You don't have to walk far in the D.C. metro area to find folks arguing for the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) as the best high school football conference in the country. Apparently, they deliver the best finishes, too.
Sunday night's Capital Division championship between upstart Gonzaga College (Washington, D.C.) and traditional juggernaut DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.), on the campus of Catholic University, delivered all the hits.
Just when it looked like the Stags were on their way to a fifth WCAC title in six seasons, Gonzaga stormed back furiously. Three of sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams' six touchdowns came in the final 3:03 of play, starting with a keeper that cut the Stags' lead to 36-33.
Williams then pulled the Eagles ahead with a TD pass to Sam Sweeney with 29 seconds to go, only for DeMatha's Dominic Logan-Nealy return the ensuing squibbed kickoff all the way to the house to re-take the lead at 43-40.
Getting the ball back with 15 seconds to go, Williams fired one quick first-down strike to the sideline sticks to stop the clock. Then, from his own 41-yard line on the final play of the game, uncorked a Patrick Mahomes-like howitzer that traveled more than 60 yards through the air.
The rest, as they say, was up to fate:
And with it, Gonzaga captured its first WCAC title since 2002, after coming up short in last year's final against St. John's College (Washington, D.C.). The Eagles also knocked off St. John's, then ranked No. 5 in the USA TODAY Super 25, last week to get to this game.
The 6-foot-1 Williams, the WCAC's Offensive Player of the Year, already has a slew of Power 5 schools offering him, per 247 Sports, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Penn State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech. With two more years of high school ball to play, we have the feeling a volcanic wave of hype is coming.
And yes, to answer the aforementioned announcer's query, God is purple - at least for one night.