Good Counsel vs. Gilman: Top-ranked Falcons outlast Greyhounds in overtime, 20-19

August 31, 2012

Good Counsel senior Dorian O’Daniel shuffled to the sideline after his 30th carry Friday against Gilman, straight-faced and clearly aching from the heavy workload on a steamy night in Olney.

O’Daniel’s one-yard touchdown plunge had just tied the game in overtime, and while many of his teammates hustled off the field, the Clemson recruit barely had time to clasp hands with junior Kirk Garner before the tie-breaking extra point left sophomore Bryan Strittmatter’s foot.

O’Daniel finished with 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns, and Strittmatter’s game-ending kick provided the difference in No. 1 Good Counsel’s 20-19 overtime victory. A week after their 18-game winning streak ended with a nationally televised loss in Los Vegas, the Falcons rebounded to beat the Baltimore Sun’s top-ranked team in dramatic fashion.

“I was just sore the whole game,” said O’Daniel, who also played most of the defensive snaps at linebacker. “I knew the team needed me, so I had to step up through all the soreness, the tweaks, bumps and bruises that I have. You’ve just got to leave it all on the field.”

Good Counsel (1-1) allowed Gilman to hang around in a defensive struggle with a slew of undisciplined turnovers and penalties and still came to the final seconds of regulation with a chance to avoid overtime.

In a 13-13 game, the Falcons, who fumbled away the ball on two of their first three offensive plays, drove the ball inside the Gilman 10-yard line in the final minute. But Strittmatter’s 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked with four seconds left.

Gilman (0-2) converted a fourth down on its overtime possession and sophomore Daniel Blair later scored on a four-yard touchdown run to give the Greyhounds their first lead since the opening quarter. But the ensuing extra point clanked off the right upright, opening the door for the Falcons.

“I give our kids a lot of credit because they could’ve folded the tents,” Coach Bob Milloy said. “That was a gruesome game, and we played very poorly at times. . . . I’m just thankful to get through it.”

On the final possession, Good Counsel kept pounding away, even with three of their starting lineman on the sideline with injuries. Senior quarterback Brendan Marshall (Virginia) completed both his passes on the final drive and picked up eight more yards on a pair of tough runs.

Facing third and two at the 6-yard line, O’Daniel burrowed ahead for four yards. He scored two short runs later, and celebrated the victory after Strittmatter’s kick sailed true.

“I was relieved,” O’Daniel said of the ending. “I get to go home and get an ice bath and everything like that. I’m pretty satisfied with what we did today, and by next week, I’ll be ready to get back after it again.”

Senior Kendall Fuller scored Good Counsel’s other touchdown on a five-yard catch from Marshall on fourth down early in the final quarter, but Gilman tied the game two plays later when senior quarterback Shane Cockerille — a Maryland commit — hit senior Jibri McLean behind the Good Counsel defense for a 60-yard touchdown pass.

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