Caleb Porzel, Jelani Jenkins Have Quiet Nights in Good Counsel's Loss to DeMatha in WCAC Football Title Game
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Caleb Porzel was speechless, which the Good Counsel running back acknowledged seldom happens. But considering how he and backfield mate Jelani Jenkins had their way with every opponent for three months, it was easy to see why the senior standout left the field in astonishment after a 34-7 loss to DeMatha in last night's Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game.
Porzel and Jenkins could never find their step at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. Porzel managed just 59 yards rushing on 15 carries and had two receptions, each for negative yardage. Meantime, Jenkins caught two passes for 34 yards, but his five rushes netted only 17 yards.
"I'm just pretty stunned," Porzel said. "Everything we threw at them, they stopped. I don't know how to explain it."
It was such a sharp departure not only from their performance in a 42-21 victory over DeMatha on Oct. 2, but, really, for the whole season. In the regular season meeting, Porzel flew past the Stags for 124 yards and three touchdowns, and he also caught three swing passes for 37 yards, while Jenkins netted 88 yards of offense and two scores.
There may have been offensive backfields in the Washington area with more prolific or eye-popping individual statistics. None though, was more capable of dominating opponents with such a breadth of skills than Porzel, the slight and shifty tailback with track-star speed, and Jenkins, the bruising, yet refined, multitalented fullback.
Entering last night's game, the two combined for 1,718 yards and 37 touchdowns rushing. They helped top-ranked Good Counsel win its first 11 games in such overpowering fashion that the Falcons were able to decide the outcomes of games before halftime. They outscored opponents 330-45 combined in the first halves of games.
"I don't know exactly what happened," Jenkins said. "The whole entire game, we were just trying to get each other hyped up, but it was tough."
The strength of the duo's success is the ability of each player to work a specific part of the field -- Jenkins between the tackles, and Porzel on the outside. No. 11 DeMatha altered its defense, though, and that caught Porzel off-guard. Eight of the 17 times he touched the ball on offense, the play went for zero or negative yardage.
DeMatha junior outside linebacker Austin Phillips took on a new assignment last night. He was ordered to spy on Porzel and made sure to prevent him from getting to the outside.
"We took the outside away from him," Phillips said, "because that's where he hurt us [in the first game]. We knew we had to keep everything inside the box. That was the key. That was the plan."