Good Counsel 20
For DeMatha, it's another Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. For Good Counsel, it's another heartbreak.
In a thrilling title game last night at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, the 17th-ranked Falcons squandered a 14-point first-half lead, lost a fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter and missed an extra point in overtime.
The Stags capitalized, finally and decisively on a touchdown run from Kenny Tate and extra point by Matt Campbell for a 21-20 victory.
"Good Counsel is a great football team, very well coached and very disciplined," DeMatha Coach Bill McGregor said. "It was two great teams playing a tough football game. Luckily we got the breaks when we needed them."
Tate, a sophomore, scored on two runs, the first with just under 5 minutes left in regulation that led to Campbell's game-tying extra point, the second tying the score at 20 in overtime and leading to Campbell's winning kick.
Earlier in the extra session, Good Counsel's kick struck the upright on the Navy goal posts, which are an NCAA-mandated 18 feet 6 inches apart -- about five feet narrower than high school dimensions.
No. 3 DeMatha (11-1) won its third straight WCAC title and fifth in six years, and its 14th under McGregor. Good Counsel has never won a WCAC title, and its past three games against DeMatha have been one-point defeats.
In the 2004 championship game, Good Counsel lost when an errant option play had the quarterback pitching to an empty backfield. This year's regular season finale ended when Campbell was granted a second chance after a blocked field goal and converted it for the game-winning points.
Yesterday, Good Counsel scored on the first drive of overtime on an impressive, 38-yard touchdown reception by Drew Gloster, but the extra point was slightly deflected, hit the left upright and bounced in front of the goal posts.
"There's nothing you can do about it now," Falcons senior running back Anthony Davis said of the loss. "For all of the seniors, this is our last year, so we can't play them again."
Good Counsel's sideline was penalized three times for 35 yards, and one of the Falcons' assistants was ejected by the referee. Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy declined comment after the game.
The Falcons (8-4) dominated for most of the first half behind quarterback Zachary Ingle (12 for 19, 191 yards), who had a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Jones and a four-yard touchdown run that gave the Falcons a 14-0 lead.
But DeMatha quarterback Marc Poblador (19 for 36, 226 yards) orchestrated a scoring drive that culminated with a three-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Jackson with 11 seconds left in the half.
In the second half, DeMatha's first drive lasted seven minutes but ended with a missed field goal. Good Counsel's ensuing drive lasted nearly seven minutes itself, but ended when the ball was fumbled at the goal line on fourth down.
This time, DeMatha took advantage. Led by Poblador and aided by a 15-yard penalty called on the Good Counsel sideline, DeMatha finally tied the game on Tate's first score.