After fast start, Carmel grinds out slow victory at LF

When both teams scored on their opening possession, it looked like Carmel and Lake Forest would be holding a track meet.

Instead, it turned into a slow trek through a construction zone. The visiting Corsairs were finally able to score two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull out a 20-10 nonconference victory.

Two big plays highlighted a 98-yard drive to produce Carmel's go-ahead touchdown. First, quarterback Johnny Weber hit Torey French for a 34-yard gain. Two plays later, Donovan Dey found daylight up the middle and broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run with 11:07 remaining.

The Corsairs padded the lead on the next drive. While taking a big hit from Lake Forest's Thomas Aberle, Weber tossed a perfect pass to sophomore Kai Owens for a 33-yard TD with 3:27 left.

One question when this one was over was why so few big plays? Both teams seemed content to run the ball up the middle for most of the night.

"They couldn't stop the run," said Carmel coach Jason McKie, a former fullback. "Then when we needed to pass, those big weapons made plays. You grind it out, and you take the shots when necessary."

French's touches were infrequent. He finished with 3 receptions for 56 yards and gained 33 yards on a reverse. But he insisted biding his time doesn't bother him.

"We've got the best receiver corps in the state, the best, most underrated receiver corps in the state and nobody will be able to guard us," said French, an Indiana State commit. "Nobody's going to be able to stop all of us. What they did today, they wanted to put their two safeties over the top of me, they wanted to set their corner outside leverage with inside help. That's cool, we're going to throw it to my guy Kai Owens or my guy Jarren Black."

Dey finished with 156 yards on 20 carries. Weber went 9-for-15 through the air for 94 yards. Lake Forest junior Martin Hippel ran for 69 yards on 15 carries. Scouts QB Daniel Van Camp finished 14-for-29 for 109 yards, while Charlie Markee pulled in 8 receptions.

Dey got Carmel's offense rolling with a 46-yard run on the game's second play. Kyle Lynch finished the touchdown drive with a pair of runs that covered 19 yards.

Lake Forest answered with a nice kickoff return from Nathan Williams and moved 38 yards in six plays, scoring on a 12-yard bubble screen to Williams. A blocked extra point gave the Scouts a 7-6 edge.

A botched Lake Forest punt in the second quarter set up Carmel with a first down at the 15-yard line. But after one fumbled snap, the Corsairs went for it on fourth-and-one and a Wildcat formation snap sailed over Dey's for a 14-yard loss.

"We made a lot of mistakes," McKie said. "We kept them in the game. We had a turnover right on the goal line, should have had a score to close out the half. So we left a lot of points on the board."

Late in the first half, Carmel drew a penalty during an LF punt. The Scouts ran the play again and this time punter Collin Blocki completed a 25-yard pass to Miles Specketer. Lake Forest kicked a short field goal for a 10-6 lead at halftime.

The score was still 10-6 heading into the fourth quarter and it appeared Blocki might be his team's MVP after pinning the Corsairs at the 2-yard line, but Carmel needed just six plays to score the go-ahead touchdown.

Dey said the Corsairs (2-0) were inspired by an appearance by injured tight end Jack Greiber during halftime.

"Recently he got hurt," Dey said. "When we saw how hurt he was, it touched all of us and we just had to play for him."

Added McKie, "One of our tight ends (Greiber) had an unfortunate medical injury, a guy who poured his heart and soul out for this team, so it was unexpected. He came in the locker room and our kids know they've got to play for him because he'd give his right arm to be out here."

Carmel lost massive offensive lineman Tommy Lamberti in the second half. He was using crutches after the game with an ice pack on his right knee.

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