St. John’s edges McNamara to improve WCAC playoff positioning

October 21, 2013

In its ongoing quest to prove that it belongs among the elite of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, St. John’s experienced a few hiccups during Saturday’s 15-14 win against McNamara. After jumping out to an early lead, the Cadets had trouble slowing the Mustangs’ attack behind dual-threat quarterback Ramar Williams (323 total yards).

With about one minute left and McNamara up by five points, 60 yards stood between the Cadets and their hopes at remaining in contention for the No. 2 seed in the WCAC playoffs. Behind several runs by Will Ulmer and passes by Billy McCaffrey, the Cadets marched downfield to the McNamara 2-yard line.

From there, the Cadets twice tried to push into the end zone on quarterback sneaks by Ulmer, only to be denied by the Mustangs’ stout defensive line. As the final 10 seconds ticked off and with St. John’s facing third down, Ulmer elected to try a different approach.

“I thought I had got in on second down, but the refs said no,” the Maryland recruit said. “So after realizing that the defense was dropping down on us to stop us from pushing underneath them into the end zone, I just went over the top and reached over into the end zone.”

With Ulmer’s late touchdown, the Cadets moved to 3-1 in the WCAC and are now tied with Gonzaga for second place. DeMatha wrapped up the playoff’s top seed with Friday’s comeback win against Gonzaga.

Host B.J. Koubaroulis runs through the top plays from the weekend of football in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. (Nick Plum for Synthesis/Koubaroulis LLC./The Washington Post)

As for the other three spots, they will be determined in what’s primed to be an interesting final two weeks of the regular season.

On Saturday, O’Connell (1-3 in WCAC) will face four-time defending champ Good Counsel (2-3) in a contest that will likely grant the winner the inside track to the Nos. 3 or 4 seeds. Despite losing three straight, McNamara (1-3) has a chance to move back into the picture with games against Gonzaga (2-1) and O’Connell. And should both teams win this week, the Nov. 2 regular-season finale between long-time rivals St. John’s and Gonzaga will have even bigger stakes, as the No. 2 seed will be up for grabs.

Around the area

Paul VI (2-6) rushed for 484 yards and had three 100-yard rushers in 44-21 win over Bishop Ireton (2-6). . . . Quarterback Ted Hefter threw for 206 yards and Terrance Horne rushed for 267 and four touchdowns as Sidwell Friends (4-2) beat Hampton Roads Academy 67-29. . . . Devonte Williams rushed for 247 yards and four touchdowns in Bullis’s (7-1) 47-0 win over St. Albans (1-6). . . . Riverdale Baptist (8-0) remains undefeated after 63-17 win over Model (0-6).

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