Carmel gets Annen his first win
Maybe it was well worth the wait for Carmel Catholic and first-year coach Blake Annen on homecoming night to get its first victory.
The Corsairs scored 34 unanswered points en route to a 48-26 victory over Marian Catholic in the East Suburban Catholic Conference opener in Mundelein on Friday night.
"It feels great and I'm happy for the kids," Annen said. "That's the way the first two week have been fighting a little bit. Which is good to see. The biggest thing I'm proud of these kids was that they fought the whole time. They fought through it (in this one) and finally got some momentum through it all."
Carmel (1-2, 1-0) was held to just 14 points in losses to Oak Creek (WI) and St. Charles East, but it was able to put 48 points on the board.
"We got a little continuity on offense and getting used to playing with each other," Annen added. " I thought Marian Catholic played a really good game and they've got some really good athletes."
Carmel found itself trailing 13-7 entering the second quarter. Its offense got moving and the points followed.
First, Ben Packer made a 29-yard field goal with 10:06 left in the second quarter that cut the lead to 13-10. Then, Syone Usma-Harper broke free on a 26-yard touchdown run that put the Corsairs up 17-13 with 2:14 left. Packer followed up with a 35-yard field goal with 12.9 seconds remaining for a 20-13 advantage.
"Coaches were emphasizing mentality this week," said Lynch, who also had an 18-yard score in the first quarter. "Mentality was a big thing for us. We started scoring and everything went on from there."
Carmel kept its momentum going and scoring, too. Sean Lynch (29 carries, 180 yards) found the end zone on a 44-yard run that increased the lead to 27-13 with 6:03 left in the third quarter.
Usma-Harper (11 carries, 139 yards) scampered 47 yards with 2:52 left in the third for another score and a 34-13 lead. Then, Mitchell Geier caught a 22-yard pass from quarterback Avery Bugaj with .6 on the clock for a 41-13 margin.
In the final quarter Usma-Harper added a third rushing touchdown scoring from 9-yards out.
Marian Catholic (1-2, 0-1) has now lost 50 straight ESCC games going back over seven years.