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Marist quarterback Dontrell Jackson, Jr., chased by Mount Carmel’s Charlie Fordon, had some big runs in the first half of a . Photo by Steve Metsch

Marist quarterback Dontrell Jackson, Jr., chased by Mount Carmel’s Charlie Fordon, had some big runs in the first half of a . Photo by Steve Metsch

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High School Football: Big third quarter lifts Mount Carmel over Marist

By Steve Metsch
Correspondent

After waiting through a 90-minute lightning delay for the second half to begin, Mount Carmel wasted no time getting back to full speed.

The Caravan scored three touchdowns in the third quarter and topped Marist, 28-16, on Sept. 17 in Mount Greenwood.

The RedHawks, which led 10-7 after senior Conor Cooke’s 35-yard field goal late in the first half, had no answers during that 12-minute span. Caravan Junior Damarion Arrington, the running half of the team’s two-quarterback system, said the Caravan “had to step on the gas” in the third quarter.

“The offense came out, set the tone, and the defense kept pushing,” Arrington said. “Straight gas. No brakes.”

The Caravan took its first possession of the third quarter 65 yards, capped by sophomore Darrion Dupree’s 16-yard touchdown run with 8:53 left in the third quarter to take a 14-10 lead

“I had to leap up to make it,” Dupree said of his going airborne to avoid Marist senior defensive back Nick Verzoni near the goal-line.

On the next series, Mount Carmel stymied Marist with the help of junior linebacker Danny Novickas’ 13-yard sack of quarterback Dontrell Jackson Jr.

“On film, his favorite thing to do was scramble out,” said Novickas, who recovered a fumble during a key point later in the game. “All week, my coaches were nagging me to stay outside, saying it’s going to happen. And it did.”

That led to a punt from the end zone, and Mount Carmel took control at Marist’s 33 yard line.

The ensuing drive saw Arrington run 11 yards on a clutch fourth-and-three from the 15. Three plays later, Arrington scored his second touchdown, from 3 yards out with 2:29 left, for a 21-10 lead.

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Mount Carmel’s Enzo De Rosa, with blocking from Samuel Singleton (79), had a big gain on this play to set up the Caravan’s third touchdown of the third quarter. Photo by Steve Metsch

The RedHawks’ attempt to come back was dealt a setback when, near the end of a 30-yard scamper, senior running back Jaylen Johnson fumbled the ball at Mount Carmel’s 23-yard-line. Caravan junior Owen Schickel punched the ball out and Novickas recovered.

After a big gain by senior running back Enzo De Rosa put the ball into Marist territory, junior Blainey Dowling – the throwing half of Mount Carmel’s QB tandem – found junior receiver Dennis Furlong with a 33-yard scoring strike with 12.1 seconds left in the third. The Caravan led 28-10.

Johnson, who opened the scoring, added a fourth-quarter TD run, but it wasn’t enough.

Mount Carmel coach Jordan Lynch said his team knew it had to take control after Marist dominated the first half, holding the Caravan to three offensive series.

“We have the hardest-working kids,” Lynch said. “They were ready to go. They were aggravated.”

Marist coach Ron Dawczak said his players came in at halftime thinking they played a real good first half and that it was going to be an easy win.

“You’re playing a team like Mount Carmel, nothing’s going to be handed to you,” Dawczak said. “There’s a lot to be learned from a loss if you do the right things going forward.”

Jackson said Mount Carmel’s defense blitzed more in the second half and did not allow him much room to throw.

Mount Carmel is now 10-0 all time against Marist, including wins now in three straight seasons in Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference Blue play.

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