Carmel uses big plays to beat Notre Dame

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Carmel used big plays Friday night to defeat Notre Dame 20-13.

Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter of the East Suburban Catholic contest, Carmel safety Nick

Grandolfo intercepted Notre Dame quarterback Dan Nagode and returned it 80 yards for a touchdown.

With the score tied at 7-7 early in the third quarter, Carmel sophomore quarterback Michael Huiras found wide receiver Joe Perrelle on an 81-yard bomb to put the Corsairs in front for good at 13-7.

“I was really nervous when I got into the game,” Huiras said. “When he (Perrelle) caught the ball, I just looked at the sidelines and said, ‘Oh wow.’ ”

Huiras entered the game when Grandolfo, the starting quarterback, was shaken up in the second quarter.

“After he (Huiras) settled in, he made some really nice reads,” Carmel coach Andy Bitto said. “That was a perfect (touchdown) pass.”

Carmel (3-6, 3-4) extended its lead to 20-6 on a 10-yard run by Tim Serio with 3:38 remaining. Serio finished the game with 101 yards on 8 carries. Corsairs fullback Josh Walinski ran the ball 18 times for 102 yards.

Notre Dame star running back Chris James brought the Dons (5-4, 3-4) to within 20-13 on his 4-yard run with 53 seconds left. But Notre Dame couldn’t come up with the onside kick. James finished with 111 yards on 28 carries, including a 12-yard scoring run that capped his team’s first possession.

Other than the interception, Nagode played a solid game for Notre Dame, completing 21 of 30 pass attempts for 176 yards. The Dons were led defensively by middle linebacker Tom Sora, who had two fumble recoveries to go along with 12 tackles.

Carmel cornerback Sean Brennan had 16 tackles, while middle linebacker Connor Lynde had 11 stops, including a fumble recovery.

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