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Wisconsin commit Dilin Jones helps Good Counsel drop St. John's

Star running back rushes for 117 yards and two scores as the Falcons' score the game's final 28 points
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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Behind a solid second half effort, Good Counsel defeated St. John’s College, 28-7, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opener for both squads Saturday afternoon in the nation’s capital.

Dilin Jones and junior Damarian Fowlkes each scored two touchdowns for the Falcons (5-1 overall) and senior quarterback Frankie Weaver threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns. Da’Jaun Riggs rushed for 103 yards and threw a touchdown for St. John’s.

Good Counsel scored the final 28 points to extend its winning streak to five. Jones, who’s committed to the University of Wisconsin sparked the turnaround, scoring on a 7-yard run in the final minute of the first half, giving the Falcons the lead for good.

“They got up on us early…I felt once we got the chance to settle down and play our game, we started to take over,” said Good Counsel senior linebacker Aaron Chiles.

Good Counsel’ defense sets tone

Good Counsel didn’t let big defensive plays go to waste Saturday.

After Delano Bown’s recovered a St. John’s fumble, Jones broke through the line and went untouched to the end zone for a 21-7 advantage for the Falcons midway in the third quarter.

Chiles, a Florida commit, led a 4th down stop around midfield late in the third. On the first play of the fourth, Weaver dropped a pass to Fowkles for a 32-yard score.

Junior safety Faheem DeLane may have had the biggest play, blocking a field goal in the first quarter with St. John’s looking to take a two-score advantage. Three plays later, a wide-open Fowkles brought in a Weaver 3rd down pass for a 67-yard touchdown.

Florida commit Aaron Chiles of Good Counsel (Maryland) following his team's win over St. John's D.C. on 10/7/2023.

Behind linebacker Aaron Chiles, a University of Florida commit, Good Counsel's defense grew strong after allowing an early score, setting the tone for a 28-7 victory over St. John's.

Andy Stefanelli's second thought paid dividends for Good Counsel

Jones’ big touchdown run in the third quarter almost didn’t happen. Falcons coach Andy Stefanelli initially wanted to throw deep following Bown’s fumble recovery.

“We were thinking about taking a long shot play, and almost checked (out) and went to a different play, but I had a feeling D’lin might pop one,” said Stefanelli. ‘“I wasn’t expecting it to go to the house, but when you have a back like D’lin, he can do that.”

Jones finished Saturday with 20 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

Wisconsin commit Dillin Jones of Good Counsel (Maryland) following his team's win over St. John's D.C. on 10/7/2023.

Wisconsin commit Dilin Jones rushed for 117 yards in two touchdowns in Saturday's 28-7 victory over St. John's.

St. John's collapse

After a promising start, St. John’s disintegrated Saturday. The two-time reigning WCAC champs crossed midfield twice after going 55 yards in five plays in their opening possession for their only score following an interception by senior Shamar McIntosh in the end zone.

After a three-and-out to start the second half, St. John’s next possession (four plays) featured two false starts and a holding penalty. The drive ended with freshman Tyric Powell fumbling after catching a short pass from Riggs (8-of-15, 71 yards).

St. John’s committed eight penalties in the second half (Good Counsel had one) along with the lost fumble and an interception.

“We did have some self-inflicted wounds. We talked about controlling the controllables,” said Cadets coach Pat Ward. “I thought the kids played hard, we played together. We got to clean some stuff up and it starts at the top with me.”

The hype for Good Counsel vs. DeMatha is underway

The opening weekend in the WCAC saw Good Counsel and undefeated DeMatha (6-0; defeated Gonzaga College, 14-7, Friday) win. The teams meet Oct. 13 at Good Counsel.

The WCAC Capital Division is hyper competitive. Since 2016, DeMatha, Good Counsel, Gonzaga and St. John’s have won the championship. Bishop McNamara, the final team in the WCAC Capital, is 6-0 this season.

Good Counsel (Maryland) coach Andy Stefanelli talks to his team after its victory over St. John’s D.C. on 10/7/2023. The Falcons, ranked No. 1 in Maryland, scored the final 28 points.

Good Counsel head coach Andy Stefanelli talks to his team after Saturday’s victory over St. John’s  (D.C.). The Falcons, ranked No. 1 in Maryland, scored the final 28 points.

The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.

“You really don’t know what you have as a team until you get into league play,” said Stefanelli, whose team’s only loss is to SB Live/Sports Illustrated’s No. 14 St. Edward's from Ohio. “We played some good out of conference teams, but there’s nothing like the WCAC… It doesn’t really matter in league who you open with because you have to go through them all.”

-- Derek Toney | derek@varsitysportsnetwork.com | @dvidaltoney