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8A Football: Neuqua's Season Ends in Loss to Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel 26, Neuqua Valley 21. Three touchdown catches by Jason Gasser and key second-half defensive stops by the Caravan end Neuqua’s unbeaten season.

Breaking It Down: Neuqua Valley wasted no time making a statement against Mount Carmel as Mikey Dudek took the opening kickoff 97 yards to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead. The Wildcats defense was ready for the option and able to force the Caravan to turn the ball over on downs twice in the first quarter; one of which was inside the 5. 

Caravan quarterback Don Butkus connected with receiver Jason Gasser for an 8-yard score to tie the game at 7. Neuqua struck again with Dudek scoring his second touchdown on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Dylan Andrew. The Caravan, with less than two minutes left, marched 80 yards down the field and tied the game at 14 with a 24-yard strike to Gasser, his second of the game. 

After a back-and-forth third quarter with both sides committing turnovers in enemy territory, the Caravan took the lead for the first time early in the fourth with a 13-yard pass to Gasser.

Down 26-14, the Wildcats scored on a 32-yard catch by Reggie Ervin, who was able to grab a jump ball that had been tipped near the endzone to make it a 26-21 game with 32 seconds left. On the ensuing onside kick, the Caravan were able to down the ball on a very close play, ending Neuqua's season. 

Patch’s MVP: Jason Gasser, Mount Carmel. He had six receptions for 68 yards and three of the four Caravan touchdowns on the evening. 

Mount Carmel Stat Pack: Running back Matt Domer had 23 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown. Draco Smith had 22 carries for 82 yards and was crucial in burning precious minutes off the clock in the fourth quarter. 

Neuqua Valley Stat Pack: Mikey Dudek had five receptions for 73 yards to go with his 97-yard kickoff return. Running back Joey Rhattigan had 20 carries for 76 yards and two receptions for 54 yards. 

Quotable I: Neuqua Valley coach Bill Ellinghaus: “We fell a bit short tonight, but I’m proud of my kids and they did a great job battling all night.” 

Quotable II: Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti: “Our offense did a terrific job all night of keeping their offense off the field, and they made some great plays.” 

Quotable III: Mount Carmel WR Jason Gasser on the slow start: “It’s a big momentum change for sure, but we’ve been down before. We knew what he had to do on offense.” 

What’s Next: Neuqua Valley’s season is over at 12-1. Mount Carmel (12-1) will play Glenbard North at 7 p.m. Nov. 24 in the 8A State Championship at Memorial Stadium in Champaign-Urbana.

Scores of Interest: Glenbard North defeated Loyola Academy 27-24 in the other 8A semifinal. In 7A seminfinal games, Lincoln-Way East defeated Benet Academy 37-13 and Glenbard West defeated Lake Zurich 19-13. For more scores, go to IHSA scorezeone.

Rob Bonner November 18, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Despite the fact MC broke IHSA rules by taping our practice those Wildcats never quit. Private schools recruit public district only just sayin
Sean Johnders November 18, 2012 at 05:31 PM
The Caravan should have won by three touchdowns, total mismatch. Suburban kids can't hang with the boys from the SE side of the city.
Kris November 18, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Love Mt. Carmel! Great all boys Catholic school. Congratulations Coach Lenti!
Lisa November 19, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Are you kidding me? Boys from SE side of the city???? Lmao...they hand pick and recruit from all over the state!
D Smith November 19, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Perhaps Neuqua should try this or keep using this as an excuse as to why they couldn't beat Mt Carmel. The best team won, hands down.
Tom O'Keefe November 19, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Private schools recruit EVERY student, from the QB of the football team to the kid who doesn't play any sports. There are NO athletic scholarships either. Anyone from Nequa paying 10K in tuition over and above property taxes? Instead of crying, why not admit your very good team got beat by a better one?
River Talk November 19, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Why is it that the Christian School is the one gloating? Maybe they haven't learned the lessons they were taught. So much for all that money spent.
Sean Johnders November 21, 2012 at 04:51 AM
Sour grapes, Nequa has more kids ditch school per day than Mt. Carmel has attending the whole school. Coach Lenti is one of the best and prepares his team well and it shows.

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