A competitive game at halftime turned into a blowout quickly in the second half as Mount Carmel forced three fumbles in a row and won 45-10 over Lyons Township in the Class 8A quarterfinals.
LT went ahead 10-7 on a 1-yard Matt Harris touchdown run, but Mount Carmel was able to tie the game with a late field goal to close out the half.
At times Lyons looked like it could drive down the field on the Caravan, but too many dropped passes plagued the team.
Jemari Burks fumbled the opening kickoff in the second half, and Harris muffed the next one. Both were recovered by Mount Carmel and the Caravan converted them into Matt Domer touchdown runs to go up 24-10 within the first 1:07 of the third quarter.
The Lions couldn't recover after that. Harris fumbled again on the next possession and was injured in the process. Mount Carmel added three more scores to close out the game.
Patch’s MVP: Matt Domer, junior running back, Mount Carmel: Domer rushed 16 times for 89 yards and took advantage of the Lions' turnovers, scoring immediately after both to set the tone for the second half.
Lyons Stat Pack: Quarterback Zach Mahoney was 15/27 passing for 175 yards and also added 67 yards rushing. Harris rushed three times for 18 yards and a score, and had four catches for 67 yards.
Mount Carmel Stat Pack: Quarterback Don Butkus rushed 12 times for 69 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for one touchdown. Jimmy Mickens rushed six times for 24 yards and a score, and also recoverd one of the kickoff return fumbles. Justin Sanchez recovered the other fumbled return.
Quotable I: Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti on his strategy: "We wanted to make sure we had the wind in the fourth quarter. Kick it high and deep and make them field the ball. And fortunately for us, they fumbled it."
Quotable II: Lyons coach Kurt Weinberg on how his team won five straight games to make it this far, but missed an opportunity this week: "Their backs were against the wall. I'm proud of that, certainly. It's hard to reflect on that right now. Tonight, if you give away two quick scores to a great team and then the next drive turn it over again, you're not going to win."
Team Records: Mount Carmel is 11-1. Lyons finishes the season 7-5.
What’s Next: Mount Carmel travels to Neuqua Valley (12-0) in the Class 8A semifinals.
IHSA 8A Scores: Neuqua Valley beat Waubonsie Valley, 23-20. Loyola beat Palatine, 19-7. Glenbard North beat Maine South, 29-23. For more scores, check out IHSA ScoreZone.