DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks Breaks Down WCAC Semifinal Win over Gonzaga

Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 11.40.04 AMBefore we look ahead to the WCAC Championship Game Saturday at Byrd Stadium between DeMatha and Good Counsel, let’s take one look back at the great team effort the Stags produced last week in a 21-14 come-from-behind win over Gonzaga. DeMatha head coach Elijah Brooks talked with IDFB and broke down how his Stags fought their way to the big win:

Our team showed a lot of fight and determination. Gonzaga came out and executed very well in the first half. Outside of a fantastic punt return touchdown by DJ Turner, we didn’t have much to be excited about. At halftime we didn’t panic, but explained that this is where DeMatha teams come together and find a way to make one more play than our opponents. In the second half our defense was phenomenal, not allowing a score, just as they did in the regular season match up against Gonzaga. Offensively our execution was much better. A huge touchdown strike to Tino Ellis from Beau English and a more consistent run game proved to be the difference in the game. I’m so proud of this team and the grit they have shown to get to this point. They have grown up in a hurry and we look forward to putting our best foot forward in the Championship game this Saturday. Go Stags!

WCAC Playoff Schedule: DeMatha To Face Gonzaga Sunday

IMG_7156Every year the WCAC playoffs produce incredibly high-level prep football, and this year should be no different. In a rematch of a 28-20 nail-biter DeMatha won over Gonzaga in October, the Stags will face the Eagles at noon on Sunday in Annapolis at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

DeMatha comes into the game as the No. 2 seed in the WCAC and Gonzaga the No. 3 seed. After the Stags-Eagles game, No. 1 seed Good Counsel will take on No. 4 seed Bishop McNamara.

DeMatha vs Gonzaga could set up to be a classic, as The Washington Post ranks the teams No. 7 and No. 8 in the region. Gonzaga reached the playoffs in impressive fashion thanks to a comeback win against rival St. John’s. Now, the Eagles focus on beating the Stags, something they had an opportunity to do in October but could not finish.

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.05.35 AM“Finishing ball games is the key for us,” Gonzaga RB Tyree Randolph told the Post. “We didn’t do that the last time we played DeMatha but we did it Saturday to get the win, so it’s all about picking things up on both sides of the ball and finishing what we started.”

Expect much more on Sunday’s playoff game throughout the week! Go Stags!

WCAC Playoff Preview: No. 2 Seed Within DeMatha’s Grasp

StagsThe kids are done trick or treating, and the leaves are almost off the trees: That means it’s almost time for the Washington Area Catholic Conference football playoffs. Every fall we see some of the best high school football in the country, and this year should be no different.

Fresh off a bye week, DeMatha faces Archbishop Carroll this Friday night with a chance to lock up the No. 2 seed for the playoffs. A win, and the Stags take the second spot behind Good Counsel. The Falcons have compiled an undefeated WCAC campaign so far, accounting for DeMatha’s only loss, though Good Counsel did struggle with Bishop O’Connell last week.

Behind the Stags and likely in at the No. 3 spot are the Gonzaga Eagles. A dominant offensive team, Gonzaga could be a problem in the playoffs, but they face a tough matchup this weekend with St. John’s College. The Gonzaga-St. John’s matchup will go a long way toward deciding the third and fourth seeds for the WCAC playoffs.

Here is a great breakdown of the bottom two playoff spots in the WCAC from DC Sports Fan, and what needs to happen this weekend for each team to grab a spot:

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Much more to come this week. Go Stags!

What A Win! DeMatha Surges Past Gonzaga 28-20!

Down 13 points at halftime to Gonzaga on Saturday, DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks challenged his team to put forth a better effort in the second half. The Stags responded. Led by powerful running from Lorenzo Harrison, DeMatha scored 21 straight points en route to a 28-20 come from behind victory.

Screen shot 2014-10-26 at 10.05.35 AM“With all the starters we lost, we know people have been counting us out,” Harrison told the Washington Post. Harrison finished the game with 155 yards and two touchdowns.

“All that matters is we know we can get the job done, and that’s what we did.”

The win against Gonzaga showcases a DeMatha defense improving as the year goes on. The Eagles came into Saturday’s game with arguably the best offense in the WCAC, and after a sloppy start, the Stags slowed the Eagles to a crawl.

“As a defense, we realized that the only reason they were making plays was because we were missing the little stuff, like routine tackles,” D.J. Turner said after the win.

DeMatha’s victory puts the Stags alone in second place in the WCAC, a game ahead of Gonzaga and one behind Good Counsel. Lots of football left.

Go Stags!

Week 8 Preview: DeMatha vs Gonzaga

IMG_7920No way around it: This is a big one. A classic rivalry heated up with two of the best teams in the country, elite talent all over the field and a shot at a WCAC title. DeMatha vs Gonzaga takes place Saturday at 3 pm at Calvin Coolidge High School in D.C.

The Stags are in second place in the WCAC with a record of 3-1, the Eagles are one game behind at 2-1. Both trail Good Counsel, who has an undefeated conference record of 4-0.

DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks had a very busy week preparing for Gonzaga, but we caught up with him to get a preview of the Stags-Eagles matchup.

Saturday we face one of the most complete teams in the league. Gonzaga is as explosive as they come offensively. They really don’t have a weak position on the field. We can’t allow the big play whether it’s in the run or pass game. Defensively they are just as good. Their line and linebackers are very sound, and their secondary is arguably the best in the league. To give ourselves a chance to win we must play a disciplined game. When we have an opportunity to make a play, we must make it. There’s a good chance that we might see them again in a few weeks, but don’t get it misunderstood, both teams will fight tooth and nail to win this one. Go Stags!

It’s going to be a battle, but then again, DeMatha-Gonzaga usually is. We can’t wait to see! It looks like Gonzaga will be ready too.

Go Stags!


DeMatha 2014 Football Schedule

The wait is over: Here is the official schedule for the 2014 DeMatha Stags football season! The defending Washington Area Catholic Conference champs will play a national schedule, including two of the best teams in Pennsylvania before getting into their always tough conference schedule. Expect the schedule to be updated as times are finalized! Go Stags!

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Aug 29/30 at Archbishop Wood (PA)

Sept. 5 at St. Mary’s Ryken

Sept. 12 at LaSalle College (PA)

Sept. 19 at St. Frances Academy

Sept. 26 vs. St. John’s (Sport’s & Learning Complex) 7pm

Oct. 3 at Good Counsel

Oct. 11 at O’Connell

Oct. 17 vs. McNamara (Sport’s & Learning Complex) 7pm

Oct. 25 at Gonzaga

Nov. 7 vs. Carroll (Sport’s & Learning Complex) 7pm

DeMatha Edges Good Counsel 29-28 In Overtime

Simply put, it was probably the best high school football game the D.C. area has seen in decades. It had everything; speed, talent, execution and skill.

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Here’s what Stags Head Coach Elijah Brooks had to say about the win:

This was another great battle against Good Counsel that went down to the wire. Our offense struggled in the first half and didn’t find our rhythm until late in the game. Defensively we were stout against the run but gave up some big plays in the pass game. Ultimately, we needed everyone to make plays down the stretch to make it to the WCAC championship. This time of year, we don’t care about style points as long as we advance. We have to refocus and have a solid week of practice to prepare against a very good St. John’s team.

DeMatha came out on top 29-28 in overtime over Good Counsel in a game few will ever forget. Our friends at DC Sports Fan captured some of the action, and stay tuned for much more coverage of the semifinal win and a preview of the championship game against St. Johns.