Carmel Catholic was hunting for its first win of the season, and Marian Central was hoping to keep its playoff hopes alive when the teams met in Mundelein Oct. 6.
The Hurricanes came through in the final minute of play to secure a 16-15 victory over the East Suburban Catholic Conference rival Corsairs.
Carmel scored first on its homecoming night with a 55-yard touchdown followed by a failed extra point with under five minutes left in the half. Going into halftime, Carmel led 6-0.
Much like the previous week, the second half of the game for the ’Canes brought a shift in energy. Hurricanes head coach Mike Maloney described the third quarter as the best his team has played offensively since week one.
Marian opened the third quarter with a score on a 2-yard run from senior Gavin Scott, described by Maloney as a ‘warrior’, who was back in action after going out in week three with a knee injury. Carmel fired back with a field goal that brought them ahead of Marian 9-7 to close the third quarter. The Hurricanes responded with a 19-yard field goal with just over 10 minutes left to play, putting them in the lead again.
But both teams were far from done. With just over a minute left in the game, the Corsairs managed another touchdown. Marian quieted the Carmel cheering section with a 74-yard connection from A.J. Golembewski to junior Charlie Kramer. The ’Canes held their breath as Carmel attempted a 47-yard field goal, but the kick failed and the ’Canes left on top.
“I believe both teams really needed a win. When one team gained an edge, the other would respond with a big play,” Maloney said. “Our team was not consumed by the pressure of the moment and just continued to play regardless of the previous series or drive.”
The Hurricanes (3-4 overall, 1-4 ESCC) need to be victorious for their final two games if they hope to advance to the postseason. The ’Canes are home for Niles Notre Dame Friday, Oct. 13 and St. Patrick Friday, Oct. 20.