Coach Joe Patterson's routine of breaking down video of the next opponent for the St. John's football team was interrupted by something much more important this weekend. Sunday, Patterson's wife, Jana, gave birth to their second child, Thomas, at Fair Oaks Hospital.
Patterson hopes it's not his only positive experience this week -- and it won't be if the Cadets (6-2, 4-1 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference) can beat top-ranked and undefeated Good Counsel in Northwest on Saturday. St. John's is seeking its first WCAC playoff berth since 2002, and its first win over Good Counsel since 2001.
"I'm a little behind," Patterson said of his preparation for Saturday's game. "But I'll catch up. We'll be ready."
After blowing a 13-point lead in a loss to DeMatha on Oct. 9, St. John's has bounced back with wins over Carroll and O'Connell. Both victories were keyed by the Cadets' defense, which has been led by linebacker Rico McCoy (who has had double-digit tackles in all but one game), end Kevin Maroney (121/2 sacks) and defensive back J.J. Johnson. They'll have to be spectacular again Saturday against the Falcons, who are averaging 39.4 points per game.
-- Tarik El-Bashir