The Washington Post

Andres Castillo leads Good Counsel football past Wilson in season opener

For all that Good Counsel had lost entering this season, including its four-year hold on the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference crown and two nationally ranked recruits, the Falcons seemed to relish the idea of being outside the spotlight during Friday’s contest at Wilson — at least during this early juncture of the schedule.

Without the ESPN cameras that had broadcast Good Counsel’s last two openers, the most scrutinizing eye on a team with five new offensive linemen was its own. And by the end of Friday’s 49-13 defeat of Wilson in Northwest, the Falcons had accomplished a feat they just missed under the bright lights of the last two openers — victory.

“We don’t need ESPN if we’re winning; that’s the most important thing,” said junior quarterback Andres Castillo, who finished 5-of-5 passing for 167 yards and three scores. “We came into this season with a lot of doubters, and we just rally around each other so we can go out and prove people wrong.”

After taking over the starting quarterback role midway through last season, Castillo is tasked with bringing balance to Good Counsel’s run-heavy attack. And while Friday saw the Falcons accumulate 281 rushing yards, led by Jonathon Lee’s 105-yard, two-touchdown effort, Castillo sprinkled game-changing plays into the mix with his efficient arm.

On his first pass, Castillo connected with Keon Paye on a slant that ended 44 yards later in the end zone. The play helped sap the momentum generated by Wilson on the previous series, when Larry Frazier raced 56 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown run that tied the score at 7.

Two of Castillo’s next three passes also went for touchdowns, including a 76-yard bomb to Paye, who showed no signs of the ankle injury that held him out of part of the preseason.

“I hoped my adrenaline would carry me,” Paye said. “Once I was warming up, though, I knew I’d be good. And after we saw the safeties creeping up early, me and Andres tried to take advantage.”

On one hand, the Falcons were predictable, running the ball 42 times on dives and off-tackle plays. Yet the threat of Good Counsel’s pass offense kept Wilson on its heels defensively and unable to generate a rhythm on offense. The Tigers, also playing their opener, were held to just 119 first-half yards as the Falcons’ defense swarmed speedy Wilson rusher Abdul Adams while forcing two turnovers.

Lee’s powerful rushes through the trenches ultimately wore down the Tigers, who cycled cramping players on and off the field in hopes of slowing a Good Counsel offensive onslaught that scored on its first seven possessions. The lone setback came in the third quarter, when offensive lineman Ryan Carter went down with a gruesome leg injury, again reminding the Falcons of the need to rally as a unit.

“Losing our senior lineman hurts, and even though I was five for five, there definitely are things to work on,” Castillo said. “But this was a big step against a good team in Wilson to showing people that Good Counsel is still here.”

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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