Wes Brown heard it from the coaches during practice. Good Counsel’s standout running back also heard it from his teammates in the locker room, where his stall is adjacent to the boisterous All-Met wide receiver Stefon Diggs.
It had been so long, they all teased, since the 6-foot, 200-pound Brown simply exerted his will against opponents. So on Saturday night, Brown said, he ran with a purpose.
In a game that lived up to considerable expectations, Brown rushed for 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the decisive 40-yard score early in the fourth quarter, as top-ranked Good Counsel held on to beat Gilman, 26-21, in the Patriot Classic at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
“The reason I ran like that tonight is because the coaches were like, ‘You haven’t run over anybody in two years,’ ” he said.
Brown missed most of last season, including Good Counsel’s 28-7 loss to Gilman, with a sprained ankle suffered in the season opener. The highly recruited senior was held to 74 yards on 19 carries, without a touchdown, in the Falcons’ season opener last week.
But against the top-ranked team in Baltimore, Brown got going on Saturday. His 26-yard run helped set up a field goal late in the first half. Then he scored on a seven-yard toss to the right in the third quarter, giving Good Counsel a 17-7 lead.
Behind quarterback Shane Cockerille, Gilman rallied, eventually taking a 21-17 lead on the DeMatha transfer’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Cyrus Jones late in the third quarter.
Good Counsel (2-0) got a safety on the final play of the third quarter and two plays later Brown was back in the end zone. He took a handoff up the middle, cut to the left and ran down the sidelines for the go-ahead score.
“He’s been making too many moves, too many jukes,” Good Counsel Coach Bob Milloy said. “I told him: ‘You’re a man. Just go downhill. Please do me a favor and go downhill.’ And he did.”