Carmel outlasts St. Patrick in homecoming game

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MUNDELEIN — Carmel’s homecoming will be a little more special this year after a 28-20 win over St. Patrick on Friday night.

The Corsairs used a second-half surge to hold off the Shamrocks en route to their second straight win. The win moves Carmel to 2-1 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference and 3-2 overall this season. After losing two of their first three games, Carmel has now won two in a row and looks to be hitting its stride.

Sophomore running back Rondel Jamison gave the Corsairs a boost as he found the end zone twice in the second half to seal the victory. Jamison fumbled the ball on his first carry, which led to a Shamrock touchdown. But after that, he was nothing short of impressive.

“Rondel is the most even-keeled player I’ve coached,” said Carmel coach Andy Bitto. “He’s got all the talent and he’s already got senior demeanor as a sophomore.”

Jamison finished with 130 yards on 18 carries. He had 81 of those yards in the second half, including a 31-yard touchdown run to put the Corsairs ahead for good. The fumble didn’t seem to faze him as he continued to play hard.

“The fumble was my fault,” said Jamison. “I just need to believe in my line to make blocks for me.”

St. Patrick simply had no answer for the Corsairs rushing attack and yielded three big plays in the half. In addition to the two big runs by Jamison, quarterback Michael Huiras found tight end Noah Turner for a 60-yard completion on third-and-5 that would set up a Jamison touchdown run. Turner finished with three receptions for 100 yards.

But the rushing attack wasn’t the only thing Carmel built its strong second half around.

After struggling to stop a potent St. Patrick attack, the defense got in a groove at the end of the first half. The Corsairs blocked a Shamrock field goal attempt with just 10 seconds remaining in the half, helping them retain a 14-13 lead.

“The momentum carrying into the second half on the blocked field goal was huge,”

said defensive captain Liam Griffin. “That carried us into the second half and really strapped our boys down and got us going.”

In the second half, Carmel forced St. Patrick to turn the ball over twice on downs, both times inside the Carmel 25-yard line.

“Those stops were huge for us,” said Griffin. “They are chances where there is opportunity to make plays and those are chances that we made those opportunities.”

The Corsairs will continue conference play next week when they play on the road at St. Viator (3-2) on Friday.

“We have to build on this game, we have to get better,” Bitto said. “That’s just how this league is. We are going to have to play better as the weeks go on.”

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