The WCAC is amongst the toughest conferences in the country. On Friday night, Gonzaga and Good Counsel kick off league play.
Whenever the Eagles and Falcons face-off on the gridiron, it’s a big game. When the two are ranked No. 1 and No. 4 respectfully, it’s a match-up of epic proportions.
Top-ranked and defending WCAC champ, Gonzaga is undefeated through 6 games. Over that stretch, they have been prolific on offense—scoring points in bunches. 5-star quarterback, Caleb Williams has been effective with both his arm and legs. Malcolm Terry II and Joseph Hammond Jr. have consistently found success on the ground while running behind a premiere offensive line and the Eagles receivers have specialized in making plays down the seams.
With their cauldron of offensive weapons, Gonzaga has been able to score nearly at will. “When you’re able to generate points,” head coach Randy Trivers said, “ that’s generally an indication that a team is capable of protecting the football, is capable of making some explosive plays and has balance”.
As impressive as the Gonzaga offense has been, they have not faced a defense as talented as that of Good Counsel. A fast and physical unit, the Falcons tout multiple future Division-I student-athletes. Brendan Johnson and Michigan commit, Kris Jenkins anchor the defensive line. Ohio State commit, Mitchell Melton and Caleb Dennis lead the linebacking corps while Jason Scott and Jalen McNair man the secondary. Good Counsel has only allowed one opponent to get more than 14 points this season.
For all their defensive prowess, the Falcons have struggled to score points.
A combination of youth, inexperience and the challenges associated with learning a new system has kept the Falcons offense grounded for much of the year. “We’re young on the offensive side, we knew that coming in,” said head coach Andy Stefanelli, “the mistakes have killed us, but we are getting better”.
Facing a well-coached and disciplined Eagles defense, the Falcons know that they will need to earn every point scored. “They’re sound fundamentally; they’re not going to make mistakes,” said Stefanelli, “so we have to be really efficient — we have to take advantage of the opportunities as they come”.
The stage is set for a classic match-up; Gonzaga and their unstoppable offense vs. Good Counsel and their impenetrable D. An age-old boxing mantra says, “styles make fights”.
If that holds true, on Friday night, the DMV is in for an instant classic.