BY CHRIS MCMANES — It is common for the DeMatha Catholic football team to say team prayers before and after games. Praying during a game, however, is uncommon.
DeMatha senior offensive tackle Marcus Minor collapsed on the field late in the fourth quarter of the Stags’ 21-7 victory over Good Counsel on Friday night. He was treated by emergency personnel and the athletic training staffs of both teams. An ambulance transported him to nearby MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Minor was diagnosed with a spinal contusion that left him unable to get up off the field. He returned home this morning and turned to Twitter to thank those who prayed for him:
“I’m up and about moving well and again thank you for all the support I received from everyone I’m thankful and blessed.”
Minor’s injury put a damper on the Stags’ first perfect regular season since 2009. They are 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. Six of their victories have come on the road.
Because No. 1 DeMatha and Good Counsel (6-4, 3-3) will play each other again Nov. 11 in the first round of the WCAC playoffs, both squads pared back their offensive and defensive playbooks. The Stags, however, maintained their identity and established the run.
Quarterback Beau English capped DeMatha’s opening 20-play, 80-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Myles Miree had a 12-yard run during the sequence and Khory Spruill a 10-yarder. English completed 2 of 3 passes, including a 16-yarder to Jermaine Johnson.
The 18th-ranked Falcons appeared to tie the contest on Joseph Hood’s ensuing kickoff when Tremayn Stott took the ball and outraced the Stags 94 yards to the end zone. The TD was nullified by an illegal use of hands penalty.
English scored again in the third quarter to put the Stags up, 14-0. Minor was hurt on English’s third TD, a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 1:53 to go. Minor got up from the ground and took a few steps before falling to the Dancel Field turf.
A hush fell over the crowd. Players from both teams took a knee. After the stretcher carrying Minor away exited the field, DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks addressed his troops and said a prayer for his well-being.
Spruill rushed 36 times for 145 yards. Mo Ibrahim, the Falcons’ top runner, was held to 68 yards on 17 carries. For the second consecutive week, the DeMatha defense did not allow a point. Good Counsel’s only touchdown came on a 33-yard fumble recovery.
Minor, who will likely not play next week, chose Maryland over offers from such schools as Virginia Tech and North Carolina. Stags All-American and Ohio State recruit Chase Young credits Minor for helping him to become one of the country’s top defensive ends.
“I go against Marcus every day in practice,” Young said, “and he’s one of the best lineman in the country.”
Chris McManes covers DeMatha for the Hyattsville Life & Times.