Game 8 – Senior Day vs Good Counsel (2016)

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Gonzaga gets past stingy Good Counsel defense in 31-7 senior day romp

(Jacob Bogage / The Washington Post)
By Jacob Bogage October 22 at 7:43 PM
No. 11 Good Counsel had kept opponents out of its end zone for three weeks. The task of scoring on the Falcons in late-season conference play is near-Herculean, but No. 7 Gonzaga had been waiting for its shot at the record.

On Saturday, it ended the streak with a 31-7 senior day rout on their high-rise home turf on I Street.

“I really wanted to go out with a bang,” Gonzaga senior tailback Tyree Randolph said. “That bang was winning the game.”

After a bye week in the beginning of the month, the Eagles (6-2, 3-1 WCAC) had lost to top-ranked DeMatha a week ago. There’s no shame in a defeat to such a perennial — and undefeated — power, but losses are existential crises in high school football. Schedules, especially in the WCAC, are brutal. “It had been a while since we had a win,” senior lineman Johnny Jordan said.

Almost immediately Saturday, though, Randolph acquainted Good Counsel with the notion that Gonzaga would do as it pleased on offense. He had 42 yards rushing on the Eagles’ first drive of the afternoon. A possession later, Sam Brown hit Dean Engram with a dart over the middle for an 11-yard touchdown.

Gonzaga recovered the ensuing pooch kickoff, and in five more touches, Randolph, who finished with 163 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries, spanned the 24-yard short field for another score.

Before linebacker Joshua Paschal and the Falcons could truly assert themselves, Gonzaga had a two-touchdown lead and momentum aplenty.

“That was a huge, huge play,” Coach Randy Trivers said of the kickoff.

Yes, like with Good Counsel’s defensive schemes, Gonzaga studied its kickoff alignment, too.

“We didn’t necessarily anticipate getting a recovery, but if you kick it in the right spot with the right trajectory, you can create a situation,” Trivers said.

That was Gonzaga’s game plan: Find as many little ways to create “situations” that put Good Counsel in trouble. It makes trading punts in the middle of the second quarter acceptable if, to end the half, the Eagles unleash Randolph in the two-minute drill.

“Blocking for him makes my job a lot easier,” Jordan said.

Runs of seven, 28 and three yards got Randolph to pay dirt with 50 seconds to play. The entire sequence took 18 seconds. Somehow in those gains, Trivers praised his running back’s patience to wait for gaps to open in the defensive front.

“It’s typical Tyree,” he said. “When you watch No. 2 [Randolph] run, he’s definitely a unique and special football player.”

And after seemingly eons to wait for this game, Gonzaga made sure Good Counsel knew it from the first snap.

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