DeMatha football team victory tour rolls on

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Quarterback Beau English played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., after leading DeMatha to an undefeated season. Photo courtesy of Ed King.

BY CHRIS MCMANES — Since winning its fourth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship in November, the DeMatha Stags football team has been reaping the spoils of victory.

It was no surprise the Stags finished No. 1 in The Washington Post’s final Top 20 poll. They held the perch position all year long. Nationally, MaxPreps ranked DeMatha No. 9. USA Today slotted the Stags No. 4, the highest final national ranking in program history.

Individually, senior quarterback Beau English has been leading the postseason parade.

English, who will join teammate Grant Donaldson at the U.S. Air Force Academy next season, played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl last week. The Post named him first-team All-Met.

An outstanding student, English has a greater than 4.0 grade-point average and was in January inducted into the National Honor Society. Football and basketball manager Mekhi Vance joined him in the induction ceremony.

English, a three-year starter under center, was brilliant in the WCAC playoffs. First, he threw three touchdown passes to senior Delante Hellams in DeMatha’s 28-13 rally over Good Counsel.

He was even more brilliant in the championship game against St. John’s. Trailing by 15 points midway through the fourth quarter, English guided the Stags to 20 straight points. He ran or threw for all 57 yards on the game-winning drive, punctuated by an 18-yard pass to a diving Myles Miree in the end zone.

English concluded his DeMatha career by completing 15 of 20 passes for 184 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. He also ran 13 times for a team-high 69 yards and scored on a 17-yard run in the decisive fourth quarter.

Marcus Minor, one of English’s principal protectors at tackle, was named second-team All-Met. He’s continuing his career at Maryland. Junior offensive lineman Austin Fontaine was tabbed honorable mention All-Met.

Young leads defense

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, senior defensive end Chase Young was honored by the Post as its Defensive Player of the Year. Former Stag teammate Shane Simmons won the award in 2015. He now plays at Penn State.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Young has a scholarship to play at national power Ohio State. In 2016, he recorded 118 tackles, including 37 for loss. He forced five fumbles, scored two TDs and sacked the quarterback 19 times. He played in the U.S. Army All-American game. MaxPreps selected him first-team All-American.

Donaldson (linebacker) and Myles Canton (defensive back) were named honorable mention All-Met.

Running back Anthony McFarland, who missed his senior year with a broken left fibula, garnered Under Armour All-American recognition. He has narrowed his college offers down to Maryland, Alabama and Miami. He had said he would announce his decision today but has decided to take more time.

Brooks honored

DeMatha football coach Elijah Brooks

DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks orchestrated what he called the Stags’ “greatest masterpiece” this past season.

The Post recognized him as its Coach of the Year. He was chosen to coach in the Under Armour All-America game. USA Today recognized him as its Maryland Coach of the Year.

Coming off an 11-1 campaign, Brooks and his assistant coaches guided a talented group of players who were favored in every game. They beat top teams from Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as the best the WCAC had to offer. They overcame all obstacles to record the eighth undefeated season in school history.

During their four-year reign atop the WCAC, Brooks has led his alma mater to a record of 43-5. That’s an 89.6 winning percentage.

Stags heading to the desert

DeMatha will open next season in Las Vegas at Bishop Gorman High School. The Gaels were 15-0 last year and won their eighth consecutive Class 4A Nevada state championship. Their third straight USA Today Super 25 title essentially recognizes them as three-time reigning national champions.

The two schools played each other for the first time in any sport on Jan. 14 when the Stags basketball team won 73-66 in Springfield, Mass. The DeMatha baseball team has inquired about playing in Bishop Gorman’s Desert Classic.

ESPN will likely televise the football contest. The Gaels have won 54 in a row. The Stags have won 17 straight. It should be one of the top games of 2017.

Chris McManes covers DeMatha football for the Hyattsville Life & Times.