There hasn't been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding St. Viator football in recent years.
It's safe to say that enthusiasm is back.
Bobby Calmeyn's late touchdown pass and Jimmy Murphy's interception sealed a thrilling 28-25 victory over visiting Carmel in East Suburban Catholic action at Forest View Educational Center.
The Lions (3-1, 1-1) have already equaled last season's ESCC win total and ended a 6-game losing streak to the Corsairs (1-3, 1-1).
"It's an outstanding win for our school," said Viator coach Brandon New. "I want these kids to be respected, and hopefully a win over a great football team like this can accomplish that."
St. Viator led 14-0 late in the first half but Carmel adjusted duringe intermission and began running behind offensive lineman Matt Crisp. It worked as Josh Walinski (24 carries, 116 yards) and Nick Grandolfo combined for 3 rushing touchdowns to give the Corsairs a 25-21 advantage.
"I love the way that our kids came back," said Carmel coach Andy Bitto. "They battled their butts off and there was no quit. But we have to clean up some big things that give up points."
With 64 yards to go and 3:19 left, the game was in Calmeyn's hands.
"Football is fun like that," Calmeyn said. "We had scored the last few drives on them so there were no nerves."
"That's why he's the quarterback," New said. "All of the pressure is on his shoulders and the game is on the line. He wasn't fazed and had the moxie to go out there and do it."
Calmeyn hooked up with Kevin Hammarlund (7 catches, 112 yards) for a 21-yard gain on the first play of the drive and Mayo Arogundade's (19 carries, 74 yards, TD) 20-yard run set up first-and-goal from the 8-yard line.
On second-and-goal, Calmeyn (23-for-33, 299 yards, 3 TD) overthrew Hammarlund in the back corner of the end zone. But he did learn about a hole in the middle of the Carmel defense.
"One of our assistant coaches said to look at (Joe) Faerber," Calmeyn said. "We called the same exact play and got it to him."
After Faerber hauled in the pass, the Lions led 28-25 with 1:21 to go.
Still not in the clear, Grandolfo began leading the Corsairs down field but on the third play of the drive, 6-foot-5 Hugh Masterson deflected a pass and Murphy came down with the ball, sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
"Unbelievable," New said. "You can't ask for anything more as a coach."