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Mount Carmel quarterback Don Butkus winds back to throw against De La Salle. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
At this point in his career, it probably takes a lot to raise the eyebrows of Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti. But even he was impressed and surprised by his team’s offensive efficiency Friday night against De La Salle in nonconference play.
There wasn’t much the Caravan did wrong during their 55-0 road win over the Meteors. The special teams, the defense, and the offensive provided a night of efficiency across the board.
When Mount Carmel (3-0) held a 41-0 lead at the half, Lenti was curious how many offensive plays his team ran. The answer, 14, left him in awe.
“I knew it was under 20 plays,” Lenti said. “Going into this I didn’t expect this to be anything like this. [De La Salle is] a good football team over there and they dominated the first two teams they played.”
The balance started with kicker Ivan Strmic, who had five touchbacks and was 7 of 8 on extra points. The missed kick was blocked after a penalty. The first string defense held Meteors star running back Mikale Wilbon to 45 yards on 17 carries. Wilbon finished with 19 carries for 48 yards. He had been averaging over 200 yards a game. Last week against Gordon Tech, Wilbon ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries.
Mount Carmel’s Wilbon-stuffing defense was led by James Rooks, Connor Griffin, Enoch Smith and Nick Johnson.
Meanwhile, that first string offense that raised Lenti’s eyebrows, tallied 302 yards on 16 plays. Matt Domer had 202 yards on eight carries, including touchdown runs of 70, 47 and 58 yards.
“It’s what we do throughout the week, work hard and listen to our coaching staff,” Domer said.
Draco Smith had four carries for 74 yards, including touchdown runs of 51 and 14 yards. Jimmy Mickens added a 24-yard touchdown run, while quarterback Don Butkus ran in a touchdown from two yards out and completed both of his pass attempts for 12 yards.
“We practice hard throughout the week and it pays off in the end,” Domer said. “Our defense is amazing and our offensive line are great blockers and I love them to death.”
The Caravan scored its first 48 points on just 16 offensive plays, and the 40-point running clock was in effect the entire second half.
Lenti played his offensive starters the first series of the second half in which they scored on two plays.
The Caravan faces rival Brother Rice Friday in the Chicago Sun-Times/Me-TV Game of the Week. The game will also be broadcast live on highschoolcube.com.
De La Salle fell to 2-1.