Posts Tagged ‘Elijah Brooks’

DeMatha Loses To Good Counsel In OT

October 14, 2017

The DeMatha Stags football team couldn’t send off the seniors in style, losing in overtime against a tough Good Counsel squad for their last home game of 2017.  In a low scoring game that primarily featured run defenses, both teams stayed knotted at the conclusions of half and full times.  The relatively equally matched teams have become familiar with each other’s strategies over the years and they each only managed a touchdown in the first half.  DeMatha took a 14-7 lead until 2:02 left in the fourth quarter when Good Counsel tied the game on a spectacular passing play that left the Stags stunned.  The Falcons would then stop DeMatha in overtime and score a winning touchdown with a final score of 20-14.

DeMatha dropped their second game in a row and falls to 0-2 in the WCAC football standings.  Eric Najarian made his second start at quarterback of the season and Tyler Lenhart didn’t take any snaps.  The Stags are left to search for a way to restore the high expectations that they had for themselves at the start of the season with a 4-3 overall record.  While a WCAC football title is still in reach, DeMatha has to understand now that they are merely fighting for survival at this point.  The Stags aren’t used to this position.

Still the current crisis isn’t nearly as bad as it could be due to league restructuring.  There are six teams competing for the title and DeMatha is still all but assured of beating two of them to secure a playoff spot.  However nothing in the WCAC comes easy.  The Stags need to embrace what has quickly manifested into a rebuilding year and take a longer view for the season.  Head coach Elijah Brooks appears to have already done so with his decision to bench a former starting quarterback on his senior night in favor of a junior.

The quarterback controversy is sure to be revisited because the Stags seemed anemic on offense in their latest losing effort.  Senior running back Detrick Washington scored on the ground in the first half, and DeMarcco Hellams broke a crossing pattern loose after gaining fifty yards for a score in the second half.  DeMatha wouldn’t sustain a drive until late in the fourth quarter, but they failed to score and didn’t chew up enough clock to prevent Good Counsel from scoring.  A personal foul put the Falcons in DeMatha territory with time winding down.  The momentum shifted and the Stags never recovered.

Good Counsel used a strong running game to keep the DeMatha defense from pinning their ears back and rushing the passer.  The Falcons running back Latrele Palmer demanded a lot of attention at the line of scrimmage, and it was eventually the big bruising back that scored in overtime.  DeMatha did manage some bright spots on defense, but Falcons head coach Andy Stephanelli mixed in a good array of plays.  Both teams had crucial turnovers in the game but the outcome was decided when Good Counsel maximized their opportunities when DeMatha couldn’t.

DeMatha looks ahead to one of their biggest challenges of the season when they have to go to Military Road and take on the Saint Johns Cadets.  SJC beat Good Counsel last week and they have been itching for some kind of revenge for over a quarter century of losses to the Stags.  The October 21 game will be a difficult test but DeMatha can’t afford to take any of the games lightly now.  With no home games left to hide behind, the remaining WCAC teams are going to look to cow the Stags into submission.  Suddenly now the last two games of the season against Bishop McNamara and finally Archbishop Carroll are important.

We are all anxious to see how DeMatha football will respond in the future but feel free to check the tale of the Good Counsel tape on Twitter at #GCvsDM.  The DeMatha Football website is back up and running, so you will have to follow there from here on out.  We will do our best to keep you posted but there are no more DM Stags TV football broadcasts scheduled in 2017.

Red Deer from Rough Guides

The DeMatha Stags have had a rough start to the WCAC season so far, and they are looking for a bright spot.

[Featured Photo, RoughGuides.Com ]

 

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2017 WCAC Football Preview: SNAFU

October 5, 2017

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is arguably the toughest high school sports association in the United States of America.

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The toughest conference in America.

The WCAC has been at the forefront of ushering in a new era of recruiting that has shifted the landscape of secondary education, and football is no exception.

 

The tale of the WCAC in football, and really all the sports played is a story of the best of teams and the worst of teams.  The conference known for producing nationally ranked basketball teams in the same season is unique in that all programs at least enjoy the privilege of greatness by association.  Unlike basketball, which has exhibited relative parity over the years, WCAC football programs are worlds apart.  The schism between schools that made the unwavering commitment to compete on a national level in football and those that didn’t clearly strained the organization more than the other sports.  The result was a lopsided mess military guys call a SNAFU: systems normal all fouled up.

DeMatha, Good Counsel, Saint John’s College, and Gonzaga would all make headlines with their football programs by notching clutch wins in national upsets.  The four schools with the biggest football traditions in the WCAC continued to prosper, and all of them could be seen on national broadcasts via ESPN over the last five years.  The WCAC schools in Virginia were the first to secede and they ultimately identified football as the cause.  Bishop Ireton, Paul VI, and then Bishop O’Connell decided that they couldn’t compete with the rising talent level that all of the exposure generated for the Big Four.  Archbishop Carroll, Bishop McNamara, and Saint Mary’s Ryken were equally unnerved by the massive arms race occurring in football but hung on despite taking a lot of lumps.

The WCAC was forced to reorganize and update the rules to accommodate a stronger commissioner.  Next year they will unveil a two-tiered football schedule and they have expanded to include The Heights School, which is already competing in soccer this year.  The conference will be unified in the sport of football again, but in this interim year get ready to see more of just how we got this way in the first place.  The Big Four will continue to dominate, sometimes shuffling win and losses between each other but with seldom a loss to the other WCAC members.  The 2017 WCAC football season has already begun with Gonzaga pummeling Bishop McNamara 38-0 on Eye Street with a freshman starting at quarterback.

There just aren’t too many schools that want to face that kind of ability to reload on a yearly basis and the Mustangs (0-5) deserve some sort of award for courage.  Deeper programs like Gonzaga keep attracting Division 1 caliber players because of examples set by alumni like Kevin Hogan in the NFL.  This is just one example but the Gonzaga Purple Eagles (5-1) are still fighting to break into their first WCAC championship game since 2011.  Gonzaga is clearly a playoff team.  The Eagles were even cut off from competing for the tiny DC “state title,” but they haven’t won a WCAC football championship since 2002.  Gonzaga is our pick to finish fourth this year but if they stay healthy they can give anyone problems, for a spell.

Our Lady of Good Counsel will also be challenged to sustain their glory on the gridiron in 2017.  The WCAC’s winningest football coach Bob Milloy retired in 2016, after only the second season since 2004 in which they didn’t appear in the championship game.  Replacing legends is never easy but the Falcons (4-1), again, looked within their program and picked a gamer in head coach Andy Stephanelli.  Good Counsel is still solid and they have shocked teams in the area that might have forgotten that the Falcons were league champions in football from 2009-2012.  Still, after facing what should be the top two teams in the WCAC in the ensuing fortnight we believe that home field advantage should be enough to rattle Gonzaga on October 27.

The Saint John’s College Cadets are proof that the transition to elite status in football can come at a steep price.  SJC suffers from an identity crisis and every season that goes by seems to make it worse because they certainly sacrificed the most and have the least to show for it.  The Cadets opted to go the full-on Moneyball route, but cash hasn’t proven to be a panacea so far.  Program alumnus and Under Armour founder Kevin Plank financed a complete overhaul that included an injection of transfers and two head coaches at one point.  The Cadets have been knocking on the door in recent years with a lot of notable wins, but none against the defending WCAC champions in the last quarter century.

SJC was supposed to be overwhelming the league with their unlimited resources, but they have underachieved in WCAC football and they have to look back to the old Metro conference for their last title in 1989.  Head coach Joe Casamento is trying to change all of that by unleashing the new and improved program on the top teams in the nation but the cracks in the plan have been obvious.  The Christian Brothers are probably wondering if a 2-2 record was worth these changes but they haven’t given up the lofty expectations that they have for their football program.  School missions aside, whether or not superstar transfers can manufacture enough team chemistry for a title is the question that has relegated the Cadets to second place of late, despite attaining a national ranking in USA Today earlier this season.

The four-time defending WCAC football champion DeMatha Stags have also had a lot to do with that.  Head coach Elijah Brooks is now unquestionably the best in the league and his players desperately want to add to this budding dynasty.  The Stags lost their opening game of the season but have reeled off four straight wins since then, two of them shutouts.  The DeMatha defense hasn’t given up a score in the second half of a football game since Bishop Gorman got the better of them in August.  DeMatha (4-1) will open WCAC play against a Gonzaga team that already has three shutouts under their belt on October 6.  It is safe to say that everyone is coming for the kings of the WCAC and SJC and Good Counsel are good tests for the Stags to improve their national ranking in USA Today.

It is a long way down from the top and the rest of the WCAC will just be searching for ways to get by in football in 2017.   The faces and names might be old news but the essence of the conference is probably going to remain the same for a little while.

With a league that routinely produces heavyweights, the WCAC will realize that they were wise to err on the side of caution and let some teams sit the football slugfest out.  What we have this year are six teams competing for the WCAC trophy in football and the rest will rejoin the league next year when the new rules take effect.  DeMatha, SJC, Good Counsel, Gonzaga, McNamara, and Carroll could finish in that order during this abbreviated 2017 football season. 

It is worth writing that basketball seems to be the honey that kept Bishop Ireton, Ryken, O’Connell, and Paul VI in the WCAC hive.  (Those teams will all play independent schedules in 2017, and they won’t be in contention for a title in football this year.)  The overall risk-reward for student-athletes is better in basketball and the notoriety of the league has made it a pipeline to Division 1 schools, and beyond.  Football is still trying to find a balance in the WCAC, but the shadow of a more formidable conference is still going to bash each other with everything they have in the meanwhile.  The only thing that could stop this show is if the culture changes and WCAC football is on the rise.

As per usual, the traditional rivalry games are worth experiencing live.  The oldest, continuous football game in the country between Gonzaga and Saint John’s is on November 4.  Bishop McNamara is hosted by Archbishop Carroll on October 7.  Good Counsel will try to pull off an upset against DeMatha on Friday, October 13 at the PG Sports & Learning Complex.  Then DeMatha will travel to Saint John’s on Military Road on October 21.

Did we forget to mention that DeMatha vs Gonzaga is October 6?  We hope that you tune into DM Stags TV to check this one out free of charge on the NFHS NetworkThe Big Four are all ranked in the top ten in The Washington Post, so everyone should remember.  Follow the #WCAC hashtag on Twitter if the #DeMatha (live) hashtag is too lit.  We have you covered here at The Chronicles of Six, so always check for updates in our Sports category!  Let us keep connecting you to the reputable sources.

DeMatha Spirit & Cameron Phillips

September 20, 2017

This is DeMatha spirit week in preparation for the homecoming game this Friday versus Friendship Collegiate.  Watch this video as many times as possible for zero house points.  There are a lot of recruiting success stories in this video, and it also goes a long way to show that DeMatha has a deep roster of stud football players.  Return to Glory tells the story of how the latest championship run unfolded and is a great example of the DeMatha Family.  I hope we can keep the party going.

Watch it again, for six Soul Credits.  There were some serious ballers in that video, too.  There are guys getting it done in college in that video.  Cameron Phillips is just one of the many but it is worth mentioning that he is closing in on the receiving records over there at Virginia Tech.  Ju’Whaun Bentley, Taiwan Deal, John Lovett, are all in there with Principal Emeritus John Moylan.  Father Damian and Ed King are in there too.  Seriously watch it again.  Alright now watch Cam for a minute because he clearly has the spirit.

Anyway, we hope that you are hanging in the #NoKaepernickNoNFL boycott.  Remember that you can always watch college football and high school football repeats.  Don’t tweet any NFL highlights or participate in any fantasy leagues.  We think it is pretty safe to say that some of these guys are going to the league and that we hope it is a better one when they get there.  We are going to keep it digi.  Go Stags!

DeMatha Orders Donuts Again

September 9, 2017

 

3donutssillores

Donuts, DeMatha style.

 

DeMatha football logged their second victory of the season in shutout fashion against Franklin on September 8, 2017.  We are getting closer to the start of the WCAC season but the DeMatha defense is showing that their sights are set on the playoffs.  There is no doubt that DeMatha would love to win a fifth WCAC championship in a row in 2017.  Everybody also knows the tried and true sports maxim, defense wins championships.  What you might not know is that big wins used to be celebrated on this blog with serious eye candy, but then one of the writers got married.  Ahem.  Everything changes but isn’t it nice to return to a good tradition every once in a while?  If you close your eyes -or look in the archives, you can almost picture it.

The sunsets in September at DM home games are awesome.

A post shared by DeMatha High School (@demathacatholic) on

Thanks to Chris McManes and the Hyattsville Life & Times we get to visualize the tradition of DeMatha football celebrating victories in which the other team doesn’t score with sugary breakfast treats, instead.  (Yeah, we know that it might not be as good, but it is the best that we can do for right now.)  And from the recent, slightly more svelt, looks of the football coaches from Elijah Brooks to Deno Campbell you would imagine that only the Stags players feast on donuts.  (Just run with it.)  In any case, they all deserve another round after the performance against Franklin.   DeMatha amassed 36 points and gave up absolutely nothing.  If the Stags continue to play like this they are impossible to beat, no matter what you believe.

You see in football, you have to score in order to win.

Check out the game recap from Twitter below.

DeMatha moves to 2-1 on the season and will take on McDonogh at home on Friday, September 15 to continue their home stretch.  On deck, we will also have the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference 2017 Football Preview.  As always on The Chronicles of Six, we are going to keep it digital for you.  Some traditions never die.

We’re going to keep you posted.

DeMatha Bounces Back Against Avalon

September 2, 2017

DeMatha football returned to their winning ways against the Avalon Black Knights on Friday, September 1.  The Stags managed 28 points in the first half and coasted to a shutout victory after suffering a defeat in their opening game.

The new streak had to be started by junior, backup quarterback Eric Najarian because Tyler Lenhart was sick all week.  DeMatha flexed their depth and dominance in the state of Maryland by managing the football game against a solid Avalon team who was befuddled from the start.  Najarian mixed in quick slashing routes and running back Myles Miree darted for a first quarter score that kept the DeMatha Stags ahead of the Black Knights.

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The DeMatha defense took care of everything else.  Despite several penalties, the Stags never lost their composure and held on to preserve their first scoreless game since October 21, 2016.  Avalon struggled to move the ball mainly because they lost the battle up front, and the DeMatha defensive line bullied the Black Knights into multiple third-and-impossibly-long situations.  It isn’t that much of the stretch to believe that the entire defensive unit had something to prove after relinquishing 35 points on ESPN last week, but they bounced back nonetheless and proved their point.

Defensive ends Austin Fontaine and John Morgan were the usual culprits in a hard pursuit of the Avalon quarterback that prevented rhythmic drop-back passing needed to connect the deep ball.  The Avalon running game didn’t fare much better opting to move away from the strength of the DeMatha defensive line with sweeps to the outside.  Neither strategy worked for Avalon and the DeMatha linebackers and secondary were also creating problems of their own.  DeMarcco Hellams came up with huge tackles chasing down running backs from the weak side safety position.  Dominic Logan-Nealy took advantage of Avalon special teams woes and nabbed an interception.

The Avalon punter wasn’t able to recover much field position and the Black Knights often went for it on fourth down no matter the distance.  This, more than any other aspect of the game, spelled the end for a team that was already facing the tall order of beating the Stags after a rare defeat.  A productive running game behind a powerful offensive line is the reason why DeMatha football head coach Elijah Brooks was 58-12 before last night’s contest.  DeMatha was able to integrate the reserve units after Najarian threw for a score to tight end Anthony Toro to make the score 21-0 with under three minutes to go in the first half.  DeMatha added another score on the ground just before the break and would then grind Avalon down through the sheer time of possession.

New running backs were able to get some work done for the Stags and eventually DeMatha would put freshman quarterback Trace Campbell under center.  Safety Nick Cross and linebacker Alec Solano put the finishing touches on the game in the second half and seemed to be everywhere.  Avalon threatened to score twice in the fourth quarter with separate trips to the red zone but the DeMatha team defense was having none of it.  Nick Cross broke up a good share of long passing plays and Alec Solano had a forced fumble and recovery to end a Black Knight drive.

The Stags will continue their six game home stand against Franklin High School of Reirstertown, Maryland next week.   You can check out the next five home games on the DMStagsTV network and watch DeMatha football live streams and replays there.

2017 DeMatha Football Preview

August 22, 2017

The Big Kickoff: Almost Underway

Varsity football team pic:

A post shared by DeMatha High School (@demathacatholic) on

The four time, reigning Washington Catholic Athletic Conference football champions begin the “strive for five” in one of the hardest ways possible.  The DeMatha Stags will travel to Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas and look to improve on a 2016 team that many consider to be the best in school history.  Most teams riding a 17 game win streak dating back to October 16, 2015 would ease in to season knowing that they already have to play in the toughest conference in the United States.  DeMatha football finished #4 in the USA after their undefeated season in 2016 and Head Coach Elijah Brooks is bringing the faith-filled gentlemen and scholars across the country to Sin City.  The Stags have a ton of varsity experience and are looking to continue their ascent in national prominence by toppling other leaders.

DeMatha Stags are currently ranked #6 in the USA Today 2017 national high school football preseason poll.  Nevada powerhouse Bishop Gorman is also coming off an undefeated season and they are ranked #4 in the same poll, after finishing #1 in the country last year and earning a National Championship.  This game is going to be deep.  The stage is set for an epic battle and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN this Friday, August 25.  This will be the first meeting between these two football teams but the schools have faced each other in basketball twice, splitting the series.  Neither school is a stranger to the spotlight and they have both had multiple sports from their programs featured on national cable networks.  Both programs are the embodiment of what it means to compete at the most elite level of high school sports in the United States.

The Varsity Experience

In order to consider opening the season on the road against a team that finished number one in the United States you would need the confidence that comes with experience.  Coach Brooks was recently tapped to be a coach on the 18U USA National Football team and he is going to be sure that his DeMatha Stags are up to the task.  Brooks deserves this high honor and recognition for righting the ship after WCAC foe Good Counsel dominated for a spell.  This year he is bringing back plenty of players on both sides of the ball that also know what it takes to win.

2017 Team Captains.jpg

 

#1 Judson Tallandier, #14 Tyler Lenhart, Coach Brooks, #10 Anthony Toro, and #79 Austin Fontaine.

 

Team captains LB/TE Anthony Toro, DT Austin Fontaine, CB Judson Tallandier and QB Tyler Lenhart are seasoned veterans ready to embark on their senior campaigns.  Right up front we once again have a disruptive defensive lineman in Austin Fontaine who is committed to the University of Maryland and ranked #148 on the ESPN Top 300 football recruit rankings.  Not too far behind on the gridiron you will find Anthony Toro, who will wear the prestigious #10 in honor of SEAL LT Brendan Looney for the third year in a row.  Toro is known as a linebacker with a nose for the ball, his clutch hands as a tight end, and for being an outstanding student athlete with an 1140 on the SAT.

Corner back Judson Tallandier II is ready to climb the rigging in the secondary and undoubtedly make plays as his #1, and early commitment to the University of Pittsburgh suggests.  Judson was already a shutdown corner but with the addition of DeMatha and NFL alumnus Josh Wilson as a secondary coach expectations are higher than the tallest mast. Quarterback Tyler Lenhart will take over the helm and look to add to his DeMatha win total while racking up big yardage and scholarship offers.  Ty earned his stripes with only just one win as a starter playing behind the best quarterback DeMatha has ever seen, Beau “Mr. Perfect” English, who is now plying his trade at the Air Force Academy.  According to The Washington Post the quarterback recruit has a gun for an arm and is considering Harvard among the his top scholarship offers. Their crew will eagerly look to them as examples when charting such a difficult course, but they are all worth their salt.

Offensive Swagger

DeMarcco Hellams is the type of wide receiver/ corner back / athlete that has already made a big splash.  DeMarcco is also on the ESPN Top 300 football recruit ranking, in at #50 for the class of 2019.  Senior wide receiver Dominic Lyles made the WCAC All Conference Team last year and he will be a big target for Tyler Lenhart this season.  Dominic Lyles is also uncommitted but holds five scholarship offers, including Bucknell University.  Offensive guard Evan Gregory is likely to be a big part of the offensive line having any football success.  Evan is yet another University of Maryland commit that can pass protect and run block with the best of them and will anchor the entire unit.  And speaking of the run, DeMatha is going to feature talented running backs that have become representative of the brand.

Elk

Cervus elaphus ready to climb.

Myles Miree and MarShawn Lloyd are both returning for their junior and sophomore years, respectively.  These young men can tote the football and dazzle you with moves and/or pound you with toughness.  Myles and MarShawn have made names for themselves by making big plays as underclassmen  and together with senior Detrick Washington they comprise a formidable backfield.  (USA Today and Maryland Sports Access, respectively.)  Jermaine Johnson, Jr and Dominic Logan-Nealy are two class of 2019 wide receivers who are going to try to add to all that offensive swagger.

Senior tight end John Morgan is headed to the University of Pittsburgh along with co-captain Judson Tallandier II, and he also joins him on the defensive side of the ball at LB/DE.  Michael Holt, Jr. will also play both ways and hold the line in his senior season and he already has an offer from West Virginia Wesleyan.  Right now all of the other members of the new chain gang aren’t in focus, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t shine.

Not Top Secret: Defensive Intelligence

Year after year, the DeMatha football program has depended on Defensive Coordinator

Elk

Cervus elaphus on his way.

Deno Campbell to make other teams have nightmares.  The defensive genius is a yet another alumnus that keeps giving back by delivering effective schemes and developing monsters.  The Washington Post has named two DeMatha players as the Defensive Player of the Year in the last two years: Shane Simmons and Chase Young.  Success like this isn’t an accident and everybody knows that Deno’s boys are going to work hard.  There is no mystery in the madness but you can bet that teams will fear the fury of our storied defense and that they will weather the storms ahead.

Defensive tackle Jalen Brown and LB/DE Anthony Hill, Jr. are two seniors that are ready to rock and roll with their mates.  The DeMatha Stags have generated interest going into their senior year and would like to rack up scholarship offers along the way to a number one ranking.  Cameron Lomax will get to show off his radar at the free safety and strong safety positions.  Nick Cross, who holds offers from Syracuse University and Virginia Tech, is also going to be a solid rover between coverage and run support at safety.  Alec Solano will see a lot of snaps at the linebacker position in what will be his junior season.  Linebacker Kobi Thomas is another senior that is going to be an agent of success for the 2017 DeMatha Stags football team.  Like always, there is plenty of room for players to give us some pleasant surprises this season.

If these young men can play with the assured consistency of their predecessors then it is ‘steady as she goes!’

Special Operators

Naim Muhammad is a senior All-American track star and he is back on the football field this Fall.  In addition to filling in at defensive back, Naim is always a threat on the returns and he holds an offer from the University of New Hampshire.  There were some hiccups kicking the ball last season so let’s hope that DeMatha has it all figured out now.

A special shout out goes to DeMatha football kicking coach, Principal Emeritus John Moylan who is celebrating his 85th birthday today.  Anyway, check out what  Ty Lenhart and Austin Fontaine had to say about the season on CSN Mid-Atlantic yesterday.  The link is in the tweet.

The Schedule Notes

The link to the official schedule can be found right here at the DeMatha website but there are some other notable games after the blockbuster opener.  DeMatha will play Gonzaga in the middle of six game home stand, and after a week off on October 6.  Saint Johns College High School was the runner up in the WCAC and they will be hungry for revenge on Military Road on October 21.  Both conference teams have played DeMatha as tough as anybody in recent years and they have also committed and contributed to the current WCAC football arms race.

The league has been restructured to include a stronger Commissioner and the result is a two-tier system that will be discussed at a later date.  Be sure to follow the action on DM Stags TV, especially during weeks 2 – 9, to check out the games being shown there!

[Featured Image open source from University of California Berkeley, UniProt BLAST]

 

Undefeated DeMatha Stags Football Champions 2016

November 20, 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 DeMatha Catholic High School football team on an undefeated 12 – 0 season and WCAC championship.  The Stags won their fourth Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title in football in as many years.

Check out the highlights (including select game video) that I compiled from Twitter here: .

This time it was against the Saint John’s College High School Cadets in extraordinary fashion and the win required a never-give-up attitude and late game heroics.  SJC quarterback Kasim Hill is headed to the University of Maryland next year and will undoubtedly start on their home field in the future but he was no match for this DeMatha team.  Hill hooked up with Ed Lee for three touchdowns in the first half and it looked as if he was going to will the Cadets to victory early on when they took a 19 – 14 lead into halftime.

The answer came late for the DeMatha Stags who are usually accustomed to dispatching opponents early by demoralizing them with a bruising running game.  Without the benefit of time on their side the DeMatha football team relied on gritty play to come from behind after the Cadets eventually amassed a fifteen-point lead.  Trailing 29 – 14 in the fourth quarter the team that never quit got a break when Kasim Hill was sidelined temporarily.  A botched pitch resulted in a DeMatha recovery and a quick score to make the tally 29 – 21 in favor of SJC.

The most ironic scene of the afternoon was a video of Saint John’s students chanting, “overrated!” to the DeMatha crowd during their eventual failure to win the contest.

On the ensuing play the Saint John’s head coach Joe Casamento, commanded the Cadets to defend against an onside kick but failed to plan for the deep kick.  The DeMatha special team unit recovered the ball at the SJC 1 yard line as it rolled untouched after a footrace between the aware and unawares.  DeMatha quarterback Beau English threw a short strike to honor man #10 Anthony Toro and suddenly the Stags were back in business.  DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks sensed the momentum shift and opted to go for two but the conversion failed.

With the score at 29 – 27 the vaunted DeMatha defense came up big and forced a punt.  The Stags offense matched the phenomenal efforts of their counterparts by marching down the field and scoring again on a fade route to the running back Myles Miree.  After kicking the extra point this time Coach Brooks must have thought that the DeMatha football team already had all the makings of a win.  With the score 34 – 29 with only 1:05 left to play he wouldn’t have very long to contemplate it.  Myles Canton intercepted Kasim Hill on what would be the last play of the game and returned it all the way back to the SJC 1 yard line.

Calvin Ashley, a highly recruited offensive lineman for Saint John’s went down with an injury that left him unresponsive for a short period.  There were 29 seconds remaining on the clock when the game was decidedly over and both teams retired in prayer for the Auburn commit.  34 – 29 would be the final score and DeMatha completed one of the most memorable comebacks in school history with the total effort of their football team.

There are just too many football Stags to name and not enough time to give them all justice, but it will suffice to say that this is one of the finest sports teams that DeMatha has ever had.  In addition to notching multiple historic superlatives the 2016 DeMatha football team should also garner consideration for a share of a mythical national title with their unblemished record.  Their magnificent performance is rare when you consider their strength of schedule and conference format.  DeMatha took everybody’s best shot this year and achieved greatness by consistently rising to the occasion as a team.

A collection of individuals, no matter how talented, couldn’t beat this team.  Even when the odds were the longest and football fans were headed towards the exits, the 2016 DeMatha team showed that they were prepared to overcome adversity.  Coach Brooks should be proud that his DeMatha football team could do it in a way that is both reflective of the school and aligned with the ideals that the prestigious conference is supposed to stand for.  The WCAC might be headed for restructuring in football with a more powerful commissioner about to take the reins for the first time but DeMatha is already in great hands.

In a world where even high school sports are experiencing the influences of big money and corporate donors, Coach Brooks still managed to do things the DeMatha way and win.  Chalk another one up for the DeMatha Stags that bought into the system and toughed it out to keep the WCAC football championship trophy in Hyattsville.  The 2016 DeMatha football team certainly lived up to all of the hype and a celebration is surely in order.

National Focus on WCAC Football in Final Weeks of 2016 Season

October 30, 2016

We are coming up on the football regular season finale in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) but before can we just acknowledge that the DeMatha kids from years’ past are doing alright?  DeMatha football had a bye-week in the last weekend of October but the Stags that won championships over the previous three years were hard at work this Saturday.  Lorenzo Harrison is up to his old tricks now with the University of Maryland and he has played his way into All-Freshman team talk.  Lorenzo has been nothing short of sensational and professional scouts have already taken notice. Fellow Stag turned Terrapin teammate Tino Ellis just started his third game and is impressing in college, as well.  John Lovett is busy setting records at Princeton for scoring touchdowns.  Ju’Whuan Bentley and Mark Allen took a photograph at the Purdue versus Penn State game and contemplated the bond of excellence that ties all of these gentlemen and scholars together.

We could easily go on.  All those guys were extremely good, but none of them were playing for a national title this late in the football season.  As much success as the recent key performers had in DeMatha uniforms and beyond, there is even more excitement surrounding the 2016 squad.   There are new players ready to make a name for themselves and they could do it in rare style.  (There will be more on those athletes in The Chronicles of Six very soon.)  DeMatha football players today have the chance to go undefeated and subsequently launch head coach Elijah Brooks into the pantheon of legendary Stags. Of course, they would also do the same for themselves because the 2016 team is also in the hunt to be the best high school football team in the United States.  Coach Brooks was an outstanding DeMatha football player and he understands the high stakes that his kids are playing for.  The team is sitting at a perfect 9-0 and they are ranked #6 in the USA Today expert poll and #9 according to USA Today computers.

If DeMatha football remains undefeated in 2016 they will go down as one of the best sports teams that the school has ever had.

The groundwork for this kind of campaign is grueling and has taken decades of trying to finally materialize.  DeMatha has been on the cusp of greatness for a while and the evidence has always been on the field.  With a multitude of suddenly famous players as precursors and WCAC football championships from 2013, 2014, and 2015 this year could be considered a continuation of sorts.  The pressure has been slowly mounting for years and thoughts are now drifting towards capping the season in a way that has seldom been done in school history.  An unblemished record could also mean a measure of vindication for the national aspirations of the football program at DeMatha but first they are going to have beat two of the top four teams in the league, twice.

For the first time since coach Brooks took over the program this DeMatha football team is in control of their own national destiny heading into November. First, the 2016 football Stags need to take care of business in the conference to close the regular season and then again in two playoff games.  Good Counsel is a familiar WCAC foe standing in their way and the presumed fourth playoff seed is likely to face the Stags two weeks in a row.  The first meeting this season between the two will be broadcast on ESPN in their finale of the annual high school football showcase of the top teams in the country on November 4.

The Falcons haven’t enjoyed much success against DeMatha in recent years and are playing to retain respect in a league that has seen some changes in the top echelon of competition that they once dominated.  Gonzaga and Saint John’s College have both beaten Good Counsel already and will play their own storied rivalry between themselves on the same weekend to determine the second and third playoff seeds.  Some of the best and most-watched high school football is going to be in the WCAC and eyes have finally shifted from powerhouse states like Texas and Florida to the DC Metropolitan area.

Such a change has been a very long time coming.  None of the WCAC superlatives would have been possible in a league that simply settled for just being mediocre, and the top four teams have all played a significant part.  DeMatha football is poised to stand out from even this elite few but it will take a complete group effort to get the job done.  (The Stags have previously won national titles is wrestling, soccer and basketball.)  DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys is no stranger to the added attention but the 2016 football players could really capitalize on it in a very political sport.  Football rankings that are produced over multiple seasons are almost impossible to climb but we might all be witnessing something special.

Stay tuned because whatever happens next is guaranteed to be newsworthy.

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The 2016 DeMatha Football team is attempting to make history in November.

Beau English is Mr. Perfect

September 19, 2016
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#17 Beau English was a perfect 15/15 passing and leads the #4 team in the USA.

Beau English is no stranger to the winner’s circle and he has already led DeMatha to the WCAC championship in 2014 and 2015 after taking over as the quarterback for the Stags as a sophomore.  The United States Air Force Academy commit has dazzled fans early in the 2016 season by turning in not just one but two perfect passing performances en route to an unblemished 4-0 start.  This young man has measured up to the highest standards off of the field and on it.

Hot right out of the gate, Beau English has scorched opponents with a variety of passing options that DeMatha isn’t typically known for.  Gun slinging isn’t how most DeMatha football fans identify the program that has relied heavily on the run in the past.  (Even the former DeMatha quaterback with the nickname “gun” was primarily a threat on the ground, see below.)  The idea of running between the tackles isn’t news to any successful program however DeMatha has made it a calling card of sorts even before the days of former head coach Bill McGregor.

 

 

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DeMatha senior Beau English

The current DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks was a student of McGregor and one of his best running backs, but it is apparent that passing talent is in fashion as long as Beau English is on the field.  Beau has the ability to tally up yards even though DeMatha is still stacked at their most dependable position.  The featured running back this year, Anthony McFarland, was lost to a pre-season broken leg but the Stags have hardly missed a beat.  The offense has opened up under the steady stewardship of Beau English and it has resulted in a national championship buzz for DeMatha football.

After toppling Oscar Smith (VA), Avalon (MD), Bishop McDevitt (PA), and now McDonogh (MD), DeMatha football is ranked number 4 in the USA according to most polls.  Once again the eyes in Hyattsville shift to complete a perfect season and stay in the hunt for a national title.  While the entire cast of players and coaches deserves the credit for the success of the DeMatha football team there is no denying that Beau English has done his part so far.  The added dimension of the passing game has done wonders for running backs Khory Spruill and Myles Mireeand the DeMatha defense has been solid as well.

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Beau English is now known as Mr. Perfect and he is headed to the Air Force Academy after 2016.

 

But it is worth mentioning that Beau English is the first to be absolutely perfect in the modern quarterback rating system at DeMatha.  That is really something in my estimation.  This kid deserves this nickname regardless of the outcome of the rest of the season but I hope that you know by now that I’m rooting for him to take it to the fullest extent.  I have been writing about the DeMatha Stags for a very long time and there aren’t that many players that have achieved the level of nickname status from me.  If anyone could stand up to the mounting pressure it would be this guy.

If Beau English can keep the party going with his third consecutive WCAC title in football he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks in school history.  A name like “Mr. Perfect” will only draw too much attention to him where he is going and I wouldn’t wish any correlations to any other demerit dodgers on him.  I think of previous nicknames like the one I bestowed on Tommy “gun” Chroniger and I always knew that I could do better.  (Tom Chroniger won three WCAC titles for DeMatha football, but his passing completion percentage left room for improvement.)  Whether or not Beau English is able to accomplish the extraordinary feat of winning DeMatha’s first ever national title in football, he will always be Mr. Perfect to me.

DeMatha Football Dedicated in 2015

September 20, 2015

DeMatha Football is already off to their best start ever in 2015 and we are only four weeks into the season.  The Stags beat two nationally ranked opponents from Florida and a tough LaSalle team from Philadelphia after a bye-week to hang on to their own coveted #4 national ranking.

I’m going to let that sink in.

The DeMatha Stags need a clean sheet in the upcoming WCAC schedule and they are automatically in the national championship discussion but with a little luck they could theoretically be a clear choice, too.  And why not?  I have had the pleasure of seeing all three games because the DeMatha Stags football team hasn’t exactly been shy about their chances. The Stags opened the season on ESPN against power house Miami Central in a dominating performance.  This team has a lot of ability –even by DeMatha standards, and good enough to overcome the long odds for a high school in Hyattsville, Maryland.

#1 Darryl Turner, Jr. DeMatha Catholic HS Class of 2016

DeMatha football players are dedicating the 2015 season to Darryl Turner, Jr. after a season-ending injury.

DeMatha Football Head Coach Elijah Brooks has been building up to this for a while.  There are three All American selections on this year’s team to add to a wealth of experience.  Despite losing #1 Darryl Turner Jr. to a fractured ankle in the opener against Miami Central the Stags are still laden with senior leadership.  Those guys went to the University of Maryland commit’s home after the season-ending injury and have dedicated the season to the student-athlete described as the heart and soul of the 2015 DeMatha football team.

DeMatha has one more guaranteed game on ESPN against Gonzaga but local television might want to pick up the rest of their season if they manage to go undefeated.  I can’t think of another Washington DC area metropolitan school that has ever been in the hunt for a national title in football.  This is history in the making and uncharted territory for the Stags.  I hope that they can pull this off because wouldn’t that be something?