Terp Prospects Shine as Good Counsel Wins

Several Maryland prospects took full advantage of their opportunity to be on national television Sunday against St. Xavier (OH).

Sunday afternoon No. 39 St. Xavier High School (Ohio) hosted No. 15 Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md) in a nationally televised game by ESPN. Maryland 2011 prospects Zachary Dancel and Blake Countess helped lead Good Counsel to a 21-6 win.

Zachary Dancel and Blake Countess return to Our Lady of Good Counsel nationally ranked and as defending State Champions.

Quarterback Dancel has offers from Stony Brook and Towson, but has more to come after his senior year.

Countess, a four-star defensive back and wide receiver, is ranked by Scout.com as the No. 17 cornerback in the nation. His offers total around 15 including Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Maryland.

St. Xavier took the lead early with a touchdown run in the first quarter, but failed to convert the extra point. The score stayed 0-6, until the fourth quarter, when Dancel converted a 4th down to set up a rushing touchdown by sophomore Dorian Odaniel, followed by the extra point, which proved to be the difference. Senior Michael Jefferson added insurance on a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown. Good Counsel added the extra point, making it 14-6. Junior Stefon Diggs added another interception return for a touchdown making it 21-6.

Blake Countess, DB/WR, Good Counsel (2011) – With temperatures hovering around 100 degrees, Countess showed his athleticism and endurance by playing both sides of the ball, and special teams.

On defense, against a team that favors the pass, Countess played physical with the receivers, and showed great recovery speed on deep balls. He broke up some passes, and timed the balls perfectly. On runs, he breaks off the receivers well to attack the ball carrier. With Countess on the field, Good Counsel has a player that hovers around the ball and looks to be in every play.

Countess helped blocking on runs, and had one catch for 9 yards on offense. He also came from the receiver position on a sweep which was well defended and held to a minimal gain. Countess set up the final block for teammate Diggs on his interception return for a touchdown.

On special teams in the second quarter, Countess muffed a punt on the run, turning the ball back over to St. Xavier.

Zachary Dancel, QB, Good Counsel (2011) – Coach Milloy uses his depth at running back to move his offense, and relies on Dancel to manage the game and make throws. Dancel fits into this job well making good throws on third and fourth downs. He feels pressure and gets rid of the ball quick, like he did against St. Xaviers many blitzes avoiding sacks by making quick throws. After the pocket collapsing, Dancel used his legs to turn nothing into a 7-yard gain on a first down, although he did get sacked three times. St. Xavier’s defense wracked havoc in the backfield, especially Steven Daniels who had multiple tackles in the backfield.

Dancel is at his best passing when he throws quickly. He read the defense well and made strong swift passes on quick slants to receivers with coverage deep. He also read the pressure nicely on a quick pass to tight end Groce which resulted in a 24-yard gain. On his only deep pass of the first half, Dancel failed to lead his receiver into the open area which could have been a touchdown. In the 4th quarter, Dancel connected to junior Stefon Diggs on a 4th and long, which set up a running touchdown by sophomore running back Dorian Odaniel. Dancel is smart with his passes and rarely throws himself into serious trouble.

Stefon Diggs, CB/WR, Good Counsel – Junior Stefon Diggs starred in this game. Playing on both sides of the ball, he was a playmaker on both offense and defense. On defense he was quick blitzing off the edge getting to the quarterback two times, forcing a fumble on one of the sacks. He also intercepted a pass in the 4th quarter returning it more than half the length of the field to the end zone. He showed bursts of speed all over the field on the return. On offense he had five catches for 91 yards, and was one of Dancels favorite targets. He also returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back for a call away from the play.

Diggs earned player of the game with five catches for 91 yards, two interceptions, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a touchdown. As a junior he has about 10 offers, including one from Maryland.

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