It is a tall order for a public school football program to beat a nationally ranked private high school football team, even one that has had the success that Northwest has enjoyed.
The Jags hosted the back-end of the public-private school showdown on Saturday afternoon at a Gaithersburg High School as they entertained cross-county powerhouse Our Lady of Good Counsel. Good Counsel came into the game ranked 24th in the nation by USA Today, with a record of 2-1-1. The only loss a 34-27 game at St. Joseph’s Prep (PA) on September 14 and a 35-35 tie with Archbishop Spalding on August 31.
Saturday’s game ended up being a 56-7 route by the Falcons, much as it did last year when the Falcons hosted the Jags in Olney and won 58-21.
In the end – just as it did last year — Good Counsel’s running game was too much for the Jags defense. The Falcons running backs combined for 292 first-half rushing yards on Saturday.
Good Counsel’s senior running back Latrele Palmer scored 18 points in the first 13 minutes of the game. After a Northwest three-and-out, Palmer scored his first touchdown from seven yards out behind a block from sophomore back Sean Aaron to get the Falcons on the scoreboard with 8:54 left in the first quarter.
On the next possession, Northwest could not move the ball and was forced to punt on fourth down. Good Counsel’s sophomore Miles Cross blocked the punt giving the Falcons good field position. After which, Palmer would run for 50 yards and his second touchdown of the game. Northwest was down 14-0 with 7:40 left in the first quarter.
The next Northwest drive would stall after two sacks by Good Counsel’s junior defensive end Kris Jenkins Jr. A tackle for loss by senior and Notre Dame commit Cam Hart forced the Jags to punt again. Hart would play a huge role in this game.
Palmer would score his third touchdown of the game, on a five-yard sweep behind the blocking of junior Cole Hefflin and Sean Aaron to extend the lead to 21-0 just eight seconds into the second quarter.
The Jags would punt again on their next possession.
After a 15-yard punt return by junior Jack Stefanelli, junior Sy'Veon Wilkerson carried the ball most of the way down the field in the next series, except an eight-yard pass from quarterback Kamerun Snell to Cam Hart. The two would hook up again for the drive ending touchdown to put the Falcons up 28-0 with 7:05 left in the first half.
On the next Northwest possession, Hart would step in front of a Northwest pass, and the Falcons would capitalize on the turnover. Senior running back Mekhi Smith would scamper 25 yards to set Good Counsel up on the Northwest 11 yard-line. Smith would finish the job with an 11-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 35-0 with 4:42 left the play in the first half.
Less than 30 seconds later, the Jags passing game would give up another costly turnover as Good Counsel’s Mitchell Melton grabbed a pass and returned it all the way for another Falcons touchdown. Good Counsel led 42-0 with 4:16 remaining in the first half.
Mekhi Smith would score his second rushing touchdown on a 40-yard run to paydirt, to put the Falcons up 49-0 with 1:52 left in the first half. The Falcons would end their scoring blizzard with a run by sophomore Sean Aaron to cap the scoring at 56 for the team from Olney.
The Jags would get a late touchdown in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jack Anders would find Isiah Williams in the endzone for a touchdown to avoid the shutout and end the scoring 56-7.
Good Counsel will face travel to D.C. to face unbeaten Gonzaga at 2:00 pm on Saturday, Oct. 2. Gonzaga is coming off a 48-12 victory over Archbishop Carroll (DC) on Friday night.
The Jags will face another tough team as they travel to play the unbeaten Winston Churchill Bulldogs on Friday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 pm. Churchill is coming off a 62-7 blowout of Bethesda Chevy-Chase last Friday night.
Top: Good Counsel’s Cam Hart (1) had two interceptions, and a touchdown in Saturday’s game against Northwest.
Next: Good Counsel junior running back Sy'Veon Wilkerson (3) is tackled by a host of Jags as he runs for a big gain early in the first quarter of the Falcons victory over the Jags on Saturday.
Next: Good Counsel’s junior Kris Jenkins (18) makes the stop on Northwest’s Ajahni Terry (5).
Next: Northwest quarterback Jack Anders (8) was under pressure all day, this time from Good Counsel’s Kris Jenkins Jr. (18) who would have two sacks on the day.
Next: Northwest’s running back Roderick James (4) carries the ball.
Photos by Kim Grimes for Germantown Pulse