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updated: 9/3/2011 12:22 AM

Brennan helps Carmel to bounce-back victory

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By Irv Solomon
Daily Herald Correspondent

Carmel Catholic quarterback Brian Brennan knew that after a heartbreaking loss to Joliet Catholic last week, he and his teammates needed a victory.

Brennan helped make that possible for the Corsairs, rushing for 134 yards on 12 carries and scored a touchdown to lead the host Corsairs to a 27-3 victory over Nazareth Academy in an East Suburban Catholic Conference football game Friday night.

"Our offense started out slow in the first quarter and I don't think our plays were where we wanted," said Brennan. "In the second quarter, we stepped it up and then from then on, everybody on offense played awesome."

Carmel coach Andy Bitta knew he had to get his team to forget about the loss last week

"This was a tough win," said Bitta whose Corsairs are 1-1. "Our defense played great all night long. On offense, we would get something going and then we put it on the ground three times. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. (Nazareth) kept changing their defensive schemes and we had a hard time reading it. Once we got locked in what we thought they were going to do. We were moving the ball pretty steady."

Nazareth drew first blood as Matthew Ramsey drilled a 42-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 3:42 left in the first quarter.

A minute later, the game was delayed as a Nazereth fan became nonresponsive.

According to Nazareth's team doctor Tom Nelson, the woman lost her pulse. She was taken by ambulance to Condell Memorial Hospital.

There was no report on her condition.

Midway through the second quarter, Carmel's John Salvi stopped a Nazareth drive with an interception at the goal line and Carmel took possession at the 5-yard line.

Carmel's offense drove the ball 95 yards and Brennan ended the drive with a keeper up the middle to give the Corsairs a 6-0 lead.

Steven O'Block gave the Corsairs 10-3 lead to end the second quarter with a 47-yard field goal.

In the third, Jordan Kos (12 carries, 134 yards) scored his first of 2 touchdown from 7 yards out to give the Corsairs a 17-3 lead.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Tyler Lees shut the door with an interception, which he returned to 46 yards to the Roadrunners' 6-yard line.

"They were running the play all day so I knew the ball would be coming my way," Lees said. "I intercepted it and then the lane opened up and I ran it as far as I could."

Two plays later, Kos took a handoff from Brennan and dove over from 2 yards out.

Despite the loss, Nazareth coach Tim Racki was proud of his team.

"I thought we battled hard," Racki said. "We had a couple of miscues on the punts and we gave up two interceptions. But for the most part, I thought we did a nice job.