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Mount Carmel escapes Brother Rice 28-20

Mount Carmel quarterback Marko Boricich works around mess find goal line against Brother Rice. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media

Mount Carmel quarterback Marko Boricich works around the mess to find the goal line against Brother Rice. | Patrick Gleason/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 23, 2013 6:26AM



Matt Domer made sure this wasn’t the unhappiest birthday of Frank Lenti’s coach career.

Domer scored three touchdowns and ran for the game-clinching first down in the final minute as No. 1 Mount Carmel escaped Friday night with a 28-20 Catholic League Blue win over Brother Rice at Gately Stadium.

The Caravan came in as a prohibitive favorite against a Rice team that lost its last two games by 41 points to Marist and by eight to Fenwick.

But the Crusaders led 3-0 and 10-7 in the first half and pulled to within one score when Brian Kane kicked his second field goal of the game, a 30-yarder with 2:42 remaining. After Christian Searles recovered the onside kick for Mount Carmel, the Caravan faced a third-and-8 from the Rice 49. But Domer (14 carries, 121 yards) ran 15 yards for the first down and Rice couldn’t stop the clock.

“We knew they would come out here and give it their best shot and we knew in the Catholic League Blue, it wouldn’t be easy,” Domer said.

“But we definitely came out lax and they caught us off guard in the first half. We picked it up a little bit in the second half, but we definitely need a lot of work coming (out next week) against (St. Rita.”

Rice’s game plan of swarming around Domer on defense and using four- and five-receiver sets on offense worked almost well enough to pull off what would have been the season’s biggest upset.

Domer didn’t get a touch till the final play of the first quarter, but he filled the stat sheet with touchdown runs of 18 and 12 yards and another 12-yard score on a pass from Marko Boricich (7-of-12, 97 yards).

But Rice quarterback Alex Alarcon, who came in averaging 207 passing yards a game, was effective again, finishing 17-of-32 for 236 yards and touchdowns of 17 and 37 yards to Jack Desmond (3 catches, 54 yards). Luke Mueller had nine catches for 122 yards.

“There’s things we could take from this game,” Alarcon said. “Our line, they worked their butt off all week and it showed (Friday). Our defense worked hard and it showed (Friday). ... My wide receivers, there’s times they just save me.

“Everyone thinks we’re just some small team, not ready for this stage, but we have that heart and drive. We can build off this for the rest of the year.”

Mount Carmel won’t be considering this as much of a stepping stone for next week’s rivalry game with fellow unbeaten St. Rita, though.

“I don’t think we played well at all,” said Lenti, who turned 62 Friday. “I don’t think we did a very good job on defense, we had way too many penalties and we had two turnovers on offense. That’s not who we are. We’re not going to win against good teams doing that.

“We were very fortunate. It was a win, and that’s all it was.”



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