Good Counsel running back Dorian O’Daniel sat out last week’s game with a bruised thigh. As one of the deepest teams in the area, the top-ranked Falcons have the luxury to rest a two-way player who is committed to Clemson as a linebacker.
The hope was that O’Daniel might get time to rest his legs before the start of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference season. That calculation paid huge dividends in the Falcons’ 45-24 win at No. 19 Gonzaga (3-2) in a league opener on Saturday.
O’Daniel needed just three carries to surpass 100 yards rushing, five carries to score three touchdowns and eight carries to set a new career high with Good Counsel. By the time he was finished, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior had racked up 336 yards and four touchdowns on just 24 carries.
“First and most importantly, great blocking by the offensive line,” O’Daniel said. “We had a really solid practice this whole week. The coaches have really been on the O-line because we haven’t been able to get our offense off the ground and we executed, had a good practice and carried it from practice to the game.”
While O’Daniel credited his line, Falcons Coach Bob Milloy, who won eight Maryland state championships before building a powerhouse in Olney, seemed astonished by what the senior had done.
“I think in 42 years I’ve never had one go near that,” Milloy said. “He was playing today, wasn’t he?”
O’Daniel broke off touchdown runs of 42 and 62 yards on two of his first three carries of the game, both times bouncing off of would-be tacklers to break into open space. He also had touchdown carries of 11 and one yard and broke two more runs of 64 and 42 yards.
Good Counsel (4-1) also benefited from its other playmakers. An 81-yard kickoff return touchdown from Kirk Garner, a Virginia recruit, and a 20-yard fumble return from Kendall Fuller, a five-star Virginia Tech recruit, helped the Falcons open up a 28-7 lead after running just four offensive plays. Linebacker Marcel Ngachie was among the most impressive on the day, with two sacks and two forced fumbles.
But it was O’Daniel who undoubtedly stole the show.
“Taking the week off was definitely worth it because I feel 100 percent,” O’Daniel said. “I felt 100 percent today.”
With a bye week upcoming and another chance for O’Daniel to get fresh before Good Counsel meets No. 5 DeMatha, perhaps a repeat is in store.
“I kinda doubt that,” Milloy said, laughing.