

Saint John’s College pummeled Paul VI, 38 – 0. There isn’t a whole lot to say about the Panthers since they were shut out. I don’t mind telling you that the Cadets’ Charles Brown rushed for 219 yards on seventeen carries en route to a three touchdown day. The Saint John’s running back is listed as “on the bubble” to become the second WCAC rusher for first team All Met considerations. (Idreis Augustus, former WCAC athlete is already included on the All Met list despite the fact that he transferred to Lee from Paul VI for his senior year.) If you don’t know anything about the sport of football, write this down: if you can run the ball when your opponent can’t run the ball effectively then you are bound to win some games. Quick, someone go tell the Panthers that.

Good Counsel remained undefeated and held off a tough Bishop McNamara team 21 – 7. The Mustangs played a very good game against a formidable opponent but ultimately came up short. While Brandon Coleman (88 yards) and Joseph James eventually connected for Bishop McNamara’s only score they couldn’t get it going early enough to force the Falcons into hard choices. Good Counsel running back Wes Brown rushed for 132 yards on twenty-three carries and two scores and defensive back Louis Young affected the outcome of the game with his two interceptions. While I wasn’t actually at the game, it is probably a safe bet to assume that McNamara can still feel good about their playoff chances with such a close score against such staunch competition.

You probably already remember what DeMatha was able to do to Gonzaga from the early release edition. What you probably don’t know is that The Long Ranger wasn’t the only Stag to rush for over 100 yards. Pat Harbeson averaged ten yards per carry en route to two scores and 101 yards. Offensive linemen Shane Johnson and Arie Kouandijio (or is it Kouandijie?) on the left side of DeMatha’s stellar offensive line both cleared the way for Marcus Coker as first team All Met voting in the Washington Post. We’ll see if the newspaper will make good on all of these selections, including the folks I singled out in previous text. We’ll also see about Gonzaga’s “on the bubble” All Met junior quarterback Kevin Hogan who managed to workout DeMatha’s defensive backs to the tune of 277 yards and three touchdowns.

The Purple Eagles’ gunslinger only completed 55% of his passes, and eleven of his forty-five attempts went to tight end Jake Ruffing. That connection alone yielded 143 yards and two touchdowns and it also raises concerns about DeMatha’s ability to completely shut down a passing game. It was obvious to me that the coaches understood that every single game in the WCAC was a learning opportunity because they were not afraid to call timeouts and begin instruction. Defensive Coordinator Deno Campbell did not look all that happy last Friday night. Even Head Coach Bill McGregor said that they kids were a little unenthused and “lacked emotion” but there was no denying that the Stags’ offense is the belle of the WCAC, and perhaps even in the region. DeMatha’s Offensive Coordinator Chris Baucia has to be pleased with a scoring average for the year of over 45 points a game, and Gonzaga should feel comfortable with their 48 – 17 loss.

Dandini’s Week 6 WCAC Power Rankings

 Power Ranking  WCAC Record Overall Record
  #1 DeMatha Stags   2 – 0   5 – 0
  #2 Good Counsel   2 – 0   5 – 0
  #3 Saint John’s   2 – 0   4 – 1
  #4 Bishop O’Connell   1 – 1   4 – 1
  #5 Bishop McNamara   1 – 1   4 – 1
  #6 Gonzaga   0 – 2   2 – 3
  #7 Archbishop Carroll   0 – 2   1 – 4
  #8 Paul VI   0 – 2   1 – 4

 

Pride Week Preview

This coming week in WCAC football is just too good to call it a regular week. It is almost like we have our own college bowl series this weekend, right in the Washington DC area, complete with a national championship game. Okay, maybe you have to use your imagination for that fantasy to become vivid, but in the spirit of the moment let me break down my reality for you.

National Consequences Bowl

DeMatha has been able to literally overpower teams, but everybody knows that a good defense wins championships. I have every confidence that the DeMatha Stags can go undefeated because the evidence is on the field that everybody is still working very hard to avenge last year’s 42 – 21 embarrassment. It would be very nice for DeMatha to maintain their local ranking in the Washington Post, wire to wire, and climb into the top 5 nationally on their way to their seventh straight WCAC championship, too. With a game against the number two football team in the Washington Post, recent upstart Good Counsel, the Stags have to be seriously wary of a team that is also ranked #23 in the country. The Falcons have weapons at the skill positions, as usual, and Head Coach Bob Milloy would like nothing more than to make a case for a Maryland state title. (Remember the Falcons also beat a very good Gilman Greyhounds squad a week after DeMatha bested them.) While it is very likely that the two teams will meet again in the WCAC championship, the amount of pride on the line makes Good Counsel visiting DeMatha the big ticket for Friday, October 9.

The Contender Bowl

The second best game in the WCAC this week happens this Saturday when Bishop McNamara travels to Saint John’s College. The Mustangs haven’t beaten the Cadets since Bryce Bevill took over as head coach and he’ll be looking to steer McNamara away from their second straight conference loss. Up until meeting a nationally ranked team, and a stellar defensive effort from Good Counsel, the Mustangs were brilliant on offense and undefeated this year. They’ll be looking to bounce back against a slightly softer Cadet team with recent history on their side. Saint John’s might not be able to tame the Mustang playmakers this year but the Cadets are also just as likely to march down the field with a feature running back of their own. Also at stake is the coveted higher seed in the WCAC playoffs should both the Cadets and the Mustangs continue to play as expected. (Saint Johns and McNamara have been the third and fourth playoff seed, respectively in each of the last four years.) It is hard to believe that we are going into the third game of the season while making playoff predictions, but try to remember that the league only has eight teams.

The Fight for a Future Bowl

This brings us to our third tier of conference play: Bishop O’Connell crosses the Potomac River and heads on down to Gonzaga in the heart of DC. Neither one of these teams has made the WCAC playoffs in recent years but both teams look surprisingly strong this year. The Gonzaga program is trying to return to their former glory on the arm of legitimate threat at quarterback. The O’Connell team is trying to build a reputation in WCAC football, but they have already shown that they can hang with some of the elites in the area. Both already suffered at least one loss to the nationally ranked conference giants, DeMatha and Good Counsel, so they’ll be looking to prove that they have bright futures. Some people think that the WCAC conference doesn’t have enough parity in the sport of football, but I think that the Knights versus the Purple Eagles will actually help to prove that the league is healthy. Both of these teams would need major upsets in the ensuing weeks in order to make the playoffs , win or lose this game, so similar motivations add to the excitement.

The Penultimate Bowl also known as The Little Cat Bowl

Speaking of motivation, there is already little else to play for except pride if you are the Archbishop Carroll Lions or the Paul VI Panthers. Neither team is favored to win against any other WCAC team, and to be honest, I am not exactly certain who should be favored in this game. Essentially the Lions versus the Panthers, or “little” cats if you will, are playing to determine the worst team in the conference. Neither team has a good offense or a good defense. Both have proven that they cannot stop opponents from running the football. On paper, neither one of these teams should win this game but history has shown that at least one team has to. You have got to think that the coaches in this game realize that they are looking at their only opportunity to notch a conference win barring a miracle. Coach Houchens takes his Lions into Virginia to test Coach McGroarty’s Panthers but both may fail at keeping their jobs if the losses and shenanigans continue to mount up on these two beleaguered football programs. If I had the time, I’d watch the game anyway just to see how far one of these teams is going to fall.

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