PREP FOOTBALL

Defense rules in Mount Carmel's quarterfinal victory

2013-11-16T19:00:00Z 2013-11-17T02:21:06Z Defense rules in Mount Carmel's quarterfinal victoryTim Cronin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
November 16, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

DOWNERS GROVE | The rain pelted down and the wind prevented a precision passing game.

In other words, perfect weather for Mount Carmel football. Only the presence of FieldTurf on Downers Grove North's field prevented a mud bowl with the Trojans in their Class 7A quarterfinal game.

Mount Carmel would have won on concrete or in quicksand. The Caravan's 7-0 victory before about 3,000 spectators — ensuring a semifinal date against undefeated Edwardsville next weekend — was won the old-fashioned way, with a solid ground game and punishing work at the line of scrimmage.

And by Marko Boricich's 11-yard touchdown pass to Sam Connolly, the one-handed grab in the end zone on fourth-and-4 from the Trojans 11 late in the second quarter the exception that proved the rule.

"He had my right arm pinned, and I just tried to make a play on the ball," Connolly said.

Otherwise, the ball was kept on the ground by the Caravan. Matt Domer's 28 carries garnered 155 yards. Mount Carmel gained 225 ground yards on 57 carries, with Boricich throwing only nine times, his three completions totaling 22 yards. The ground game led to a 66-29 advantage in plays for Mount Carmel (11-1).

Numbers aside, Caravan coach Frank Lenti didn't like much of what he saw on that side of the ball. There was a fumble by Jimmy Mickens, a couple of missed blocks that could have kept drives going, and miscellaneous other sins that a perfection-oriented coach to pick on.

"Just way, way, way, way, way too many miscues on offense," Lenti said. "We stopped ourselves with foolish penalties, and way too many guys in the offensive line played satisfied. The whole thing was out of sync."

Lenti's complaint aside, there was enough offense to get the job done. But Mount Carmel's defense carried the day in scoring its fifth shutout of the season, holding Downers Grove North (7-5) to 26 yards, and only 11 on the ground on 17 carries. The Trojans managed only one first down.

"Our goal is to hold a team to negative yards," Mount Carmel lineman Enoch Smith Jr. said. "I felt as if we did a pretty good job."

A trio of Trojan quarterbacks went a combined 3-of-12, with three interceptions. Christian Searles' late theft of Vontae Diggs, his second interception of the day and eighth of the season, sealed the outcome.

"My ankle was hurting, so I knew I couldn't get beat deep, so I played off more," Searles said. "I saw him throw the ball, and my ankle pain went away."

Searles returned the interception 37 yards to the Trojans 3, and the Caravan ran out the clock, capturing a victory that was as narrow as the score showed.

"When you have two running teams, the game's only going to be separated by a handful of plays, so you've got to make plays when you can," Searles said.

Pressure the Caravan line put on Sebastian Calvino, David Edwards, and Diggs caused the three interceptions.

"I told the kids early this season, and even this week, it all comes down to our guys up front," defensive coordinator David Lenti said. "If we control the line of scrimmage, it allows us to make plays behind those guys."

As was true on offense. Domer's big day pushed him to 1,121 yards on 130 carries in a season where injury caused him to miss several games. On the other extreme, Connolly's catch was only his third of the year, and his first touchdown, to go with two interceptions this season.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Fan Poll

Loading…

Who was the area's best baseball player this season?

View Results

Follow your school

Duneland Conference

Chesterton Trojans
News
Crown Point Bulldogs
News
Lake Central Indians
News
LaPorte Slicers
News
Merrillville Pirates
News
Michigan City Wolves
News
Portage Indians
News
Valparaiso Vikings
News

Greater South Shore Conference

Bishop Noll Warriors
News
Calumet Warriors
News
Lake Station Eagles
News
Michigan City Marquette Blazers
News
North Newton Spartans
News
River Forest Ingots
News
Wheeler Bearcats
News
Whiting Oilers
News

Great Lakes Athletic Conference

Clark Pioneers
News
Gavit Gladiators
News
Hammond Wildcats
News
Morton Governors
News

Hoosier Conference

Rensselaer Bombers
News

Northwest Crossroads Conference

Andrean 59ers
News
Griffith Panthers
News
Highland Trojans
News
Hobart Brickies
News
Kankakee Valley Kougars
News
Lowell Red Devils
News
Munster Mustangs
News

Northwestern Conference

Lew Wallace Hornets
News
Roosevelt Panthers
News
West Side Cougars
News

Porter County Conference

Boone Grove Wolves
News
Hanover Central Wildcats
News
Hebron Hawks
News
Kouts Mustangs/Fillies
News
LaCrosse Tigers
News
Morgan Twp. Cherokees
News
South Central Satellites
News
Washington Twp. Senators
News
Westville Blackhawks
News

Independents

Bowman Academy Eagles
News
Calumet Christian
News
Campagna Academy
News
Covenant Christian Knights
News
E.C. Central Cardinals
News
Hammond Baptist Swordsman
News
Luther East Eagles
News

Chicago Catholic League

Mt. Carmel Caravan
News
Seton Academy Sting
News
St. Francis deSales Pioneers
News

Chicago Public League

Washington Minutemen/Minutewomen
News

East Suburban Catholic

Marian Catholic Spartans
News

Metro Suburban

Illiana Christian Vikings
News

River Valley Conference

Beecher Bobcats/Ladycats
News
Illinios Lutheran Chargers
News

South Suburban Blue

T.F. North Meteors
News
T.F. South Rebels
News

Southland Athletic Conference

Bloom Twp. Blazin' Trojans
News
Crete-Monee Warriors
News

SouthWest Suburban Blue

Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings
News

SouthWest Suburban Red

Thornridge Falcons
News
Thornton Wildcats
News
Thornwood Thunderbirds
News

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses