It would be easy to say the DeMatha-Good Counsel rivalry is back, except that it never left.
DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) comes in at 5-0 under second-year coach Elijah Brooks, while Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) is 4-1 and No. 22 in the Super 25 high school football rankings.
Even last season, when DeMatha was an uncharacteristic 6-4, it gave Good Counsel fits for three quarters before falling 35-21.
“It was 21-21 in the fourth quarter and the game was hugely competitive,” said Good Counsel coach Bob Milloy. “It’s always that kind of way. It’s Dallas-Washington kind of stuff.”
While Brooks is only 28 and in his second year as head coach, he’s hardly new to the rivalry. He was a running back at DeMatha, graduating in 2002, and was an assistant for three years before replacing longtime coach Bill McGregor, who retired in 2011 after 39 years at the school.
“Honestly, all the years of these games, seem to run together,” Brooks said. “Many of the years, it seems we were so close. I do remember the 2009 (regular-season) game when they had Jelani Jenkins and (Caleb) Porzel. They were up by 21 points at the end of the third quarter and Marcus Coker singlehandedly brought us back.”
The teams have dominated the Washington Catholic Athletic League, with Good Counsel winning the past three titles and DeMatha winning the previous six. Because of that, they’ve frequently met twice a season, with a regular-season meeting and a rematch in the WCAC title game.
“DeMatha obviously looks like the best team in our league we’re going to have to deal with,” Milloy said. “I wouldn’t call it a friendly rivalry, but it is respectful.”
Four other Super 25 games to watch:
No. 9 Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.) vs. Coffee (Douglas), Friday
Camden County made a splash last week. In the Wildcats’ first game in their new region, 1-AAAAAA, known as the “little SEC,” they won 45-6 at Valdosta. Friday, the Wildcats (5-0) play host to another region foe in Coffee, which is 4-1.
“We have always felt like we could play with people in Region 1,” Camden coach Jeff Herron said. “The question and the challenge for us is can we do it each week? We can’t afford to have a bad week in practice and you can’t afford to relax.”
Both teams run the Wing-T and a 3-5 defense, so the surprise factor is nil.
“Their offense is more of a power-oriented type Wing-T,” Herron said. “He has a capable 3-5 and they probably stunt more out of it than we do. They’re familiar with what we do on offense.”
No. 4 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) vs. Servite (Anaheim), Friday
Servite edged Santa Margarita 43-42 in overtime last season. Servite has won seven in a row against the Eagles, but is 2-3 this season with a young team. Santa Margarita may have its own problems after losing quarterback Johnny Stanton, a Nebraska recruit, to a knee injury two weeks ago. The Eagles (5-0) had a bye last week.
No. 24 Ensworth (Nashville) vs. Montgomery Bell (Nashville), Friday
The rivals have their offenses rolling. Ensworth (7-0) is led by running back Corn Elder (1,392 yards and 23 touchdowns) but also has quarterback Andrew Bowers, who has thrown for 789 yards and six touchdowns. MBA (5-2) had two players, JeTarii Donald and Gary Jackson, rush for more than 100 yards last week. It’s a close rivalry as Enworth has won four of the past seven meetings.
No. 2 John Curtis (River Ridge, La.) at Carver (New Orleans), Saturday
This is an interesting matchup because John Curtis (5-0) has an awesome defense and Carver always puts points on the board. John Curtis has allowed an average of only 2.5 points a game. The Rams (3-1) are averaging 48.5 points and even in their lone loss last week, scored 68.