Challenging Washington, Mt. St. Joe fails

MIAA finishes 0-3 as Gaels fall to Good Counsel, 34-14

High Schools

September 02, 2001|By Nathan Max | Nathan Max,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Baltimore high school football has enjoyed better weekends, and Mount St. Joseph football has had better afternoons.

Senior running back Chris Peaks rushed for 219 yards and five touchdowns to lead Good Counsel of Wheaton to a 34-14 victory over the Gaels yesterday in the private school head-coaching debut of Maryland legend Bob Milloy.

It marked the last of three convincing victories this weekend for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference over the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association. Also yesterday, St. John's of Washington beat Calvert Hall, 38-7, and on Friday night, DeMatha of Hyattsville defeated Gilman, 16-0.

Mount St. Joseph (1-1) was dominated in every facet of the game. Good Counsel (1-0) rushed for 354 yards, out-gained the Gaels 386-197 in total offense and earned 16 first downs to eight for Mount St. Joseph. The Gaels also committed five turnovers and forced just one.

Junior quarterback Nick Tanis, who connected for 409 yards and five touchdowns in last week's 46-41 season-opening victory over Steubenville (Ohio), could not solve the Falcons' zone coverage. Tanis finished 9-for-20 for 120 yards and threw four interceptions. Junior running back Keon Lattimore's touchdown carries of 1 and 24 yards were the only bright spots.

The Gaels fell behind 6-0 after Good Counsel opened the game with an eight-play, 67-yard drive; they later entrenched themselves in deficit after a series of turnovers and special teams blunders. After Tanis was intercepted on Mount St. Joseph's fourth offensive play, the Gaels stopped Good Counsel at midfield. But a muffed punt gave the Falcons the ball back at Mount St. Joseph's 20-yard line, and Peaks scored his second touchdown two plays later.

With 9:41 left in the second quarter, sophomore Michael Tennessee blocked a Gaels punt out of the end zone to extend Good Counsel's lead to 14-0. Peaks, who finished with 32 carries, scored his third touchdown three plays after the ensuing free kick to make it 21-0.

"We just choked," Mount St. Joseph coach Mike Working said. "We work on special teams. That's the first thing we do every day. And we just choked."

Good Counsel hardly looked like a team that would struggle through a rebuilding season, as many had thought. Milloy - who won eight Maryland state titles while coaching at Springbrook and Sherwood - clearly had the Falcons prepared.

"Mount St. Joseph has an explosive offense, so we knew we had to grind it out," said Peaks, who finished with touchdown carries of 9, 1, 8, 28 and 1 yard. "We have the greatest coaches in Maryland. It makes that big of a difference."

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