By Josh Barr
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Louis Young wasn't quite sure what to think as the final seconds ticked off Saturday in sixth-ranked Good Counsel's 14-7 victory over top-ranked DeMatha in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game.
Young caught the winning touchdown and intercepted two passes in the second half before a crowd of 7,000 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. But he and the Falcons were in an unfamiliar position. Good Counsel, after all, had never won the league title. Its players only knew heartbreak, having lost five consecutive championship games to DeMatha, many in gut-wrenching finishes that saw the Stags jubilantly storm the field and hoist the three-foot-high trophy.
So when Falcons quarterback Zach Dancel took a knee on the game's last snap, Young started crying. He took off his helmet and ran toward the crowd behind Good Counsel's bench before jumping up to celebrate with family and friends.
"We won the Super Bowl, I don't even know what to say," said Young, a senior wide receiver and cornerback whose 20-yard touchdown catch was the winning score with 10 minutes 33 seconds left. "Words can't explain what I'm feeling right now. We finally got it."
It was quite a feeling for all of the Falcons. DeMatha handed Good Counsel its only loss this season, 24-21, on Oct. 9 -- Young's 18th birthday. As the teams shook hands that night, Young said a few DeMatha players offered their best wishes.
"They were saying 'Happy birthday, Lou,' " Young said as he stood watch over the championship trophy as darkness set in on Saturday evening. "See my tears of joy for the championship? Happy birthday, DeMatha, back at them."
Young said he attended DeMatha's past two games, where Stags supporters reminded him that their team was ready to win another championship. Young also prepared by watching DeMatha's game films, trying to pick up any little bit of information that would help this time around.
It came in handy in the second half with the score tied at 7. In the final minute of the third quarter, Young made a diving interception of a pass to end a DeMatha drive. Starting on the Good Counsel 14-yard line, the Falcons quickly moved down the field, helped by Dancel's 48-yard pass to E.J. Scott and a 14-yarder to Young on an out pattern.
Then, on second and eight from the 20, Young started his pass pattern slowly down the left sideline, faking a short route before running toward the back corner of the end zone. He was covered closely but managed to haul in the touchdown pass.
"He's been our best player all year long and he was again today," Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. "It's been nine years climbing this daggone mountain and we finally got to the top. Eventually, we've got to beat them one year. Eventually. But I was wondering."
Good Counsel (11-1) controlled most of the game, taking an early 7-0 lead on Wes Brown's three-yard touchdown run. But a fumble deep in the Falcons' territory led to Kyrrel Latimer's eight-yard touchdown catch just before halftime, tying the score at 7.
DeMatha (11-1) was unable to muster much offense. Leading rusher Marcus Coker, still slowed by a pulled groin muscle, was held to a season-low 43 yards on 20 carries. As a team, the Stags had just 134 yards of total offense and seven first downs and saw their six-year reign as league champions come to an end.
"Man, it hurts, I never thought this day would come," Latimer said. "Since I've been here, all I've seen are wins."