After 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.
Stags 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.
St. 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.