St. Viator's Wolf gets it done -- on offense
Since he started playing football at the age of 6, Jake Wolf had never scored a touchdown.
Until it all changed on Friday night.
St. Viator's 5-foot-10 outside linebacker drastically affected the game with the only 2 touchdowns in the second half.
But they did not come on defense, where he has primarily played his entire life.
Lions coach Dave Archibald called his number on 13-yard and 1-yard TD runs, the second making it 24-3 with 2:04 left in the third quarter.
That stood up for the final score over Carmel Catholic at Robert Morris University's football stadium in Arlington Heights.
"It's just a heavy package," Wolf said. "I'm known for just running north and nothing else."
Wolf's TD runs, his only two carries of the game, and his defensive play helped the Lions improve to 3-2 and 2-1 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference while Carmel slipped to 0-5 and 0-3.
"Any ESCC win is a big deal," Archibald said. "Our team and school family went through a lot this week."
St. Viator observed a moment of silence before the game for Joe Ryback, a Lions assistant baseball coach who died unexpectedly last week.
"The kids have had a lot to process," Archibald said. "And I think it was nice that we could get out tonight and just have the lights come on and do what we like to do together, and support each other.
"The fact that we came away with a good win is a blessing."
Helping aid that win was the Lions' offensive line of Joe Steineke, Anthony Maraviglia, Jeremiah Pittman, Alex Citrano, Rocky Smeriglio and Joe Cleary.
They paved the way for Elijah Black's 95 yards and Wolf's two big runs.
"It was just as special for me to get those touchdowns as it was sharing it with my team," said Wolf, who is also a standout 182-pound wrestler. "It's nice knowing you are doing it for the team and not yourself."
On the very next play from scrimmage after his first TD, Wolf came up with an 11-yard sack of Carmel quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis.
Casey Kmet followed with another 11-yard sack two player later as the Lions defense almost pitched a shutout.
Ben Packer's 34-yard field in the second quarter accounted for the Corsairs' points.
"I think our defense played its tail off," said Carmel coach Andy Bitto. "Our special teams got or maintained us field position but we are just struggling to move the ball on offense and being consistent. We had a chance to tie or get the lead toward the end of the first quarter, but we let them off them hook."
That's when Michael Wittich recovered a fumble at the Lions' 12-yard line when Carmel had first and goal from the 5.
"We're so young on offense that it wears on you," Bitto said. "And you know in this league you can't give teams second chances."
Carmel linebacker Jake Cerwin rarely give ball carriers a second chance. He had at least a dozen tackles.
"We've started out with a tough schedule," Cerwin said. "But that's no excuse. We've got to play better."
Viator led 10-3 at half, as quarterback Hellgeth booted a 20-yard field goal and threw an 11-yard TD pas to Black.
Christian Dolecki had an interception for Viator.
Lions senior Jack Scislowski had a big 19-yard run that led to Hellgeth's field goal.
But Scislowski suffered an apparent knee injury later in the half.
"I'm devastated for Jack," Archibald said. "The prognosis for the season does not look good but he is a great athlete and I know he is going to come back from it and battle in the future."