Mount Carmel played like a state championship contender on Friday night, blowing out Brother Rice 56-7 in their first Catholic League Blue contest of the year. The Crusader defense never found a way to slow down the explosive Caravan offense, led by senior quarterback Don Butkus and junior running back Matt Domer.
On Mt. Carmel's first possession, it took only four plays before senior running back Draco Smith rushed for an easy six-yard touchdown. For a moment, however, it seemed like Rice was poised for yet another major upset following their defeat of St. Rita last week.
On the Crusader's second possession, sophomore running back Marcus Jones found a hole and dashed for a 69-yard touchdown. This knotted the game at seven with still 7:24 to play in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Crusaders, they were in for a long evening, as they would not muster a score for the remainder of the game.
For the Caravan, their offense was about as picture-perfect as they could have desired. They would amass 42 points before halftime, thanks in part to three consecutive rushing touchdowns by Domer. With 24 minutes left to play in the game, hopes of another miracle victory for Brother Rice were already thoroughly dismissed.
Rice's offense struggled mightily to produce the entire evening. After Jones' touchdown, the offense fumbled three times and turned the ball over on downs twice the rest of the game. The Crusaders also lost the ball to the Caravan on a first half onside kick.
Mount Carmel scored two second-half touchdowns, making their point total an impressive 56. Domer scored his fourth touchdown of the game with a 92-yard rush, and backup QB Marko Boricich added a four-yard rush TD to conclude the Caravan's scoring.
Though this was a disappointing result for Rice, their commitment and attitude remains the same. They must forget about this tough loss, and look ahead to their homecoming matchup against the Celtics of Providence Catholic. With a 3-2 record and a 1-1 conference record, Rice's hopes of winning the Catholic League Blue were seriously hurt, but they will still compete to qualify for state playoffs. Mount Carmel is 5-0 overall, and joins Loyola as the only undefeated teams in league play thus far. The two will battle each other next week in another exciting Catholic League showdown.