COLLEGE PARK – The DeMatha varsity football team capped its perfect season with a 34-29 comeback victory over St. John’s Saturday as the Stags won their fourth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship. The Stags captured the Maurice “Maus” Collins Championship Plaque at the University of Maryland with a 15-point fourth quarter comeback led by […]
COLLEGE PARK – The DeMatha varsity football team capped its perfect season with a 34-29 comeback victory over St. John’s Saturday as the Stags won their fourth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship.
The Stags captured the Maurice “Maus” Collins Championship Plaque at the University of Maryland with a 15-point fourth quarter comeback led by quarterback Beau English. The senior threw the winning touchdown pass to sophomore running back Myles Miree with 1:05 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“It is truly the DeMatha way to not give up. It’s over and once again we fought through and found a way to get it done,” said DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks.
With 8:43 left in the fourth quarter and the DeMatha defense on the field facing a key third down, junior defensive lineman Jalen Brown picked up a loose ball at the St. John’s 35-yard line and ignited the comeback.
Later, while trailing 29-27, English lofted the 18-yard strike to Miree for the go-ahead touchdown.
“I knew we were going to score. I knew the way this team is built. I trusted the game plan,” English said.
He noted Miree ran a wheel route and made a “phenomenal play.”
Before that drive, with 5:16 left to play, sophomore special teamer Nicholas Cross made the biggest play of the evening up until that point by picking up a fumble at the 2-yard line, one play after English ran in a 17-yard touchdown.
“It was a huge play,” Brooks said. “We saw that they shifted their return team and we wanted to hit it in that soft spot, and they didn’t go and cover the kick. That was a big play for us.”
Two plays later, English hooked up with junior tight end Anthony Toro, who had two touchdowns on the day, from six yards out. A botched two-point conversion set up the epic outcome.
“We’re never going to quit on anybody,” English said.
Cadets Head Coach Joe Casamento said his team is “every bit as good as DeMatha, almost.”
He noted DeMatha beat St. John’s twice this season, but his team was “not that far away.”
“If we’re going to lose to DeMatha, then we’re very good. And I think our kids are learning,” he said. “This is new for us. But we’re getting better and better at it.”
According to Casamento, his team made “two big mistakes… and we didn’t know how to come back from that.”
During the final minute of play, St. John’s offense returned to the field but DeMatha’s defense made one final big play: an interception of Cadets senior quarterback Kasim Hill by senior defensive back Myles Canton on fourth down deep in Stags territory.
Canton returned the ball to the Cadets’ 3-yard line.
On the play, Cadet senior offensive lineman Calvin Ashley was injured trying to make a tackle. The referees called the game, as only four seconds remained and the verdict was sealed.
Prior to the DeMatha comeback, St. John’s led 29-14 as junior quarterback Maurice Bellan, who played in relief of a cramping Hill, found senior wide receiver Ed Lee from five yards out.
The third quarter, which was dominated by the Cadets, included a 33-yard field goal from junior kicker Rafael Checa to make the score 22-14.
Like a heavyweight prize fight, the first half saw the Cadets leading 19-14 thanks to touchdown passes from Hill of 22, 11 and 42 yards.
DeMatha scored on an 80-yard flea flicker from English to begin the game. He added another on a roll out strike to Toro on fourth-and-goal.