Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Game of the Week...

...this Saturday will not be Evergreen Park (5-0) at Argo (5-0), or Notre Dame (5-0) at Nazareth (3-2), or even Fremd (4-1) at Barrington (4-1).

(But I would understand if you wanted to see wide receiver Jacquet McClendon and running back Keyshawn Carpenter of Evergreen Park or Notre Dame's heavily-recruited running back Chris James.)

No, the Game of the Day on Saturday -- heck, the Game of the Week! -- will feature Mount Carmel (5-0) at Loyola (5-0), the latest meeting of these two storied Catholic League powerhouses.

This is one of those great rivalries, like Glenbard West - Wheaton Warrenville South, or Maine South - Wheaton Warrenville South, or Bolingbrook - Lincoln-Way East, that you can circle on your calendar in early August, just as soon as the schedules are released.

It almost doesn't matter this year that both CCL Blue teams are undefeated and that the only blemish on Mount Carmel's record en route to the 8A championship last year was an overtime loss to the Ramblers at Gately. Almost.

This year the Caravan has outscored its first three opponents, 131-8. Once conference play began, however, that ratio dropped to 52-23. Running back Matt Domer, who has committed to Illinois, is the big stud on Carmel's offense, but really, they have so many weapons that can hurt you. On the defensive side of the ball Carmel has two of the best tackles in the state (nation?), Enoch Smith and Steven Richardson, who have committed to Michigan State and Minnesota, respectively.

Here are Mount Carmel's 2013 results so far (home team in CAPS):

Mount Carmel 40, St. Patrick 0 (at Soldier Field)
MOUNT CARMEL 49, Morgan Park 8
MOUNT CARMEL 42, Bishop McNamara 0
MOUNT CARMEL 28, Brother Rice 20
Mount Carmel 24, ST. RITA 3

Loyola, as I said yesterday, doesn't have a lot of flashy Division I prospects. But coach John Holecek spreads out the field on offense and always gets good workmanlike performances from his quarterback and running backs. The former NFL linebacker is also known for his solid defenses. If I didn't know better, I'd say these guys were a "blue collar" team.

Here's how the Ramblers have fared so far this year:

LOYOLA 31, Marquette University (WI) 8
Loyola 44, O'FALLON 20
LOYOLA 42, St. Ignatius 0
LOYOLA 28, Providence 16
Loyola 24, BROTHER RICE 3

Loyola has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools, including 2011 when the Ramblers were 8A runners-up. Before that it was all Mount Carmel. Besides last year's 8A title, the Caravan were runners-up in 2010, 2006 and 2005. (I can't think of the name of Carmel's coach right now, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that he's one of the winningest in Illinois history.)

2012: Loyola 30, MOUNT CARMEL 27
2011: LOYOLA 12, Mount Carmel 7
2010: Mount Carmel 31, LOYOLA 24
2009: Loyola 28, MOUNT CARMEL 15
2008: MOUNT CARMEL 35, Loyola 14
2007: Mount Carmel 31, LOYOLA 24
2006: MOUNT CARMEL 32, Loyola 14
2005: Mount Carmel 21, LOYOLA 3
2004: Mount Carmel 20, LOYOLA 0

The big question I have for Saturday's game is: Will Loyola running back Julius Holley, above, be healthy enough to play?

In any case, though, I'm expecting a defensive battle with a score in the neighborhood of, say, 24-21. I'll give the edge to Carmel, although I'll be rooting for the home team. Underdogs, remember?

Oh, and like Friday night's game I'll be live tweeting it @BoringOldWhtGuy.

No comments: