Mount Carmel pounds Simeon

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Mount Carmel pounds Simeon

By Mike Clark

Season Pass

Even if the results were there for Mount Carmel the past two weeks, something was clearly missing.

Though the Caravan was getting healthier with the return of mainstays like linebacker D.J. Romero and more diverse with the emergence of Vince Speller on offense, the formula wasnt complete.

We thought our enthusiasm in the Providence game and the Brother Rice game, it seemed a little down compared to what its been in the past, quarterback Don Butkus said. Thats what wet tried to emphasize, playing with enthusiasm, playing Mount Carmel football. Being fast, energetic. getting to the ball.

I thought the defense really accomplished that.

The numbers proved it, too. The Caravan didnt give up a play for positive yardage till early in the second quarter, when it was up by four touchdowns and well on the way to a 41-6 win over Simeon Friday night in Class 8A second-round action at Gately Stadium.

Butkus threw two touchdown passes to Speller and ran for another score for Mount Carmel (10-1), which goes on the road next weekend to play the winner of Saturdays Lyons-OFallon game. Simeon (8-2), which had won eight straight since an opening loss to Loyola, drops back into the Prep Bowl playoffs.

The tone for this game was set early by Mount Carmel on both offense and defense.

Butkus raced 79 yards down the left sideline on the second play from scrimmage to set up his own two-yard touchdown run on the next play.

Our dive fake ... sold it, Butkus said of the long run. Their safety ended up flying all the way up to the line of scrimmage. I tried to take advantage of it.

After Simeon went three-and-out, Mount Carmel again needed just three plays to score, this time on a 19-yard run up the middle by Draco Smith (10 carries, 66 yards).

Speller then picked off Simeon quarterback Elcee Burke (6-of-12, 70 yards) on the next play from scrimmage and eight plays after that.

Matt Domer (five carries, 58 yards) went 15 yards for a 21-0 Caravan lead with 3:57 left in the first quarter.

Butkus (seven carries, 82 yards; 57 yards passing) hit Speller with scoring passes of 16 and 30 yards in the second quarter, sandwiched around another TD run by Domer of 12 yards. It was 41-0 at halftime and the only score of the second half was Darnell Cockrells late touchdown run for Simeon.

Vince is a hell of an athlete, a big body, Butkus said. We just try to put him where hes going to be able to make plays. A lot of guys are starting to key on Jason Gasser, Mount Carmels leading receiver. ... Being able to hit Vince with two touchdown passes hopefully will open things up for us.

Speller, whos committed to Eastern Illinois as a cornerback, was glad to help out however he could.

We knew Simeon was going to come out and punch us in the mouth, Speller said. We had to throw the first punch.

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

[PHOTO] Joe Maddon, Miguel Montero patch things up over a drink

Despite the Cubs ending their 108-year World Series drought, Miguel Montero made offseason headlines for all the wrong reasons when he complained about his role in the Cubs' 2017 championship campaign.

Montero criticized Maddon's communication skills, catching rotation and bullpen decision-making after the team's Grant Park celebration. Maddon brushed off the criticism, and last week at spring training Montero said he hadn't spoke with the Cubs' skipper.

That tension appears to be all but a thing of the past, as Montero posted this picture of him and his manager sharing a drink together sporting nothing but smiles.

It's safe to say Montero would describe his relationship with Maddon now as: #WeAreGood.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks clash with Wild tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Minnesota Wild tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Road warriors.

The Blackhawks have won six straight games away from the United Center, and are looking to make it a seventh in Minnesota tonight. They've scored the game's first goal in four of those wins, and in the other two, overcame 1-0 deficits to beat Dallas 5-3 and Edmonton 5-1, the latter of which they scored five unanswered goals.

2. Corey Crawford vs. Devan Dubnyk.

Crawford hasn't quite been the same since undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Dec. 3, but he turned in probably his best outing since then in the Blackhawks' last meeting against Minnesota on Feb. 8 when he stopped 35 of 38 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. He essentially stole two points, and prevented the Wild from picking up the extra one. Across from him tonight will be Dubnyk, who leads the league in wins (32), goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.934).

3. Jonathan Toews on fire.

After a tough offensive drought earlier in the season that lasted longer than expected, the Blackhawks captain has six goals and 10 assists in his last 12 games, and upped his point total to 37, which now ranks fifth on the team. In the last meeting against Minnesota two weeks ago, Toews had a three-point night and scored the game winner in overtime. 

4. Mikael Granlund among league's most underrated players.

File Granlund under the category of players who don't get enough attention. He has 17 goals and 36 assists in 58 games this season, and his 53 points is tied with Jeff Carter and Artemi Panarin for 13th in the NHL's scoring race. The next highest point total on the Wild is Eric Staal with 45, an eight-point gap between him and Granlund. The 24-year-old forward registered his first career hat trick earlier this month, and also had a 12-game point streak just two weeks ago.

5. Ryan Hartman's closing in on 15 goals.

In Saturday's 3-1 loss to Edmonton, Hartman defended his teammate by fighting an Oilers defenseman that was practically twice his size. He called it a "no-brainer" to stick up for Tanner Kero and did well in the scrap, but it led to an Oilers power play and 10-minute misconduct which didn't do the Blackhawks any favors. He responded in a great way Sunday by scoring the game's first goal that helped his team win 5-1 in Buffalo. The next goal he scores will be No. 15, which would give the Blackhawks six 15-plus goal scorers on the year. They had only four a season ago.

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