*GAME OF THE WEEK: Good Counsel (MD) 20, Gilman (MD) 19 in OT
Good Counsel High School (Olney, MD) is ranked as the top team in The Washington Post's early-season listing of high school teams in the DC region. They were soundly handled in a nationally-telecast game vs. Bishop Gorman HS in Vegas a week ago.
Gilman High School (Baltimore, MD) is ranked as the top team in The Baltimore Sun's early-season listing of high school teams in the Charm City region. They were handled by Ohio power Moeller HS in their nationally-telecast opener.
The Greyhounds have their share of next-level talent as well, notably QB Shane Cockerille (Maryland commit). The highly-skilled southpaw is a QB Factory alum I covered this summer in Severna Park and excelled in ESPN's "Elite 11" competition of the nation's top senior signal-callers.
Neither highly-rated team wanted to start the season 0-2.
Sweltering game conditions greeted both squads in the Montgomery County suburbs on the final night in August. Gilman jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after a Trevor Way 29-yard field goal. But O'Daniel responded with a 10-yard touchdown gallop to give the Falcons their first lead of the evening, 6-3.
Way's second field goal, a 30-yarder, deadlocked the game at six at the half.
Fuller's 5-yard scoring grab from Marshall gave Good Counsel a short-lived 13-6 advantage. Cockerille immediately found Jibril McLean behind the Falcon secondary on a perfectly-thrown 60-yard scoring bomb to tie the game at the end of regulation.
Gilman's Daniel Brown scored on a four-yard run to give the Greyhounds the advantage in overtime. But Wey's extra point clanked off the upright. Good Counsel, now without three starting offensive linemen due to injury, attrition and cramping, rode their workhorse O'Daniel (30 carries/146 yards). His one-yard plunge tied the affair at 19.
Sophomore kicker Bryan Strittmatter, who had missed an extra point and had a potential game-winning field goal blocked at the end of regulation, calmly booted through the decisive tally.
Afterwards, Good Counsel's Fuller summed up the slugfest:
“In my mind, I'm going to say, yes, we are the best team in Maryland,” he said. “Anybody else from any other team should say they're the best in the state.”
*PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ramroth "Rammy" Finnegan, JR QB from Columbus Whetstone HS (OH)
For many high school quarterbacks, 940 yards and 9 touchdown passes would be impressive stats for the halfway point of the season. For 6'3", 205-pound Rammy Finnegan, those were his numbers after just two weeks of the season.
After an embarrassing 71-28 loss to Hillard Darby in the opener in which he passed for over 500 yards and all four of the Braves' touchdowns, Finnegan was the focal point in Whetstone's 84-26 demolition of Africentric Early College on Friday. He finished the night with 423 passing yards and five touchdown passes.
Finnegan shined this summer as one of the top underclassmen from the Rivals.com/VTO Sports Elite 100 camp in Pittsburgh. Whetstone has never made the playoffs in their half century of play in Ohio. With this major D1 prospect leading the way, the Braves have a chance to make post-season history if Finnegan continues to pile up video-game numbers at quarterback.
*PHOTO OF THE WEEK
The pic of the week is on behalf of a pair of pick sixs. SO DB Ben Mezzenga of Totino-Grace HS (MN) took a pair of interceptions to the house in his first varsity start ever.
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