MIKE NIETO: Mount Carmel shows its desire to play hard

2011-09-01T22:00:00Z 2011-09-03T00:35:04Z MIKE NIETO: Mount Carmel shows its desire to play hardBy Mike Nieto Times Columnist nwitimes.com
September 01, 2011 10:00 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Mount Carmel showed what it is capable of on Friday night.

The Times No. 1 Caravan did what good teams do -- they stopped the opponent and then took advantage of good field position. Mount Carmel scored touchdowns on its first four drives and did not let Morgan Park cross midfield in the first half en route to a 31-0 win at Gately Stadium.

"This is what we have to do," defensive tackle Vontrel Williams said. "We have to come out and dominate on both sides of the ball."

The Caravan did that against a Morgan Park teams which made several mistakes early. A good team turns that to their advantage which Mount Carmel did. They left no doubt they are playing together. And this is not that veteran of a team.

"Two sophomores on defense," Williams said. "We have guys though who can make big plays and play hard."

That has always been what defensive coordinator David Lenti's teams have done. Force a turnover or two and then let the offense punch it in.

Don Butkus has stepped right in as the quarterback and he has a good offensive line to protect him and his running backs. Brandon Greer, Draco Smith and Matt Domer all looked good and reserve Dominic Villa picked up 50 yards as coach Frank Lenti picked up his 305th win. He is one shy of tying and two of surpassing former Richards coach Gary Korhonen for the most wins in Illinois.

Receivers Jason Gasser, Frank Kelly, Quinn Sheridan and Mayan Cook will give defensive backs fits. When Derrick Mitchell returns from an injury, the Caravan will be that much more deep.

The one thing that Mount Carmel struggled with was really putting the game out of reach. It had a drive fizzle right before the half and wasted a few opportunities in the third quarter. Down the line, especially in the Catholic League Blue, the Caravan must take advantage of any opportunity.

Morgan Park is not a great team, but it is also not a bad team. What Mount Carmel did was not let the Mustangs skill players do them in. Some of it was Morgan Park dropping some passes, but a lot of it was the pressure the defense put on Morgan Park quarterback Andre Newell. Williams and Derrick Bryant and company also stopped the run., holding the Mustangs to 43 rushing yards.

The fact is the Caravan are 2-0 and they did what you have to do to be successful. The one thing that stands out more than anything is this team plays together and down the road, that means a lot.

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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