DeMarcco Hellams dropped the football in the end zone as he headed straight to the DeMatha sideline Friday night, a hoard of teammates greeting the Alabama commit with high-fives and handshakes.
Hellams, DeMatha’s dual senior defensive back and wide receiver, had just made his second long touchdown catch of the night when DeMatha Coach Elijah Brooks interrupted the early third quarter celebration with a message of his own.
“Hey 1! I said I’m going to call your number,” Brooks hollered at Hellams. “Big players, big plays, right?”
Led by Hellams’s two touchdowns, two interceptions and a blocked punt that led to a safety, No. 2 DeMatha defeated No. 5 Good Counsel, 30-14, in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinal at Prince George’s Sports & Learning Complex.
“I’ve been here since I was a freshman and just running behind guys that came before me, just waiting my turn,” Hellams said. “And when my number was called, I just made the plays I was supposed to make to be a leader and help us win.”
The Stags (8-2) will face the winner of Saturday’s WCAC semifinal — No. 1 St. John’s hosts No. 6 Gonzaga — in the conference championship game Nov. 18.
Good Counsel finished its season 6-4 overall, 2-3 in league play.
DeMatha will return to the WCAC championship game a year after missing it for the first time since 2011. DeMatha won four-straight WCAC titles from 2013 to 2016 and lost to Good Counsel in the 2012 championship game. The Stags, making their 20th championship appearance in 22 seasons, are looking for their fifth title in six years.
“We don’t just want to go back,” Brooks said. “We want to go back and win it.”
On Friday night, DeMatha opened the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown from Hellams.
He was then on the field when Good Counsel punted from its end zone and blocked the kick for a safety with 5:09 left in the first quarter.
“He’s been leading all year, and what a great time for him to come out and do big things,” Brooks said of Hellams.
DeMatha five-star running back MarShawn Lloyd gave the Stags a 16-0 lead before Good Counsel responded with a three-yard touchdown run by Sy’Veon Wilkerson at the end of the first quarter. After Hellams scored again after halftime, defensive back Josh Wallace kept the momentum going with a pick-six, putting DeMatha up 30-7 with 9:25 left in the third quarter.
Good Counsel countered with a four-yard touchdown run by Latrele Palmer late in the third quarter, but the Falcons couldn’t get any closer.
“I came to DeMatha to win championships, and so I’m glad to be going back, and I want that ‘W,’ ” Hellams said.
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