8/26 12:00 H
Week #1 vs.Chicago (Mt. Carmel)(1-0)
Turnovers Helped Keep Game Close
Chicago (Soldier Field) - As games go in the opening week, coaches will tell you there is always room for improvement and even Mt. Carmel's Carter Kopach realized that, which would explain why many people feel that this Mt. Carmel team has the leadership to return to the state finals.
"We've got a long way to go", Kopach said about his team's performance and outlook on the season. When asked if the score by JC late in the second was motivation for the team he added "If you don't get motivated by playing JCA, you don't belong on the field."
The first half may have looked like a defensive battle, but Mt. Carmel missed two prime scoring opportunities when they fumble twice on different drives that got them inside the 5 yard line and missed two field goal from under 30 yards out.
"The frustrating part at halftime was we felt like we were in control... We had some penalties & some missed execution, but it was zero zero" said Mt. Carmel head coach Frank Lenti. "When they scored we told [the players], 'we teach you to build character for a lifetime & now is the time to show them what you're made off' ".
All three of the games touchdowns came through the air, as John Ruettiger (QB 6'2 180 jr.) connected with tight end Cobey Fleener (6'6 215 sr.) for a 70 yard strike in the 3rd quarter. Kopach, hit Pat Jarvis (WR 6'4 200 sr.) for a 13 yard TD with 7;30 left in the game. A blocked extra point by Ryan Piechocinski, would help keep the game tied, but Kopach would find his go to guy, Ron Newsome, as he got away from a JC defender and broke down field for a 21 yard touchdown.
Joliet Catholic head coach Dan Sharp "I really appreciate the effort & the toughness our kids put out there today. They played hard today against one of the best football teams you're going to find in the country."
While the Caravan racked up some yards on offense, the Hilltoppers managed to hold them for the most part when it was needed in the red zone. "They're so big and physical. They're going to drag you for a few extra yards, then you're trying to commit more people to the option, but then they've got talent on the edge to throw to and a great quarterback" Sharp said about the Caravan offense. "We just scrapped and did every thing we could, but they're just so talented. They're one of the most talented teams I've seen."
by Vincent Johnson
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Prep Bowl Champs
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