LAS VEGAS — After going nearly two years without seeing his team lose, Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy had good reason to believe in his team, no matter how dire the circumstances might be.
So Friday, when the three-time defending Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champion started to rally late in the third quarter after being down 19 points to host Bishop Gorman, Milloy kept the faith.
“I thought we were gonna win,” Milloy said. “We’ve come back and won many, many, many times.”
While his team did rally, scoring 14 points to trim the lead to five with 2 minutes 5 seconds left in the game, Good Counsel could not finish the comeback, and saw its 18-game win streak come to an end against the Gaels, 27-22, at Fertitta Field.
Milloy said that neither the distance (the Falcons traveled 2,400 miles across the country to play in the nationally-televised game) nor the heat (it was 100 degrees at kickoff) factored into the rare defeat for his squad.
“No, we have no excuses,” Milloy said. “They were the better team tonight and they deserved to win.”
Senior Jarrett Solomon, a four-year starter at quarterback who has committed to Arizona, threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another score to lead the three-time defending Nevada Class 4A champions.
All-Met Dorian O’Daniel, a Clemson recruit, powered the Falcon attack, as he finished with 20 carries for 113 yards and all three Good Counsel touchdowns. Quarterback Brendan Marshall added 182 passing yards.
The Gaels (1-0) appeared ready to roll over the Falcons (0-1) after Ryan Smith took a swing pass from Solomon and scampered down the sideline 70 yards to the end zone to give Gorman a 27-8 lead with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
Despite seeing his team seize the big lead, Gorman Coach Tony Sanchez said he knew the Falcons would not roll over.
“We knew they wouldn’t quit,” Sanchez said. “O’Daniel is a heck of a football player, and the quarterback is great, so we knew it would still be a dogfight to the end.
“When you play against a team with that many weapons, you are kind of naïve if you think you can completely stone them.”
To that end, Good Counsel answered on the ensuing drive with an 11-play, 80-yard drive capped by a three-yard touchdown run by O’Daniel.
Four plays into the following Gorman drive, the Falcons forced a fumble and Roger Richardson recovered for the Falcons at midfield, and it appeared the comeback was on. However, the drive stalled, and Good Counsel’s offense never got rolling again until O’Daniel broke off a 37-yard run that set up his scoring plunge from one yard out two plays later that made it 27-22 with 2:05 left.
But the ensuing Falcon onside kick try sailed out of bounds, and the Gaels were able to run out the clock to hand Good Counsel its first defeat since a 31-28 loss to DeMatha on Oct. 8, 2010.