As expected, special teams proved the difference in last night's Good Counsel-Ballou game. The surprise, however, was that the host Falcons got the upper hand, beating Ballou, 20-6, in a nonleague game. Both teams have 1-1 records.

Carlos Smith was the main reason, returning the second-half kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and setting up Good Counsel's first score with a fake punt that he ran 10 yards for a critical first down. Smith also rushed for 101 yards on 21 carries.

His kickoff return was the game's most crucial play. Good Counsel scored first on Jeff Pederson's 11-yard touchdown pass to Julian Tait in the first period, but the Knights trailed, 7-6, when Kieta Molloy caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from Jason Lane with 48 seconds remaining in the first half.

The Falcons had outplayed Ballou for much of the first half, threatening to score four times, but led by one point. Smith, however, erased any misgivings by taking the ball on the 7-yard line, cutting right behind blocks by Jose Duran and Todd Dickerson, and outrunning everyone down the sideline for the touchdown. Mike Vallone's kick sailed wide left, but Good Counsel had regained control.

Three plays later, Ballou's Ricky Wood fumbled and Good Counsel's Mike Duffy recovered on the Knights 35. Vallone ran for eight yards, Smith rushed for three and tight end Colin Preis' 23-yard reception set up Vallone's one-yard touchdown run. Vallone's kick put Good Counsel ahead by 14 points.

Ballou (1-1) 0 6 0 0 6 Good Counsel (1-1) 7 0 13 0 20

GC -- Tait 11 pass from Pederson (Vallone kick)

B -- Molloy 37 pass from Lane (kick failed)

GC -- Smith 93 kickoff return (kick failed)

GC -- Vallone 1 run (Vallone kick)