Mistakes doom Providence vs. Mount Carmel
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org October 20, 2012 1:32AM
Providence Celtics linebacker David Kaminski (37) gets tackled by Mount Carmel Caravan defensive back Justin Sanchez (3) at Providence High School in New Lenox, Illinois, Friday, Oct. 19, 2012. | Michael DiNovo~For Sun-Times Media
of the Game
Mount Carmel defensive back Vicent Speller helped recover a fumble in the end zone and later returned an errant pitchout 88 yards for the first touchdown.
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:36AM
If there is a better word than frustrating to describe what transpired Friday night at Matt Senffner Field, Providence coach Mark Coglianese probably has not found it.
The Celtics were revved up for their regular-season and Catholic Blue finale against Mount Carmel, but six turnovers later, the Caravan left town with a 17-0 victory.
Providence (7-2, 2-2) had second-and-goal on the Mount Carmel 1-yard line on its second possession, but on a sneak, quarterback Dominic Lagone had the ball fly out of his hands and into the end zone, where the Caravan’s Vincent Speller and Justin Sanchez smothered it.
Late in the first half, the Celtics were first-and-goal at the 6 after a Cody Kirby-to-Chad Weaver connection on a double pass covered 47 yards. But on first down, Lagone tried to make a play when being tackled, pitching to Brandon Price (19 carries, 105 yards). It failed to connect and Speller scooped it up at the 12 and returned it 88 yards down the sideline for the first score with 10 seconds left in the half.
“It wasn’t a good decision on Dominic’s part,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said of the errant pitch. “But we’re not going to come down too hard on him. He’s done things like that all year and made big plays, and that’s what he was trying to do.”
No. 2 Providence committed six turnovers in all, not to mention a possible touchdown pass that was dropped in the first half and a costly holding penalty in the third quarter. With all of that, Mount Carmel (8-1, 3-1) eventually wore down a game Celtics’ defense. Ivan Strmic kicked a 37-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Draco Smith (98 yards on 22 carries) scored a late TD on a 3-yard run.
“Providence beat us last year,” Speller said. “There was a lot of anger inside us.
“We executed our defense. We expected to play like this. That’s what coach (Frank) Lenti wanted. It was very important that we win this one going into the playoffs.”
Special teams also were huge. Mount Carmel executed a fake punt late in the third quarter to pick up a first down that led to the field goal, and a 51-yard return to the Celtics’ 42 on the opening kickoff of the second half set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We talked about special teams,” Coglianese said. “We knew they would be a big part of tonight, and they were.”
It was a mixed bag of sorts for the Celtics because their defense, which limited Mount Carmel to 53 yards in the first half, was championship caliber, and because their offense did move the ball, with Mr. Second Effort, Price, a key. But the mistakes were poorly timed and much too plentiful.
“We did a lot of good things and a lot of bad things in the first half,” Coglianese said. “Our defense was outstanding. But the second half was a different story. They wore us down.
“And let’s face it, you aren’t going to beat a good team like Mount Carmel when you turn the ball over. We could have been up 17-0. But we have a young team, especially on offense, and we will take something positive out of this and get things corrected for the playoffs.”