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Mount Carmel offensive line doing fine

Updated: December 1, 2012 4:37PM



Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti is happy Matt Domer (956 yards) and Draco Smith (441) are a part of his backfield.

The duo, along with quarterback Don Butkus, provide the Caravan with explosive weapons.

But the running attack is only as good as its offensive line, according to Lenti. And the Caravan has a very good line, led by Juan Beltran, Nick Drexler and Brian Parker.

“I don’t care who you have in the backfield, if the line doesn’t do its job, you’re not going nowhere,” said Lenti, whose Mount Carmel squad squares off against Simeon Friday night in a Class 8A second-round game at Gately Stadium. “Offensively, we’ve done a pretty good job.”

Smith, a three-year starter, has spent more time at defensive back than running back.

Domer, a junior, has turned some heads. In fact, according to Lenti, Domer could be the first Caravan running back to play in the Big Ten since Bobby Simmons (1991 grad).

“If Domer has a good offseason in the weight room and fills out, he can be a Big Ten-type player,” Lenti said.

Lenti also had praise for his kickers, Ivan Strmic (kicker) and Joe Pavlik (punter).

“Those two guys have been terrific,” Lenti said. “Only a handful of teams have been able to return a kickoff against us.”

Quick start key for Tinley

While Tinley Park was overjoyed to advance to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs by defeating Westinghouse 27-23, its reward is a road game Saturday at state powerhouse Joliet Catholic.

Any hopes of springing an upset hinge on a fast start, according to Titans coach Nick Johnston.

“The films that we have on JCA, against Marist and Benet, both of them jumped out to a 14-0 lead and went on to win,” Johnston said. “You don’t want to play catch-up against them.”

The Titans expect to have a balanced attack on offense, relying on running back Preston Thompson and the 1-2 punch of quarterback Christian Plummer and receiver Jamar Washington.

“They’re tough to run on, so you have to be able to throw the ball,” Johnston said.



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