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Justin Lynch’s dynamic, star-making performance leads Mount Carmel past Montini

Justin Lynch was precise and effective with his legs and his arm and led No. 11 Mount Carmel to a 27-20 win against the No. 7 Broncos.

Mount Carmel’s Justin Lynch (1) runs with the ball during the game against Montini.
Mount Carmel’s Justin Lynch (1) runs with the ball during the game against Montini.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Justin Lynch, the younger brother of Mount Carmel coach Jordan Lynch, opened eyes with some runs last season as a sophomore. He took over as the starting quarterback this season and posted decent numbers in the Caravan’s first two games.

Friday against No. 7 Montini was something altogether different. It isn’t much of a stretch to say the junior played like the younger brother of a former Heisman Trophy finalist. Lynch was precise and effective with his legs and his arm and led No. 11 Mount Carmel to a 27-20 win against the visiting Broncos.

“That kid is a stud,” Caravan senior Tony Livermore said. “He’s getting better every day. I’ve never seen someone progress so much from sophomore year to junior year. He got so much better this summer. He’s the hardest worker I know.”

Lynch was 14 of 21 passing for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He had 20 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown. The stats aren’t mind-blowing, it was a performance that had to be seen. Lynch makes split-second decisions that few high school quarterbacks can and he’s able to turn what looks like a busted play into significant yardage.

“Don’t forget it is only his third start on varsity,” Jordan Lynch said. “The more games he plays the more he’s going to get comfortable. The sky is the limit for that kid. He comes to work every day, he plays hard. He gets the team going and they are going to follow him as he goes.”

Livermore was Lynch’s favorite target with seven catches for 101 yards. Kenenna Odeluga added four receptions for 37 yards.

“The first couple games we were trying to find our identity on offense,” Justin Lynch said. “I thought we prepared well throughout the week and got it done tonight. I’m getting comfortable. When I have playmakers that can make plays my job is easy.”

Mount Carmel (3-0) led 27-14 after a 27-yard and a 37-yard field goal from Julian Patino in the fourth quarter.

The Broncos (2-1) fought until the end. Quarterback Deontay Bell scored on a two-yard run with 1:12 to play to cut the Caravan’s lead to seven. Mount Carmel’s Jack Gilbert recovered the onside kick to seal the win.

“We knew what we were getting into with that team just watching them on film with how fast and physical they are,” Jordan Lynch said. “[Bell] is a heck of an athlete. They gave our defense trouble a little bit but our kids responded and stayed in it and we were able to seal the deal.”

Bell was 8-for-22 passing for 132 yards and one touchdown. He was a force on the ground, ripping off runs of 44 and 51 yards and finished with 18 carries for 159 yards.

“Our defensive backs played well,” Jordan Lynch said. “Marty O’Brien and JT Harris, just a sophomore, did a good job.”

It was the second game at Mount Carmel’s new stadium on campus. The stands are incredibly close to the field, leading to a cozy, intense atmosphere.

“I love this,” Livermore said. “My thing has always been I love big crowds and when they are close. When you can hear all that noise it gives us a nice advantage for our home stadium.”