Thursday, November 15, 2012

As far as I can tell, Mount Carmel...

...has only played Neuqua Valley once, in 2010. The Caravan was victorious that year, 21-14, at home.

On Saturday night, though, the game will be played in Naperville and feature the best running back I've seen this year, Joey Rhattigan, above. Mount Carmel hasn't seen anything like him all year (Loyola is mostly a passing team) and they may have their hands full. If they can stop Rhattigan -- a big IF -- the Caravan will advance to Champaign to take on the Ramblers (?) again. If not, it could be a long, quiet bus ride back to Woodlawn.

Mount Carmel (11-1) beat St. Patrick, Morgan Park, De La Salle, St. Joseph, Brother Rice, St. Laurence, St. Rita, Providence, Brother Rice (again), Simeon and Lyons by a combined score of 450-59. Wow! The Caravan only lost to Loyola in Week Six, 30-27, in overtime. (Of these teams, eight had winning records and four losing.)

Neuqua (12-0) defeated Naperville North, Naperville Central, South Elgin, St. Charles East, Aurora East, Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Lake Park, Bartlett, Naperville North (again), Bolingbrook and Waubonsie (again) by a combined score of 520-244. 520 points? Double Wow! (Of these, only seven teams had winning records.)

A word of caution for Mount Carmel fans: everyone has known about Rhattigan all season and no one has been able to stop him.

When I went to the Bolingbrook game a few weeks ago, I found Rhattigan on the field right away. So, I thought to myself, if they just key on him it's all over. The senior running back then went on to score five touchdowns that night. And just when I thought Rhattigan was going to carry the ball on every play, quarterback Dylan Andrew lobbed a touchdown pass over everyone's head to receiver Mike Dudek.

So what about Saturday night? I think Neuqua can take the big, bad Caravan this time. And I'll be there -- if it isn't sold out.

(If it is, I'll high-tail it down the road to the Lincoln-Way East - Benet game. Gotta be resourceful!)

BOWG prediction: Neuqua 35, Mount Carmel 31.

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