8/24 7:00 @
Week #3 vs. #3Chicago (Mt. Carmel)(2-1)
Corsairs No Longer The Stepchild
Chicago (Gateley Stadium) - There are those who might say that when it comes to the Carmelite schools in Illinois Carmel of Mudelein looks like the stepchild of the football family compared toChicago (Mt. Carmel)&Joliet (Catholic). Although Carmel has started to establish itself as a football powerhouse these last years it's still has yet to come close to it's bigger brothers, until tonight.
Junior quarterback Mark Venegoni led his Cosair teammates to an improbable victory, by making the Caravan defense on it's toes against his pass, while still having to worry about stopping Josh Robinson & junior Brandon Ziemann at running back. Disciplined play and good field position thanks to outstanding special teams work were part of the reason Carmel came away with the victory.
The Corsairs sprinted off to a 14-0 lead over the Caravan as Venegoni plunged into the endzone from the one to cap off a 70 plus yard drive. Carmel then forced Mt. Carmel to punt on their first possession. Speedy defensive back Matt Orscheln worked it for a 55 yard return for a touchdown with 6:18 left in the first for their second TD of the night.
The less than capacity crowd for #3 ranked Mt. Carmel remained quite, until running back Jamie Medlock ran for a 3 yard touchdown towards the end of the first quarter.
Pat Lynch of Carmel recovered a fumble by Medlock & the Corsairs would capitalize on it. The Corsairs drove down the field as Venegonni completed passes to TE Jack Simmons, before running the ball in himself from the 7, to put them up 21-7 at the half.
In typical Caravan fashion, nothing is over till time expires and the Caravan pulled back together on defense as they started to stage their comeback & would only allow Carmel a field goal in the second half.
The big time play of the special teams for Carmel may have been the key tonight. Junior tight end & kicker Chris Miller, consistently put the ball deep into the Caravan return. With big hits, Mt. Carmel rarely started past their own twenty. But the biggest play on special teams may have been their field goal block with just under 9 minutes left in the third. A score that would have meant overtime had it not been blocked.
The Caravan scored on the last play of the third quarter as Dan O'Brien found Frank Lenti for a Caravan TD to put them at a 14-24 deficit. The Carmel defense held Mt. Carmel when the Corsairs' offense wasn't working on running down the clock, until Mt. Carmel put together a drive from their side of the field to set up a 5 yards Greg Owens touchdown.
The Caravan defense got back to work and after allowing Carmel a first down they held them while exhausting g all their time-outs. The Caravan stepped up the the line of scrimmage for the last time on offense with 12 seconds. But an O'Brien pass deep would find it's way into Corsairs hands and seal the upset for Carmel.
By Vincent Johnson
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