Good Counsel's Fast Start Is Too Much for DeMatha

Photos from Good Counsel's 42-21 win over DeMatha on October 2, 2008.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 3, 2008

Caleb Porzel credited his blockers and tried to say he just did the dirty work. Problem was, it's hard to call it dirty work if you run so fast that nobody catches you and your uniform still looks as if it just came out of the laundry.

Porzel, Good Counsel's senior speedster, scored three touchdowns without being touched in the first quarter and second-ranked Good Counsel registered a decisive 42-21 victory over No. 10 DeMatha before an overflow crowd of 4,500 and a national television audience last night in Olney.

"Clean work, I should say," Porzel said with a smile after finishing with a game-high 124 yards and 16 carries.

Good Counsel quarterback Tyler Campbell completed all nine of his passes for 177 yards and one touchdowns, and All-Met Jelani Jenkins scored twice for the Falcons.

But the story of the night was Porzel and Good Counsel's quick start, which seemed to leave both teams stunned -- Good Counsel by its near perfect opening quarter and DeMatha by its four-touchdown deficit after just 12 minutes of play.

"Their speed, I just think we haven't seen anything that fast," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "As a result, we were out of position early."

DeMatha has won five consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles, beating Good Counsel in the championship game each of the past four seasons as the teams built one of the most competitive rivalries in the area. Since the start of the 2003 season, DeMatha is 57-6, with three of those losses to Good Counsel, the only local team to beat the Stags.

However, given last night's outcome, it seems safe to say that the Falcons (5-0, 2-0 WCAC) are a favorite to win their first league title. The margin of defeat matched DeMatha's worst loss since 1980.

Porzel has committed to play for Maryland, and Terrapins Coach Ralph Friedgen and most of his staff were in attendance last night to see their recruit sparkle. Although Porzel missed most of the past week of practice after spraining his left ankle on his first carry in last week's 42-0 victory over Paul VI Catholic, he said he never doubted his ability to play last night, even though he spent one day on crutches and two more days in a walking boot.

Porzel turned a short pass into a 24-yard gain on Good Counsel's second play, then capped that drive by going in motion and taking a handoff on a jet sweep to the right for a seven-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

On the Falcons' next possession, Campbell faked a handoff up the middle to Jenkins, then handed off to Porzel, who again outraced the defense, this time going untouched around the left end for a 38-yard score that made it 14-0.

Having watched his backfield mate do most of the work, Jenkins soon got in on the action -- this time scoring on defense. Defensive lineman Thomas Kokolas hit DeMatha quarterback Tom Chroniger from behind, forcing a fumble that Jenkins scooped up and ran in for an 18-yard score and a 21-0 lead.

The margin was staggering, and it got more so one series later when Good Counsel forced another punt. On the next series, Jenkins went in motion to the left to become an effective lead blocker and Porzel turned a simple pitch into a 56-yard touchdown run, again going untouched until he was slowing up in the end zone.

"I've been seeing that since freshman year," Campbell said. "He's been doing that all the time. It's fun to watch."

Good Counsel led 28-0 with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

The Stags finally got on the board midway through the second quarter. After stopping Good Counsel for the first time -- when Porzel lined up in shotgun on fourth down and missed the snap -- wide receiver Emmanuel McPhearson caught a tipped ball and turned it into a 61-yard touchdown, bringing DeMatha to 28-7.

It was 35-21 early in the fourth quarter, and it seemed DeMatha had a glimmer of hope when it forced Good Counsel to punt from its 20. But punter Mark Hamilton, also an excellent track runner, ran to his right and had clear sailing for a 20-yard gain. Jenkins finished the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

"It was our night tonight," Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. "You know you're going to have to deal with them somewhere down the line again."

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