Posts Tagged ‘National Championship’

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.

DeMatha Versus St. John’s College Is Back On In High School Football

October 4, 2016

DeMatha bested St. John’s College 14 – 13 on Friday, September 30 and one thing quickly became clear: The rivalry between DeMatha and St John’s College High School (SJC) is back in full effect on the gridiron.  The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) has several high profile events in football despite imbalances.

(Full Game Highlights from utrhighlightvideos / YouTube)

DeMatha has not lost to SJC in football in almost a quarter of a century and the Cadets haven´t notched a championship in football since 1989.  While the recent football record has been lopsided in the favor of the DeMatha Stags it is now obvious that the Cadets are once again serious about challenging their supremacy.  Their last appearance in the WCAC football championship game in 2013 resulted in a 31 – 10 drubbing at the hands of DeMatha.  The Cadets haven’t been back to the WCAC final game since, but they have recently lured a myriad of skilled athletes with undeniably augmented facilities.

A recent influx of cold hard cash from Under Armour CEO and SJC alumnus, Kevin Plank, has propelled the Cadets into not just WCAC relevance but also national rankings.  The Cadets (4 – 2) came into the DeMatha game ranked in the top 25 in the USA and had previously been ranked as high as number 10 prior to their loss to IMG Academy in Florida.  As sports fans have witnessed at the university level there are often higher expectations and thus more pressure with such generous financial support.  SJC forced an alumnus out as head coach of the football program last year to make room for a renowned outsider in Joe Casamento.  A bevy of top prospect transfers bolstered the Cadets that have continued to make gains but the narrow loss on September 30 against the 3-time defending WCAC champions has created more questions than answers.

The talk around the WCAC is that SJC can’t be satisfied with anything less than total victory but it remains to be seen if all of the changes are going to be enough.  DeMatha is currently ranked number 4 in the USA and the Stags have their eyes set on a national title.  In order to complete that mission the Stags are going to need a little luck with absolutely no losses for the remainder of the year.  DeMatha has been fortunate with a 6 – 0 record but as they might recall from the previous year, a national title in high school football is no easy task.  Surprises can come from unexpected sources however the Cadets are all but assured a second chance at beating DeMatha in WCAC playoffs in a shrinking football league.

There aren’t too many WCAC schools that have had the stomach for this kind of high school football arms race.  Bishop Ireton and Paul VI have long since departed from playing the football schedule but still opted to stay in the WCAC for other sports.  When Bishop O’Connell of Virginia also dropped the sport there were only Maryland and DC schools left to play each other.  Three of the remaining six schools filled the holes in their schedules with national prominence in mind and that suddenly made wins against them hard to come by.  Gonzaga managed the feat last year in league play against the DeMatha Stags in 2015 and effectively ended the strongest national championship bid in recent years by a Washington DC metropolitan area school.

In order to even be considered for a national title the focus has to be maintained because every single game essentially becomes a national title game.  Contests against traditional rivals within the league are often the biggest pitfalls.  Even teams like Bishop McNamara and Archbishop Carroll have their hearts set on upsetting their more famous neighbors to make a name for themselves. There is a lot of good football to look forward to in 2016. SJC versus Gonzaga is one of the oldest rivalries in the history of the sport and DeMatha must play at Good Counsel to finish the WCAC regular season.  Both games will be played during the first weekend in November.

The grueling season will only get harder from there.  The WCAC playoffs and the pollsters are unforgiving in football and we all can’t wait to see how 2016 factors into ending these debates.

(Featured Photo A Stag In The Woods)

DeMatha at I-95 Kickoff Classic: Claimbombing Edition

September 4, 2013

“There is no rest for the weary” – Common Idiom

“Claimbombing is when you just keep dropping names in conversations for no reason because you can.” – Maya Brown

If the DeMatha Stags (2-0) want to win a National Championship in High School Football then they can’t be worried about the mental lapses that fell under the scrutiny of a national ESPN audience last Monday.  DeMatha is travelling to New Jersey to take on the Green Knights of Saint Joseph Regional in Montvale (0-0).  The Green Knights opted to make the Stags their first opponents of the season in the high profile, annual Interstate 95 Kickoff Classic which matches teams from New Jersey against those from the DC metropolitan area.

I know Maya Brown, personally.

Claimbombing nomenclature proponent, model, and personal friend, Maya Brown.

This important speculative high school football showcase was conceivably fabricated in order to consolidate the rankings between the northeast and mid-Atlantic regions.  (So far it hasn’t worked and DeMatha doesn’t even to benefit from “comparative losses” given their strength of schedule.)  Still only wins matter and none of the teams participating can afford to take games lightly as the outcome of each game will be a deciding factor in the rankings the following year.  In short, if any team from Maryland is going to have a chance at a national title then the easiest route is for all the Maryland teams to win their games against New Jersey competition -or at least most of the games played.  The same is true, vice versa, for the New Jersey schools but DeMatha has clearly benefited from Maryland’s showing last year.

The jury is still out on what, exactly, the Green Knights are holding over there but DeMatha should maintain the focus on building a championship team.  These antlers can’t possibly stay fuzzy for too much longer: the regular season starts in a fortnight.  Classes have only been in session for a full week and I know that there is plenty to distract them from the task at hand right now.  The key to a DeMatha victory is to improve upon overall team performance from prior weeks and to capitalize on real game experience.  There are going to have to be a lot less turnovers and much better play execution in order for the Stags to accomplish that.

The main rub on the Green Knights is that they aren’t going to have any points of comparison to build on from 2013.

On to more claimbombing.

I would love to see that redheaded kid from Long Island throw for three hundred yards in a semi-homecoming but there is an easier victory to be had if DeMatha sticks with the run.   The Stags’ offense is in the hands of QB #16 John Lovett and his ability to deliver the ball to playmakers like WR #5 Cameron Phillips and RB #28 Taiwon Deal.  (I also love the check down plays to FB #32 Jaire George.)  DeMatha has an outstanding defensive unit and I’m guessing that this is a game in which CB #3 Jamal Robinson, DE #9 Deonte Holden, and super sophomore DE #34 Shane Simmons will all truly emerge as outstanding talents.

The entire team seemed to breathe a sigh a relief when RB #1 Mark Allen was able to run for his first carry since tearing his ACL last year because he is just one more play maker with something to prove in 2013.  I’m also expecting LB #33 Ju’Whuan Bentley to pick up where he left off by instilling fear in opposing teams.   The entire DeMatha Stag Offensive Line needs to continue to do what they do (which is mainly block and weigh 300 lbs eat pancakes), as well.

So far, I don’t think that we have seen the true identity of this 2013 DeMatha Stag Football Team.   Strength, speed, power, size, and finesse are all words that can be used to describe the team right now but will they also be great?  DeMatha Catholic High School for Boys has certainly had great teams and each of them had a signature.  Make sure you pay attention to all the signs.

I believe the game is being broadcast on the internet somewhere, so you will have to check Twitter for coverage…