Football: St. Rita runs past Providence 37-14
By Tony Baranek email@example.com October 4, 2013 10:58PM
St. Rita's Julian Crum (12) runs for a touchdown against Providence during the first quarter in New Lenox Friday, October, 4, 2013. | Raymundo Luna/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 7, 2013 6:30AM
St. Rita’s defense smelled out Providence’s passing game during Friday night’s 37-14 Catholic League Blue victory to the tune of five interceptions.
That wasn’t all they smelled, according to linebacker Matt Mitchell, who had two of them.
“We remembered the smell of loss against Mount Carmel,” Mitchell said. “We knew that we had to come out and make a statement. It was great to see all of those turnovers.”
On the other side of the line, quarterback Tommy Mister showed some of his rushing abilities and had a few cohorts as the Mustangs (5-1, 1-1) ran all over the host Celtics (3-3, 0-2) for a total of 440 yards.
Mister topped the rushing chart with 20 carries for 182 yards and TDs of 1 and 89 yards. D.J. Miles (11 yards), Jovaughn Sparks (49 yards) and Julian Crum (25 yards) also rushed for scores, while John Kelly added a 26-yard field goal.
Down 37-0, Providence scored twice in the fourth quarter on runs of 11 and 2 yards by Dominic Lagone.
It was quite a statement by the Mustangs, who came out ferociously on defense, forcing three first-period turnovers alone.
The second, with 6:44 remaining, came when John Connolly picked off quarterback Justin Hunniford and raced to the Celtics 25. On the next play, Crum ran in for the game’s first score.
“We knew from the beginning that they were going to try to hit the middle of the field,” Mitchell said. “They kind of just had us drop the same way.”
There would be more defensive thefts turned in by St. Rita, including two by Mitchell, but the real showcase was the Mustangs’ backfield legs.
Mister, Miles, Sparks, Crum and Tyre Lee all carved out chunks of yardage as St. Rita built a 17-0 lead, then exploded for two touchdowns on back-to-back scoring runs of 49 yards by Sparks and 89 yards by Mister.
“It felt real good,” Mister said. “Last week we played a little soft and didn’t come out like we wanted to. Playing in the CCL is hard.
“Those guys (in the backfield) did great. It’s like a four-man tandem. When one back goes down, another one is just ready to come up and play. Our whole line blocked excellent.”
Hunniford (14-of-23, 164 yards) and Lagone both had turns at quarterback for Providence for three periods, but it wasn’t until the fourth, when Sam Abraham came on, that the Celtics reached the end zone.
Abraham completed 12-of-15 passes for 126 yards. The passing yards set up Lagone’s two scores.