Our Lady of Good Counsel High School senior Kendall Fuller turned to his sideline as he lined up at his cornerback position.
“What's the coverage?” Fuller said.
Before anyone could answer, DeMatha snapped the ball.
But Fuller, who's committed to Virginia Tech, never panicked. He knows, on every play, Good Counsel has enough talent to overwhelm its opponent. On this play, Harvard-bound linebacker Darien Carr intercepted a pass and returned it 55 yards.
“You can trust the other 10 guys that you have out on the field,” Fuller said. “So, it's a lot. We all trust each other and when you trust your other teammates, things happen on the field.”
Again and again Saturday, Good Counsel trusted its talent. The result was a 26-14 victory over DeMatha in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis. Good Counsel has won four straight WCAC titles.
“There were a lot of misconceptions that our class wasn't as great because we don't have the Stefon Diggs or the Wes Browns, et cetera, et cetera,” said senior Dorian O'Daniel said. “But, you know, we do have the Kendall Fullers and the Dorian O'Daniels and the Kirk Garners. Today, we showed that we can play with the best of them.”
After Carr's interception, Good Counsel faced a fourth-and-goal at the 6 and the field goal unit took the field. But Milloy — trusting his talent — called a timeout, sent his offense back out and watched Virginia-bound quarterback Brendan “Whitey” Marshall throw a touchdown pass to Fuller.
“I'm just sorry I wasted a timeout on it,” Milloy said. “I should have just called it anyway.
“To be honest with you, we probably didn't use our talents intelligently this year. Whitey and Kendall, the way they are, they're just unstoppable, and they showed it today.”
Marshall threw three touchdown passes to Fuller, who finished with nine catches for 125 yards.
Fuller's second touchdown came late in the first half, capping another drive that showed Good Counsel's talent. On a hook-and-lateral earlier in the drive, Fuller caught a pass and pitched the ball to O'Daniel. That was followed by Marshall converting a fake punt with a pass to Nicholas Miller.
After DeMatha tied the game 14-14 on the first drive of the second half, Marshall and Fuller answered with their third touchdown to give Good Counsel a 20-14 lead.
Then, facing a fourth-and-goal from the 4 in the fourth quarter, Milloy didn't hesitate. O'Daniel, who gained all 140 of his rushing yards in the second half, ran for a touchdown to extend Good Counsel's lead to 26-14.
“You have to risk it to get the biscuit and that's what we did,” said O'Daniel, who admitted even he was surprised by his team's bold play-calling.
Good Counsel cornerback Kirk Garner, who's committed to Virginia, intercepted a pass on DeMatha's next drive, starting a celebration that wasn't slowed until a game official, after repeated attempts, finally pulled Fuller and Marshall away to accept the WCAC championship trophy.
Milloy called his seniors “probably the nicest group of kids I've ever coached,” making it even sweeter that they displayed their talent in full Saturday.
“They were just wonderful kids. Just bring every one of them home with you,” Milloy said. “Gee whiz, I'm going to miss them.”
DeMatha, which has lost four straight to Good Counsel, won't.
But after falling short of reaching the championship game for the first time in 15 years last season, DeMatha returned to the WCAC title game this season — a step in the right direction for second-year DeMatha coach Elijah Brooks.
“From an outsider's perspective, I guess you can call it a successful year,” Books said. “But every time we start a season, the goal is to win the championship.”
Before last season, when Gonzaga broke the streak, Good Counsel had faced DeMatha in seven straight WCAC title games. Is this a return to a perennial Good Counsel-DeMatha WCAC finale?
“Oh, yeah,” Milloy said. “Their whole team is back. So, they're going to keep you up at night next year, too.”
Good Counsel 26, DeMatha 14
DeMatha (8-4) 6 0 8 0 — 14
Good Counsel (11-1) 0 14 6 6 — 26
D — John Lovett 5 run (kick failed)
GC — Kendall Fuller 6 pass from Brendan Marshall (Bryan Strittmatter kick)
GC — Kendall Fuller 31 pass from Brendan Marshall (Bryan Strittmatter kick)
D — Darryl Turner 9 pass from John Lovett (Lorenzo Harrison run)
GC — Kendall Fuller 20 pass from Brendan Marshall (kick failed)
GC — Dorian O'Daniel 4 run (run failed)
DeMatha — Taiwan Deal 9-31; Lorenzo Harrison 5-28; John Lovett 5-14; Cameron Phillips 1-2; Jamal Robinson 1-(-15).
Good Counsel — Dorian O'Daniel 22-140; Chris Dawson 3-14; Kendall Fuller 2-8; Kirk Garner 1-2; Brendan Marshall 1-0.
DeMatha — John Lovett 15-27-161-2.
Good Counsel — Brendan Marshall 15-25-195-0.
DeMatha — Jordan Pittman 4-47; Chris Jones 4-45; Alek Schultz 3-33; Cameron Phillips 2-19; Darryl Turner 1-9; Jerad Washington 1-8.
Good Counsel — Kendall Fuller 9-125; Leo Ekwoge 1-31; Nicholas Miller 1-11; C.J. Carroll 1-11; Myles Robinson 1-7; Lucas Morley 1-6; Chris Dawson 1-3; Dorian O'Daniel 0-1.