The last time Good Counsel four-star running back Wes Brown faced St. John's he averaged about 9 yards per carry and scored two touchdowns. Three weeks later, in the WCAC semifinals, Brown practically doubled those totals. The 6-foot, 205-pound horse toted the rock just 14 times, but he racked up 226 yards and four touchdowns in Good Counsel's convincing 47-7 victory.
"Before the game, you could just tell he was into it. You could tell he was ready," said Brown's fellow backfield mate, Dorian O'Daniel, who rushed for 58 yards against St. John's. "Just watching him warm up you knew he was going to go off."
The 226 yards were a season high for Brown, who has topped the 200-yard mark just one other time this year. The four scores matched a season high set two weeks ago against O'Connell.
Brown entered the game with 999 yards on the season, which was about 1,000 yards short of his preseason goal of 2,000.
"You know, he's had lingering ankle problems and injuries all season," Marshall said. "But he's getting real healthy for the first time all year. When he's at full strength, there's no stopping him. He's a big-time player who comes through in big moments."
O'Daniel concurred with Marshall.
"It was great to see the Wes we all know just running over people again," he said. "He hadn't had a true breakout game against a real good defense yet, so this was kind of a sigh of relief for him - like proving to himself he still has it. This week he showed his full potential."
The game started rather inauspiciously for the Falcons. St. John's jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 5-yard Troy Robinson touchdown run. But Good Counsel answered when junior receiver Kendall Fuller hauled in a game-tying 34 yard pass that was set up by the Falcons' rushing attack.
"Wes and that running game were huge all game long," Fuller said. "Whenever Wes gets going on the ground defenses have to respect him. It takes all the pressure off the passing game and opens things up for us."
After Fuller's score, Good Counsel went ahead 14-7 on O'Daniel's 3-yard run. The score stayed that way until the third quarter when Falcons returner Stefon Diggs took a kick back 88 yards to the house.
That set the stage for Brown, who almost single-handedly demoralized St. John's defense with his hard-charging style. He rushed for all four of his touchdowns and all but 55 of his yards in the third quarter.
"It didn't matter what St. John's did defensively," Marshall said. "They tried sticking eight guys in the box, but Wes just ran them over."
Brown scored his first touchdown on a 46-yard jaunt to extend Good Counsel's lead to 26-7. After that, he proceeded to rip off scoring runs from 33-, 1- and 87-yards out.
The final run was Brown's longest of the season. It came on a simple "belly left" play and put an exclamation point on Good Counsel's victory, sending them into the WCAC championship game in style.
"That was definitely the run we're all going to remember," Marshall said. "It closed out the game for us and it just showed everything Wes is capable of. Strength, speed, power - it was all there on that run."
Top Performers (Offense)
Brandan Cherry, RB, Boys' Latin: 286 yards, 2 TDs Chris Chick, QB, AACS: 220 yards, 4 TDs Josh McPhearson, RB, AACS 101 yards, 2 TDs Rob Chesson, RB, Old Mill: 209 yards, 3 TDs Deonte Shields, QB, Old Mill: 131 yards, 2 TDs Torie Wagner, ATH, Old Mill: over 100 total yards, 2 TDs Connor Cox, QB, South River: 124 yards, TD DeAndre Lane, RB, Catonsville: 183 yards, 3 TDs Mark Green, RB, Quince Orchard: 104 yards, 3 TDs Bene't Willis, RB, Paint Branch: over 150 total yards, TD Wes Brown, RB, Good Counsel: 226 yards, 4 TDs Stefon Diggs, ATH, Good Counsel: 186 total yards, TD Brendan Marshall, QB, Good Counsel: about 100 yards, TD Davonte Fletcher, RB, Huntingtown: 135 yards, 3 TDs Zach Piazza, QB, Huntingtown: 116 yards, TD Lincon Reyes, QB, Gaithersburg: 222 yards, TD Billy Brown, WR, Gaithersburg: 6 receptions, 126 yards, TD Lansana Keita, WR, Churchill: 194 total yards, 2 TDs Frank Marshall, RB, North Point: 147 yards, 2 TDs DJ Biscoe, RB, North Point: about 100 yards, 2 TDs Connor Young, QB, North Point: 100 yards Jack Gordon, QB, Arundel: 164 yards, 2 TDs; rushing TD Garrett Clay, RB, Fort Hill: 190 yards, 2 TDs Dylan Clay, RB, Fort Hill: 120 yards, 3 TDs Ian Fisher, QB, Brunswick: 510 yards, 2 TDs; 2 rushing TDs Tyler Dabbs, WR, Brunswick: 11 receptions, 118 yards Jake Struss, WR, Brunswick: 8 receptions, 139 yards Blaire Price, WR, Brunswick: 9 receptions, 100 yards, 2 TDs Brady Policelli, QB, Walkersville: 225 yards, 3 TDs Jake Miller, WR, Walkersville: 5 receptions, 127 yards, 3 TDs Zach Welch, RB, Middletown: 163 yards, 4 TDs Jess Powell, RB, Middletown: 118 yards, TD Chad Boyer, QB, Williamsport: 129 yards Brandan Berney, RB, Thomas Johnson: 175 yards, 3 TDs Doug Sponyoe, RB, Thomas Johnson: 100 yards Tanner Vallely, QB, Seneca Valley: 113 yards; rushing TD Jamal Chappell, RB, Poly: 173 yards, 3 TDs Jordan Garrison, ATH, Poly: over 120 total yards, TD Thomas Stuart, QB, Calvert Hall: about 200 yards, 2 TDs Joel Jorgensen, QB, McDonogh: over 150 yards, TD Kenny Faulcon, QB, Aberdeen: over 100 total yards, 4 TDs Ryan Perry, RB, Glenelg: 100 yards Jay Adams, QB, Gwynn Park: 171 yards, TD Brandon Banks, ATH, Gwynn Park: over 100 total yards, TD Brian McMahon, QB, Atholton: 136 yards, 3 TDs; 54 rushing yards, TD Dequan Ellison, WR, Atholton: 5 receptions, 98 yards, 3 TDs Kenny Thomas, RB, Atholton: 138 yards, 2 TDs Jory Matherson, RB, Atholton: 104 yards, TD Tyler Thompson, RB, Linganore: 128 yards, TD Trevor Patton, RB, Damascus: 114 yards Evan Griffin, RB, River Hill: about 100 total yards, 2 TDs Jesse Steingieser, QB, MSD: 130 yards, 3 TDs Taitor Reynolds, QB, Douglass-PG: 115 yards, TD; rushing TD Josef Hinnant, RB, Douglass-PG: 112 yards, 2 TDs; 45 receiving yards Tre Lee, QB, Patuxent: 128 rushing yards, TD; 54 passing yards Ethan Griffin, ATH, Perryville: over 150 total yards, 3 TDs Dan Streitbeck, QB, Mountain Ridge: 163 yards, TD Justin Jeffries, WR, Mountain Ridge: 3 receptions, 133 yards, TD JT Rice, RB, Boonsboro: 113 yards, TD Zach Poffenberger, RB, Boonsboro: 103 yards Cyrus Jones, ATH, Gilman: 100 yards, TD Brian Louck, QB, Spalding: 164 yards, 2 TDs Rich Gabelman, WR, Spalding: 3 receptions, 102 yards, 2 TDs Myles Allen, RB, Landon: 108 yards, TD Charlie Schneider, QB, Landon: 100 yards Joe McDonald, WR, Landon: 135 total yards Malcolm Dowery, RB, Chesapeake-Balt.: 146 yards Uriah Bethea, RB, Wise: 208 yards, 2 TDs Nyema Washington, QB, Suitland: 163 yards, TD Taivon Jacobs, WR, Suitland: 3 receptions, 103 yards, TD Jonathan Holland, QB, Flowers: 128 yards, TD Shaquile Guyton-Jackson, RB, Surrattsville: 153 yards Walter White, ATH, Westlake: 167 total yards, TD Antonio Washington, QB, Potomac: 116 yards, TD Nick Peifer, QB, St. John's: 168 yards, TD Ben Priddy, QB, Severn: 119 total yards Jalen Cornish, RB, Cambridge: 173 yards, 4 TDs Kyle Boone, RB, Kent Island: 181 yards, TD Luke DePasquale, QB, Patterson Mill: 182 yards, 2 TDs; 51 rushing yards, TD Dontea Ayres, RB, Wicomico: 191 yards, 4 TDs Alexander Wells, ATH, Ovelea: over 400 total yards, 4 TDs Shawheem Dowdy, QB, New Town: over 100 yards, 3 TDs