Loyola 23, mount carmel 17: Game postponed, will resume Sunday at noon
By Mike Clark email@example.com October 5, 2013 9:38PM
10/05/2013 Wilmette Loyola junior Ryan Zinkula (32) denies Mount Carmel senior Rich O' Brien (83) a pass in the first half of the home game on Saturday, October 5, 2013. | Michael Jarecki/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 7, 2013 6:30AM
Everyone who waited till Week 6 to find out if Mount Carmel or Loyola is the best football team in the area will be on hold a little longer.
Just after No. 2 Loyola regained the lead, at 23-17, on a touchdown pass from Jack Penn to Joe Joyce late in the third quarter, the lightning siren at Loyola went off and play was suspended. Storms then rolled into and out of the North Shore and the teams returned to the field nearly two hours later.
But while the players were warming up on an artificial turf field buckled in spots by the heavy rainfall, it started pouring again.
That’s when Loyola and Mount Carmel officials pulled the plug and suspended the Catholic League Blue game. It will resume at noon Sunday with Loyola attempting an extra point and 19.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
“It’s really a vibe killer,” said Christian Searles of top-ranked Mount Carmel. “We’ve got to stay focused and come back tomorrow.”
It’s a bit more complicated for No. 2 Loyola, which doesn’t have the travel factor but did face a different sort of homecoming than expected.
“A lot of us are just going to [take] pictures and then [go] home,” Loyola’s Fran O’Malley said.
“This is uncharted territory,” Loyola coach John Holecek said of the suspended game compounded by homecoming. “But they’re kids, they’ll rebound. And they’re smart kids. They’re not going to be foolish.”
Even Frank Lenti, the state’s all-time winningest coach, hadn’t seen anything quite like this. And he’s been at it for 29-plus years and 390 games at Mount Carmel.
Lenti’s first game as head coach in 1984, at Buffalo Grove, was postponed because of bad weather and played the following Monday. But he’d never been in a game that was suspended after the start and finished another day.
“It is what it is,” Lenti said. “You’ve just got to deal with it and get ready. ... We haven’t played our 12 best minutes of football yet [Saturday] so hopefully we can get 12 good minutes [Sunday].”
Before the weather became the story, the teams made some news of their own.
Quarterback Jack Penn dashed 56 yards on the Ramblers’ third play from scrimmage to give Loyola a 7-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first quarter.
The Ramblers marched down the field on their next drive and looked poised to go up by two scores. But Mount Carmel’s Enoch Smith Jr. recovered a fumble by Penn at the Caravan 7-yard line. After a penalty, Matt Domer sprinted 97 yards for the tying score — his third touchdown run of 50 or more yards in two weeks.
Searles intercepted Penn with 6:07 left in the first half and two plays later, Jimmy Mickens raced 42 yards to put Mount Carmel ahead 14-7 5:19 before halftime.
Mike Kurzydlowski’s 36-yard field goal in the final minute of the half made it 14-10 Mount Carmel.
Loyola went back ahead 17-14 on Julius Holley’s 10-yard touchdown run at 9:37 of the third. Zach Mirabelli’s 23-yard field goal with 3:54 left in the period tied it at 17, but Loyola went back ahead on Penn’s eight-yard pass to Joyce.
O’Malley has with 12 catches for 117 yards in his first game back after a four-game injury layoff.
“It was brutal,” he said. “I couldn’t stand watching them play and not being able to be on the field.” Sunday he’ll be back on the field again.