Caravan survive potential upset with OT victory

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Caravan survive potential upset with OT victory

Friday, Nov. 5, 2010
11:23 PM

By Mike Clark
YourSeason.com

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.

Jimmy Butler bids emotional farewell to Chicago

Jimmy Butler bids emotional farewell to Chicago

Jimmy Butler is headed to Minnesota to reunite with Tom Thibodeau.

And as the former face of the Bulls packs his bags to join the Timberwolves, Butler took to social media to say goodbye to Chicago and thank the fans for all they've done over the last six years:

Chicago, What can I say?! I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life! You've embraced me like a son and pushed me to get better every day, every season. I can honestly say that I have always been incredibly motivated to succeed; it's just the way I'm built. But I know I owe so much to the person I am now, and to the player that I've become, to you. You always pushed me to never give anything less than my absolute best night in, night out. That's what you expected. That's what you deserved. And, I hope you know that's what I dedicated my life to every time I walked into the facility or stepped on the floor of the United Center. Thank you to the entire Bulls organization and Reinsdorf Family for taking a chance on me in 2011 and for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love for such a great franchise. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I was drafted and when I played my first minutes. It's an experience that I wouldn't have wanted with any other team and I'm so thankful to you for giving me that opportunity. Chicago, I love you. Thanks for embracing a kid from Tomball like one of your own. On to a new home and a new organization. Thankfully, with some familiar faces! PS... AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT! THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY BEHIND THE ORGANIZATION THAT DO NOT GET THE SHINE THAT THEY DESERVE!! YALL ARE THE REAL ALL-STARS!! - Jimmy G. Buckets (@staceyking21 )

A post shared by Jimmy Butler (@jimmybutler) on

Here's Butler's complete message:

Chicago,

What can I say?! I truly struggle with the words because you've been so much more than just my home for the last 6 years, you've been my life! You've embraced me like a son and pushed me to get better every day, every season. 
I can honestly say that I have always been incredibly motivated to succeed; it's just the way I'm built. But I know I owe so much to the person I am now, and to the player that I've become, to you. 
You always pushed me to never give anything less than my absolute best night in, night out. That's what you expected. That's what you deserved. And, I hope you know that's what I dedicated my life to every time I walked into the facility or stepped on the floor of the United Center.

Thank you to the entire Bulls organization and Reinsdorf Family for taking a chance on me in 2011 and for giving me the opportunity to play the sport I love for such a great franchise. I'll never forget the feeling I had when I was drafted and when I played my first minutes. It's an experience that I wouldn't have wanted with any other team and I'm so thankful to you for giving me that opportunity. 
Chicago, I love you. Thanks for embracing a kid from Tomball like one of your own. On to a new home and a new organization. Thankfully, with some familiar faces! PS... AND PROBABLY MOST IMPORTANT! THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY BEHIND THE ORGANIZATION THAT DO NOT GET THE SHINE THAT THEY DESERVE!! YALL ARE THE REAL ALL-STARS!! - Jimmy G. Buckets 

A classy message from Butler that exudes the exact opposite tone of his personal trainer immediately following the Thursday night trade.

Absolutely love that he signed it "Jimmy G. Buckets" at the end, shouting out Stacey King with one of the most unique nicknames in Chicago sports history.

Mark Buehrle confirms 'that' rumor from Game 3 of the 2005 World Series

Mark Buehrle confirms 'that' rumor from Game 3 of the 2005 World Series

A few years ago, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said on CSN's SportsTalk Live that Mark Buehrle had a beer -- or a few beers -- before saving Game 3 of the 2005 World Series. Cooper, with a bit of a grin, told David Kaplan that "there's no telling how many beers he had before that save."

Buehrle, in a story for the Players' Tribune, cleared that up:

The thing a lot of people talk about with that one is this rumor that I drank a few beers before I got the save in our Game 3 victory.

There’s been some stuff that’s come out on that topic, but I feel like you all should really hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. So, here goes….

In short: Yeah, sure, O.K. fine, so I had a few. I can admit to that.

Buehrle explained in his first-person article that he only had three beers, max, which wasn't unusual given he had just started the second game of the series against the Houston Astros. More from Buehrle:

First off, no one on the planet would’ve ever guessed that I was going to see the field in Game 3. I had started the previous game of the series and threw 100 pitches in that one. I would’ve bet my house that I wasn’t going to pitch a day and a half later. Anyone would have.

So, that being the case, you better believe that I was gonna do what came natural to me — grab a few beers during the early innings, kick back and enjoy the game like everyone else.

How can you blame him? Cooper told him there was no way the White Sox would be using him that night in Houston unless the game went to 13 or 14 innings. Every time Buehrle went for another cold one, he checked in with his coaches -- hey, you still don't need me, right? 

Of course, the White Sox unexpectedly needed Buehrle after Brad Ausmus reached on an error on what was Damaso Marte's 39th pitch of the game. With the winning run at the plate and Marte over his season high in pitches (35) the call went to Buehrle. 

Buehrle retired Adam Everett to end the game, recording the only save of his career. That he had a few beers earlier that night only added No. 56's legendary status on the South Side. 

More: Chris Kamka's 56 reasons why White Sox fans love Mark Buehrle