Week 5 Preview: DeMatha vs St. Johns

StagsAfter one of the more legendary seasons in the storied conference’s history last year, DeMatha finally gets the chance to defend their Washington Catholic Area Conference title Friday night against St. Johns. The Stags and the Cadets waged two tough battles last season, including the WCAC championship game, with both ending in DeMatha’s favor.

In fact, DeMatha comes into this game with a 19 year win streak. You read that right: 19 years. But this season, for the first time in some time, St. Johns comes in as the favorite. In the Washington Post ranks, the Cadets rank No. 4 while DeMatha comes in at No. 14. St. Johns is also undefeated so far this year while DeMatha has dropped two games to Pennsylvania powerhouses.

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 12.33.47 PMStags head coach Elijah Brooks knows how tough it will be to beat St. Johns.

“The St. John’s front four is so fast and explosive and their secondary has some ballhawks, so we’re really going to have to minimize our mistakes,” Brooks told The Post. “We’re starting to get more comfortable as a unit and beginning to hit our stride. But if we’re playing behind the chains because of penalties or turnovers, we’re not going to have much of a shot.”

What Brooks also knows, and the WCAC will likely learn, is that even though DeMatha lost a lot of talent from its 2013 title team, the cupboard is still loaded. Sophomore running back Anthony McFarland is a game-changer, receivers Tino Ellis and Daryl Turner Jr. will make plays in space, and the DeMatha defense tackled better in their last game, a win against Eastern Christian Academy, than they have all season.

Screen shot 2014-09-26 at 8.58.08 AMSt. Johns has plenty of talent too. Running back Omar Garcia hits holes hard behind an experienced offensive line, and WR Scotty Washington recently committed to play at Wake Forest next season. It will take a complete effort from the Stags to slow down the Cadets.

All eyes will be on DeMatha tonight, just the way the Stags like it. The fall weather has arrived, and with it, WCAC football.

Week 3 Recap: DeMatha Falls In Tough Loss To LaSalle

Screen shot 2014-09-16 at 12.33.47 PMDeMatha gave a hero’s effort last Friday night in Philadelphia, mounting a furious comeback against LaSalle College, only to fall just short in the final minutes, losing 41-39. DeMatha scored 19 straight unanswered points late in the game to pull close, but LaSalle sealed the win in the final minutes.

Elijah Brooks was disappointed in the loss, but proud of his team’s effort. Here’s the coach’s reaction:

Last Friday’s game against LaSalle was a tough loss. We made crucial errors to begin the game, which put us in a two touchdown hole. We got back into the game with a couple defensive stops and explosive plays offensively. Coming out of the half trailing 27-20, it was imperative to start fast in the third quarter. Unfortunately, mistakes in all three phases of the game had us trailing 41-20 late in the third. The positive to take away from this game is we never gave up. We continued to play hard, focusing on execution, and cut the lead to 41-39 with a chance to win the game in the final three minutes. We made a valiant effort but fell short. There are many things we can build on heading into the game against Eastern Christian Academy this Friday. They have a potent offense and we must do a better job in pass defense and not giving up as many yards after contact. We finished with almost 500 yards of offense, but must continue to improve in order to be successful against a stout ECA defense. The kicking game was a weakness last week and was the difference in the game. We must make every point count this week as we are looking to rebound. GO STAGS!

For more on the DeMatha-LaSalle game, check out this story from GameTimePA.com. 

 

Week 3 Scouting Report: LaSalle College (PA)

Another week, another trip to Pennsylvania to play a powerhouse. Friday night DeMatha travels to Philadelphia to play LaSalle College High School, a tough opponent with an explosive offense. The game will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet, so tune in! For a preview on the LaSalle team that DeMatha will face, check out this article. Below are some of the top players DeMatha must prepare for:

  • Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 9.18.52 AMQB KYLE SHURMUR – The 6-foot-4 signal-caller is a Vanderbilt commit and the son of current Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur. As a junior last season, Shurmur shattered La Salle school passing records after throwing for 2,472 yards and 25 touchdowns in his first year as the starter.
  • 3 WR JIMMY HERRON – 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, caught a team-high 48 passes for over 700 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and appears to be Shurmur’s No. 1 target.
  • Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 9.20.07 AMRB/WR JORDAN MEACHUM – The 5-foot-8, 185-pound did a little bit of everything for La Salle. Meachum accounted for nearly 1,300 all-purpose yards (171 rushes for 895 yards; 24 catches for 414 yards; 12 total TDs) last season.

Week 2 Update: DeMatha 21, St. Mary’s Ryken 12

Everyone knew that DeMatha faced a stiff challenge traveling to take on the St. Mary’s Ryken Knights, and the Stags showed up for the challenge. Behind great running from Anthony McFarland and a strong defensive effort, DeMatha won its first WCAC game 21-12 over Ryken.
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A great win for the Stags, and stay with Inside DeMatha Football all week for more from coach Elijah Brooks, Players of the Week from the victory over Ryken, and a preview of next week’s game against LaSalle College, which will be broadcast live on Comcast SportsNet!

Game Preview: DeMatha vs Archbishop Wood (Pa.)

StagsTonight is the night! DeMatha football is back!! The Stags open the 2014 campaign in Pennsylvania against Archbishop Wood, a perennial contender in a tough league. The Wood QB Kyle Shurmur is heading to Vanderbilt next season, and DeMatha will have to be ready tonight for a very tough challenge.

Stags head coach Elijah Brooks named Tyler Green, Darryl Turner, Chase Litner and Tino Ellis as captains for the season opener. It’s a new season, and new players will have to step up for DeMatha after the departure of so much talent from last season.

The Washington Post featured DeMatha in it’s high school football preview. From the Post:

DeMatha graduated 30 seniors, including 20 starters, from last year’s WCAC title team, raising some question marks. But the Stags again boast a stable of impressive rushers in Lorenzo Harrison and Anthony McFarland, as well as a strong junior class led by defensive linemen Shane Simmons and Terrance Allen.

Coach Brooks and DeMatha have been working hard for months to get ready for tonight!! Go Stags!!

WCAC Championship Preview: DeMatha vs St. Johns

It’s been a long season, starting way back in August with two-a-days, and now the culmination of hard work, practice and precision will reach the final chapter when DeMatha faces St. Johns for the WCAC Championship on Saturday in Byrd Stadium.

WCACAfter a 10-1 season that included an undefeated run through the WCAC, the Stags faced much difficulty in the WCAC semifinals against Good Counsel. It seemed fitting that DeMatha would have to knock off the Falcons to get back to the championship, and a 29-28 overtime thriller reminded the D.C. area how tough it is to win in the WCAC playoffs.


9.19 UlmerNow, the Stags turn their focus to St. Johns. The Cadets have a dynamic run/pass threat in first team All-WCAC quarterback Will Ulmer. The Maryland-bound recruit can keep plays alive with his arm or by running out of the pocket.

With Ulmer and other playmakers on offense, the Cadets boast a strong offensive attack, but the defense makes the team so difficult. Cornerback Omar Truitt leads the WCAC’s best defense, and in their semifinal victory, St. Johns held Gonzaga to just 10 points.

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WCAC Playoff Preview: Good Counsel vs. DeMatha

DeMatha marched through the Washington Area Catholic Conference regular season undefeated, but the stakes get much higher this weekend. Sunday at Byrd Stadium in College Park, the Stags will face off against their WCAC-football nemesis in Good Counsel, with the chance to erase a string of recent playoff losses.

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In September, DeMatha beat Good Counsel 21-0, a convincing win for the Stags. But as the playoff pressure mounts, the Falcons come into the game healthy and ready to retain their WCAC crown. DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks knows what to expect.

Records, rankings, past games don’t mean a thing this time of year. It’s win or go home right now and everyone is clear on that as we get ready to face Good Counsel.

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