Thursday night's matchup between Northwest and Good Counsel was touted — if not by the coaches — by fans as the game to determine if the so-called “elite” private schools’ brand of football was indeed better than the best of Montgomery County’s public school teams. The public v private school matchup between Northwest and Our Lady of Good Counsel was a big game on everyone’s schedule. In the end, the Good Counsel’s running game proved too much for the Jags, as the Falcons beat Northwest 58-21 on Thursday night in Olney.
Whether one game can be considered conclusive as to answering the question; are the private school teams better, is up for debate. On Thursday night Good Counsel had six different players score. The Falcons are one of just three teams to score more than 50 points against Northwest.
The Jaguars came into Good Counsel unbeaten, riding a four-game winning streak, while the Falcons were 3-1, with a loss to Mount St. Joesph High School in Baltimore back on Sept. 8.
“That was a bit of humble pie,” said Northwest Head Coach Mike Neubeiser. “Our kids tried hard, but they were just too big and powerful. We couldn’t stop the run. They ran over us, and we couldn’t stop them.”
The Jags had first shot a scoring after Good Counsel won the coin toss and elected to kickoff. The Good Counsel defense forced a three and out, and the Jags punted. The Falcon’s Micha McNeil would return the punt 45 yards to set up Good Counsel in good field position at the Northwest 30-yard line for their opening drive.
In the opening drive, Falcon’s Latrele Palmer would run for 15 yards on two plays. Palmer, the junior at Good Counsel, would be a big part of the Falcon’s victory. On fourth Good Counsel’s senior quarterback Kamron Snell would find fellow senior Kamren Taylor in the flat for seven-yard pick which would get the ball to the Northwest eight-yard line.
Falcons’ senior running back Tremayn Stott would take the ball the final eight yards to draw first blood and put Good Counsel in front 7-0. The Falcons would never trail in the game.
However, Northwest would answer right back on their second play from scrimmage after a 17-yard kick return by Norval Black. The Jags senior quarterback Chris Craddock would find a wide-open A.J. Woods along the Good Counsel sideline, and he would outrun everyone for a 66-yard touchdown. However, the Jags would attempt a trick play on the point after and fail to convert. Good Counsel still led 7-6 about halfway through the first quarter.
The Northwest defense would come up with a stop forcing Good Counsel to punt from just beyond mid-field. The punt would pin the Jags at their own three-yard line. The Jags would lose a yard-and-a-half on an inside handoff. On the next play, Craddock would drop back into his own endzone for pass but would be sacked for a safety by Good Counsel’s Tyler Baylor and Jay Green. The Falcons get two-points and the ball.
At the end of the first quarter, Northwest trailed Good Counsel 9-6.
In the second quarter, Good Counsel would show the power of their running game as Latrele Palmer would score twice, and the Jags could not answer. Palmer’s first touchdown was set up by a pass from Snell to senior receiver Josh Kelly, which gave the Falcons first-and-goal. Palmer would pound the ball into the endzone off-tackle. Good Counsel led 16-6.
After a Northwest punt, the Good Counsel offense pounded the ball into Northwest territory using the run game to set up Palmer’s second touchdown, an eight-yard run to extend the lead to 23-6 at halftime.
The Falcons would receive the second-half kickoff after deferring in the first half and score on the second play from scrimmage. Latrele Palmer would score his third touchdown of the game on an 80-yard blast. With 11 minutes left in the third quarter, Northwest trailed 30 to 6 to the Falcons.
“When you play a team of this caliber,” said Neubeiser, “you can’t make little mistakes and get away with it.
The Jags would find a groove on the next offensive series. After a few positive yardage runs from Juwon Farri, Chris Craddock would lead the Jags deep into Falcon’s territory, connecting on two passes to sophomore wide-out Isiah Williams. The drive would end with Craddock finding senior Alphonso Foray in the corner of the endzone, who was able to come up with the ball despite double-coverage from the Falcons. The Jags cut the lead to 30-13.
However, once again it was the Falcon’s Palmer who did the damage to the Jags. Palmer returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards to set up Good Counsel at the Northwest 24 yard line. Two plays late junior running back Mekhi Smith ran 15 yards to paydirt to extend the lead back to 37-13.
The Jags were not done. Juwon Farri continued his scoring streak with a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to keep hope alive for the kids from Germantown. The Jags would go for two rather than kick. Craddock would connect on a pass to Alphonso Foray to cut the lead to 37-21 with 4:53 left in the third quarter.
Inspired by Farri’s touchdown, the Jags defense was able to corral the Falcons offense and forced Good Counsel to punt, however, the Northwest offense could not move the ball. The Jags punted it back to the Falcons.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Good Counsel’s quarterback Kameron Snell would connect with junior receiver Cam Hart for a 45-yard touchdown pass, which would be the dagger in that would finish the Jags. The Falcons now led 44-21 with 11:50 left to play.
Good Counsel would score twice more as both teams began playing non-starters. For the Falcon’s sophomore running back, Sy’Veon Wilkerson would score, and Ethan Arias would cap the scoring. The Jags fell to Good Counsel 58-21.
The Falcons are now 4-1 and will host the St. John’s College Cadets next weekend. The Cadets are 2-2 and coming off a tough 21-17 loss on Saturday to St. John Bosco High School in a game played on the west coast in Bellflower, Ca.
The Jags are now 3-1 and will return home to host Churchill, who are 3-2 this season and are coming off a 34-12 victory over B-CC on Thursday.
Top: Good Counsel’s Latrele Palmer (21) runs for one of his three touchdowns in Thursday victory over Northwest in Olney. Photo by Mark Poetker for Germantown Pulse.
Next: The Falcons’ Tremayn Stott (5) opened the scoring for Good Counsel with this eight-yard touchdown run.
Next: The Jags would answer back quickly with this 66-yard touchdown pass from Chris Craddock (12) to A.J. Woods.
Next: Latrele Palmer (21) ran for three touchdowns.
Next: Northwest quarterback Chris Craddock (12) threw two touchdowns including this one to Alphonso Foray in the second half.
Next: Northwest had a tough time containing the Good Counsel running game. Junior Mekhi Smith (24) ran for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.
All of the photos in this story, as well as, over 600 photos from this game available for view or purchase at the Germantown Pulse Sports Shop.