The best team in MIAA A Conference football may not reside in the Baltimore region. Good Counsel from Montgomery County defeated No. 8 Gilman School, 23-17, in a non-league contest Saturday afternoon at Sotir Field. 

Mohammed Ibrahim rushed for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns for Good Counsel (3-0 overall). Junior quarterback Purnell Hill threw for two scores for Gilman (1-2), and Brandon Madison finished with 166 total yards.

Good Counsel, ranked No. 2 in the state media Top 25, thwarted a Greyhound comeback, winning for a third time this month against MIAA A Conference competition. The perennial Washington Catholic Athletic Conference powerhouse defeated VSN’s No. 2 Archbishop Spalding last weekend and fifth-ranked Mount St. Joseph in its season debut a couple of weeks ago in Irvington. 

The Falcons spoiled the home debut of new Gilman coach Tim Holley. After suffering one of its worst losses in recent years, a 50-7 decision at Virginia Beach’s Bishop Sullivan Catholic last weekend, the Greyhounds put themselves in position for victory Saturday. 

“They’re a good team and we’re a good team,” said Holley. “I think we’re a little inexperienced and we got to be able to handle pressure situations a little better than we did.”

Trailing 23-10 midway in the fourth, Gilman pulled to within a touchdown as Madison corralled Hill’s pass in the end zone from 35 yards with 4 minutes, 45 seconds left in regulation. The Greyhounds regained possession with 1:03 remaining, and Hill (17-of-31, 191 yards) connected with junior James Bond for 25 yards to their 33.

But the defending MIAA A champs advanced no farther as Daniel Brady sacked Hill for an 8-yard loss. Hill intentionally spiked the ball to stop the clock (Gilman had no timeouts left at start of last drive). With about 10 seconds left, Hill was hit as he released the ball and Falcons defensive back Anthony Budd intercepted and ran out of the remaining time.

The Greyhounds had success early moving the ball Saturday, but a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter from senior Adero Mandala was all they had to show. Ibrahim’s 31-yard touchdown run in the first quarter helped Good Counsel to a 7-3 halftime advantage.

Set up by a 43-yard run from Ibrahim, Tremayn Scott’s 6-yard run extended the Falcons’ lead to 14-3 early in the third. Gilman went 69 yards in eight plays for its first touchdown as junior tight end Thomas Booker overpowered a Good Counsel defensive back for possession of a Hill pass from 6 yards. 

The Falcons answered with a 27-yard field goal from JT Mitchell, keyed by a Ibrahim’s 26-yard breakout on 4th-and-3. The senior back found the end zone again, this time from 15 yards, giving Good Counsel a 23-10 advantage with 5:43 left in regulation.

Gilman came right back as Hill completed three straight throws covering 60 yards with Madison capturing the final pass in the end zone. Faced with 92 yards, 63 seconds and no timeouts, the Roland Park Avenue school wasn’t able to put together the winning touchdown drive.

The Greyhounds go to Philadelphia next weekend to face Malvern Prep in their next-to-last non-league match. Gilman begins MIAA A play at Mount St. Joseph, Oct. 1

“We played pretty well. We’re getting better and better every week,” said Madison, who rushed for 93 yards and caught four passes for 73. “We’re moving in the right direction. That’s all we can do.”

Good Counsel 23, No. 8 Gilman School 17

Good Counsel 7 0 10 6 – 23 

Gilman 0 3 7 7 – 17

First quarter

Good Counsel – Ibrahim 31 run (Mitchell kick)

Second quarter

Gilman – Mandala 23 field goal

Third quarter

Good Counsel – Stott 6 run (Mitchell kick)

Gilman – Booker 6 pass from Hill (Mandala kick)

Good Counsel – Mitchell 27 field goal

Fourth quarter

Good Counsel – Ibrahim 15 run (kick failed)

Gilman – Madison 35 pass from Hill (Mandala kick)