Breaking It Down: Providence Catholic looked like they were on their way to pulling off an upset, driving the ball to Mount Carmel's three yard line with less than a minute left in the first half and the game scoreless. But that all changed when Caravan defensive back Vincent Speller picked up Providence's fifth fumble of the first two quarters and brought it back 89 yards for a Mount Carmel touchdown.
Both teams struggled to hold on to the ball on a wet, rainy night in New Lenox. Mount Carmel fumbled the ball twice, and Celtic receivers dropped at least five passes.
The Celtics' defense played well enough to keep the score in reach for most of the contest, but Providence's seven total turnovers doomed them on their way to a 17-0 loss to Mount Carmel.
Patch’s MVP: Draco Smith, Mount Carmel. After rushing for 21 yards on 8 carries in the first half, Smith came out determined to turn around his performance in the final two quarters.
Smith took control of the game for Mount Carmel by scampering all over Providence's defense for 91 yards on 15 carries in quarters three and four. His 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter made the score 17-0 and killed any chance Providence had for a comeback.
Providence Catholic Stat Pack: Brandon Price rushed for 103 yards on 18 carries and caught 3 passes for 15 yards. Dominic Lagone completed 6-of-17 passes for 52 yards, plus two interceptions. Jeff Cesario blocked a field goal and recorded 8 tackles, including a sack.
Mount Carmel Stat Pack: Don Butkus completed 1-of-7 passes for 1 yard. Matt Domer rushed for 21 yards on 5 carries. Troy Weissenhofer intercepted a pass on Providence's final offensive possession. Ivan Strmic connected on 1-of-2 field goal attempts.
Quotable I: “We shot ourselves in the foot," Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. ”We said that at halftime. We could've been up 21-0."
Quotable II: “It gives a sprint into the playoffs you could say instead of limping in off of a loss like we did last year,” said Smith of the Caravan's victory in their last regular season game."
Quotable III: "We never want to feel like this again," Price said. "We're going to do whatever it takes not to feel like this, and hopefully end up in Champaign with our heads held high."
Team Records: Providence is 7-2 and 2-2 in the Chicago Catholic Blue. Mount Carmel is 8-1 and 3-1 in the Chicago Catholic Blue.
What’s Next: Providence Catholic and Mount Carmel will play in the playoffs next weekend. Pairings will be announced Saturday night.
Scores of Interest: . Homewood-Flossmoor 21, Sandburg 8. Brother Rice 44, Leo 12. For more scores, go to IHSAScoreZone.