The frustrated, wide-eyed look stuck on Andres Castillo’s face for much of the last month finally gave way to a relieved smile in the aftermath of Good Counsel’s 41-0 win against McNamara on a humid Saturday afternoon in Forestville. The sophomore quarterback freely admits that ever since he was inserted as the starter in the second half of a loss to Gonzaga two weeks ago, he played nervous, rushing passes and relinquishing the fundamentals that he had shown in practice.
And while Saturday’s effort wasn’t perfect, Castillo was productive, rushing for two short touchdowns and throwing for another to pull Good Counsel from its unfamiliar residence in the cellar of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference standings.
“The last few weeks have been something else,” said Castillo, who totaled 95 yards. “After some tough games, I just had to calm down and today, it helped with the run game opening up the passing game for us.”
Behind a more simplified offensive scheme, bruising rusher Chris Dawson got loose for 180 yards and two touchdowns, including a 30-yard score midway through the first quarter. After Castillo scored twice on one-yard runs, the momentum took a huge shift before halftime. With 59 seconds remaining, McNamara (5-1, 1-1 WCAC) unknowingly lined up with 10 players on defense. As the 11th scrambled onto the field, Castillo found Myles Robinson for a 51-yard touchdown.
Two plays later, Good Counsel (4-3, 1-2) ended McNamara’s attempt to respond with the second of five interceptions. The Mustangs, who entered the contest averaging nearly 41 points per game, were also hurt by a lost fumble and seven penalties.
“It really came down to playing our position and being in our spots because we knew the quarterback was athletic and he liked to get the ball to [Jordan Crockett],” said Falcons defensive back Jelani Williamson, who had an interception and a fumble recovery. “We’ve had some players go down and adjustments, but our defense has stayed strong.”
As the clock ticked down on Good Counsel’s win, three of the Falcons’ top players — tailback Leo Ekwoge and defensive linemen Jesse Aniebonam and Darius Fullwood — stood in a circle, all wearing uniforms but no pads. While Ekwoge is out for the year with a knee injury, Aniebonam (neck) and Fullwood (foot) are expected back in the coming weeks, giving the Falcons optimism. It will be a continued uphill battle in their push for a fifth straight WCAC crown.
“We got embarrassed and whipped the last couple weeks and our guys didn’t like that,” Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. “But I give them credit — they worked hard and came back and beat a very good team that was 5-0. We needed a win like this.”