Mount Carmel’s efficient offense and sturdy defense tamed the Leo Lions from the first whistle as the Caravan cruised to a 63-20 win at the Kroc Center on Friday night.
Mount Carmel (3-4) scored a touchdown on each of its first seven possessions.
“We were pretty efficient,” said Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti. “I don’t think we ran that many plays to put that many points on the board, but we had several drives of only one or two plays.”
With a 49-12 lead at halftime, Mount Carmel had already matched its highest point total of the season.
Anthony Ries accounted for four of Mount Carmel’s nine touchdowns with 101 yards on 12 carries on the night.
“The offensive line were opening up holes for me so I could just go out and break it for a touchdown,” Ries said. “It was good today. …This got us on the right track. We had a good practice this week and next week I think we’ll have better practice and it’ll build us up for Loyola week.”
Joshua Allen added 155 yards and two scores on just five rushes for Mount Carmel, all before halftime.
The Caravan bounced back from last week’s loss to Brother Rice and turned their eyes toward the future after the victory Friday night.
“We told them we have to start state playoffs this week,” Lenti said. “We’ve got a lot of good football ahead of us hopefully and everybody knows Week 9 is going to make or break us as far as an opportunity to get to the playoffs, so we said we can’t wait until Week 9 to get better.
“This week is the first round of the state playoffs for us, next week will be the second round and then the third round and hopefully there will be more rounds.”
Leo coach Michael Holmes said Mount Carmel was playing “must-win football” and said the Lions (4-3) will follow suit.
Quarterback Latrell Giles led the Lions with two touchdowns on 12-of-28 passing for 181 yards.
“Our guys fought, they kept fighting,” Holmes said. “We had some plays we made against them and that was positive. We start our playoffs now against St. Laurence and that’s how we look at it. We’ve definitely got to win this next one and that’s what we’re focused on.”
“We know Mount Carmel’s a tough team, they’re an 8A school,” Holmes said. “But we’re playing teams [from now on] that are our size and we’re used to playing them. We can deal with the 5 and 6A schools.”