GAITHERSBURG — Good Counsel seniors Cameron Hart and Latrele Palmer combined to score the Falcons’ first four touchdowns Saturday en route to a 56-7 victory over the Northwest Jaguars at John Harvill Stadium.
The Good Counsel offense scored six touchdowns on the ground in the first half and the defense registered a pick-six to help the Falcons build an insurmountable first-half advantage.
“We wanted to be able to run the ball,” said Good Counsel head coach Andy Stefanelli. “When we get our run game going we’re pretty hard to beat so that was what we were able to do today.”
Palmer, a highly-regarded Division I running back, scored Good Counsel’s first three touchdowns to help the Falcons take a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Palmer scored on runs of seven, 40 and five yards to help unleash Good Counsel’s offensive arsenal in the first half.
“He’s just a power guy,” said Stefanelli. “He’s explosive too. People don’t realize he’s actually very fast. He just doesn’t say two words. He’s a quiet kid. He just gets his work done, comes to practice every day, works hard. He could be the feature guy but we keep a rotation going, he never complains about that.”
Mekhi Smith, a senior, also had a pair of first-half touchdown runs and sophomore Sean Aaron scored on a five-yard run before intermission.
Good Counsel’s Mitchell Melton, Jackson Stefanelli and Sy’Veon Wilkerson also had significant contributions for the Falcons. Melton’s pick-six was key in the first half.
Northwest was seeking to avenge last season’s 37-point loss to Good Counsel; the Jaguars fell to the Falcons, 58-21, during the team’s matchup in Olney last year.
The win was big especially for Palmer who would have attended Northwest had he chosen to play public school football.
“It means a lot to me,” said Palmer, “because I know everybody on the team.”
Hart, a wide receiver committed to Notre Dame, later caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Kam Snell to put the Falcons on top, 28-0.
In addition to the touchdown reception, Hart also snagged two interceptions on defense including one that led to Smith’s 11-yard touchdown run that put Good Counsel ahead, 35-0, with 4:42 remaining in the second quarter.
“He’s a dynamic player,” said Stefanelli. “He’s a team leader. He’s a vocal leader on the team. He’s one of the hardest working guys on the team so that’s why they voted him captain.”
Good Counsel offensive linemen Lucas Portes, Landon Tengwall, Mason Lunsford, Collin McCarthy and tight end Cole Hefflin helped open holes for Palmer throughout the game.
“Our defense played well, but a big shout-out to the offensive line,” said Palmer. “They come to play every week.”
The Good Counsel offensive line averages more than 300 pounds and is known as the “Beef Brothers” amongst the coaches and players.
“We’re a veteran group up there,” said Stefanelli, “so it’s nice we have that kind of size and ability.”
Meanwhile, Northwest (4-1) had a solid performance from standouts AJ Woods, Ajahni Terry, DeAndre Jules and Isiah Williams despite suffering their first loss of the season.
Good Counsel (4-1) enters the meat of their schedule with conference games against Gonzaga, St. John’s and DeMatha in the next three weeks.
“Our whole thing is we just got to get better,” said Stefanelli. “Last year we were pretty good but it’s hard to beat a good team twice and that’s what we’re going to have to do this year, whether it’s Gonzaga or St. John’s or DeMatha. Whoever it is, we’re going to have to beat them twice.”