After Friday night’s football contest against Good Counsel, Archbishop Spalding had a fireworks display to commemorate the school’s 50th anniversary. During the game, however, it was the Falcons who had a little more pop, ruining the home opener for the No. 2 Cavaliers in a come-from-behind 20-14 decision at Whittles Field in Severn.

Good Counsel (2-0 overall), ranked No. 2 in the latest state media Top 25, used a ground attack that featured senior Mohammed Ibrahiem who rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns. Falcons junior fullback Kamren Taylor came through the game-winning score with a 25-yard run up the middle of the Cavaliers’ defense. 

“I think in the end, we’ll win a game later in the year because we lost this one,” said Spalding coach Kyle Schmitt, whose team’s ranked No. 7 in state. “Tomorrow morning will be a great learning opportunity for us to sit and watch it and really diagnose some of the issues.”

Senior quarterback Evan Fochtman was responsible for both scores for Spalding (1-1), which was shut out by the Montgomery County powerhouse in the second half. The Falcons defeated VSN’s No. 5 Mount St. Joseph in their season opener last Saturday in Irvington.

Good Counsel grabbed the lead early Friday when Ibraheim finished off a four play drive that started at the Spalding 25 with a one-yard plunge. Jamari Jones gave Archbishop Spalding excellent field position at midfield with 40-yard kickoff return.

On the first play from the line of scrimmage, Fochtman, who had 108 rushing yards on 15 carries, run through a massive hole created by the offensive and sprinted for a 52-yard scoring run to tie the game at 6-6 with 5 minutes, 22 seconds left in opening quarter.

The Falcons grabbed the lead again with another Ibraheim touchdown as the Division I prospect shook off a Cavalier defender and glided into the end zone from 7 yards out. 

Archbishop Spalding’s Jake Brady forced a fumble that was recovered by Julius Chestnut giving the Cavalier the ball at the Falcon 40-yard line. Nine plays later Fochtman connected with Jones for a 20-yard touchdown pass, which was followed up by Fochtman to Chestnut 2-point conversion giving the Cavaliers a 14-12 advantage heading into halftime.

The defense for the Falcons ramped things up in the second half, especially Joshua Paschal, who recorded two tackles for a loss, a pass deflection and a sack. Taylor’s game winning touchdown run was setup by a muffed Cavalier punt which gave the Olney school ball at the Spalding 48-yard line, Good Counsel who go on to finish the drive eight plays later.

Archbishop Spalding continues their non-conference play with another home match-up against Avalon School from Montgomery County next week.  Good Counsel will go for their third straight win against a MIAA opponent when they take on No. 8 Gilman School next weekend.

“This one is going to sting a little,” Schmitt said. “It’s probably going to sting a lot more when I watch the tape. I thought we really left it on the field, but when you start playing MIAA games, effort wont’ be enough. We need to make more plays.”

Good Counsei 20, No. 2 Archbishop Spalding 14

Good Counsel 12 0 8 0 – 20

Archbishop Spalding 6 8 0 0 – 14 

First quarter 

Good Counsel – Ibraheim 1 run (kick missed)

Archbishop Spalding – Fochtman 52 run (kick blocked)

Good Counsel – Ibraheim 7 run (kick failed)

Second quarter

Archbishop Spalding – Jones 20 pass from Fochtman (Chestnut pass from Fochtam)

Third quarter

Good Counsel – Taylor 25 run (Donnelly pass from Nannen)