Caravan survive potential upset with OT victory


Caravan survive potential upset with OT victory

Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
11:23 PM

By Mike Clark

Mount Carmel mixed things up a little offensively late in Friday's game against Neuqua Valley, running a sweep here and throwing a pass there.

But when the Caravan had to have a score to keep another playoff run alive, it went back to its go-to play for more than two decades: the option.

Quarterback Chris Sujka scored with 71 seconds left in regulation to help send the game into overtime, and Michael Banks ran 10 yards for the decisive score in OT as Mount Carmel 21-14 in Class 8A second-round action in Naperville.

The No. 18 Caravan (9-2) earned its 22nd quarterfinal berth in 25 seasons and will host Lyons next weekend. Neuqua Valley, seeking to reach the quarterfinals for the first time, finished 7-4.

Mount Carmel scored on its final two plays from scrimmage after being shut out for more than 39 minutes following Sujka's 70-yard scoring dash down the left sideline with 5:02 left in the first quarter.

"We knew our stuff would work," Sujka said. "We just weren't executing it. We were beating ourselves most of our drives with either penalties or missed assignments."

Neuqua Valley took a 14-7 lead when TJ Rhattigan powered over from less than a yard out on fourth down with 11:55 left in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats had a chance to increase their lead, but kicker Ryan Mulhern missed a 35-yard field goal try with 6:15 left. He also missed from 26 yards in the second quarter and Mount Carmel kicker Nikko Rodriguez missed a 33-yarder in the second period.

After the second missed field goal, Mount Carmel went 80 yards in 12 plays for the tying score, converting two third-down plays and getting a 30-yard run from Brandon Greer to the Neuqua four-yard line.

Neuqua couldn't score on its final possession of regulation and Banks took advantage of a good block by wide receiver Frank Kelly to score on the Caravan's first play in overtime. Two runs and pass left Neuqua with a fourth-and-goal from the 10 and Wildcats quarterback Jeff Samuel's incompletion set off a wild celebration on the Mount Carmel sideline.

"They did a nice job," Caravan coach Frank Lenti said of the Wildcats. "It wasn't so much what they were doing, but what we weren't doing. We weren't executing on offense. We were stopping ourselves with foolish penalties."

Banks ran 20 times for 115 yards for Mount Carmel. Sujka had 12 carries for 96 yards and was 4-of-5 passing for 51 yards.

Trent Snyder scored Neuqua Valley's first touchdown on a one-yard run with 6:07 left in the first quarter. He finished with 31 carries for 109 yards.

Bears draft Miami safety Deon Bush in fourth round


Bears draft Miami safety Deon Bush in fourth round

In 2014 the Bears selected Minnesota safety Brock Vereen in the fourth round. Last year it was Penn State safety Adrian Amos in the fifth round. This year the Bears used their second fourth-round pick to bring in Deon Bush, a safety who started 32 games over four seasons at Miami.

Bush projects as an immediate fit for special teams but also has shown the speed (4.48 sec. in the 40) to work in coverage, a critical skill set for a position once viewed more in terms of run support. Bush collected 103 tackles and 3 interceptions over his junior and senior seasons, in addition to forcing 5 fumbles in the 2014 season.

Where Bush fits into possible lineups warrants watching. Amos established himself as a free safety last season, but veteran Antrel Rolle was hampered by injuries all year, starting just seven games before finishing the season on injured reserve.

Bears increase LB competition with another trade, draft WVU ILB Nick Kwiatkoski


Bears increase LB competition with another trade, draft WVU ILB Nick Kwiatkoski

Keeping in step with the twin themes of the Bears’ 2016 draft, GM Ryan Pace started Day 3 exactly as he did Days 1 and 2 – with a trade – dealing up in the fourth round to select West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who immediately dials up the competition level at inside linebacker.

And some good feelings. Former Mountaineers teammate Kevin White, the Bears’ first-round pick in the 2015 draft, immediately tweeted:

Kwiatkoski, 6-2, 241 pounds, fits the template for inside linebackers in the 3-4 scheme of John Fox/Vic Fangio, with mobility enough in his senior seasons to post three interceptions, 10 tackles for loss, three sacks, seven passes defensed and a team-high 86 tackles. He had six interceptions and 14 passes defensed in his four West Virginia seasons.

Kwiatkoski also goes into a competitive cauldron with offseason signees Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in addition to ILB holdovers Christian Jones, Jonathan Anderson and John Timu. Pace has said throughout the offseason that increasing competition was a goal, and the nature of the picks has followed that lead.

The Bears gave the St. Louis Rams the sixth-round draft pick they’d acquired from Carolina in the Jared Allen trade early last season. The deal allowed them to move from No. 117 to No. 113, another move pointing to the Bears targeting best players available on their board and moving to get them.

Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola


Sheryl Swoopes under investigation for coaching practices at Loyola

Loyola women's basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes is under investigation for coaching practices at the university.

The investigation was sparked after 10 of the team's 12 players have transferred or have requested releases — nine having been recruited by Swoopes. Loyola began an "independent and comprehensive university investigation" on April 15.

According to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune, five former players have stated that Swoopes' "unusual coaching style" was the reason behind their exits.

Swoopes has declined to comment on any allegations, according to Ryan. Loyola released the following statement on Thursday:

"Until the investigation is completed, the athletics department and women's basketball coaching staff are conducting business as usual as we prepare for the 2016-2017 season."

Swoopes is listed as one of the greatest WNBA players of all-time. She was hired to coach Loyola's women's basketball team in 2013.

Click here to read the full story from the Chicago Tribune.