By Tim Hayes ’22
Fresh off an dominant 44-14 win against the De La Salle Meteors, the Crusaders traveled to 64th and Dante to take on rival Mount Carmel Caravan. Mount Carmel was coming off an unexpected 27-0 loss to St. Ignatius and was out for revenge.
The Caravan started fast with a 40-yard touchdown rush up the middle by Damarion Arrington to make it 7-0 early in the first quarter.
The Crusader offense responded quickly with Aaron Vaughn rushing to the left to make it 7-6. Kicker Jack Welniak missed the extra point but a flag was called on Mount Carmel. Coach Brian Badke would send the offense back on to go for a 2-point conversion which would see a Philly special, so good it would make Nick Foles proud, to make it 8-7 Crusaders.
Taking over at the beginning of the second quarter, the Crusader offense marched down the field and took it to the Caravan 3-yard line. From there, senior QB Jack Lausch would have an easy throw to tight end Henry Boyer for a Crusader touchdown to make it 15-7.
Mount Carmel responded well with a 20-yard touchdown throw by Blainey Dowling to a wide-open Damarion Arrington to make it 15-14.
The Crusader offense kept going and with 4:31 left in the second quarter, Lausch found Danny White at the front of the endzone to extend the Crusader lead to 22-14. Mount Carmel got the ball back and after a good drive, a panic throw by Dowling would see CB Dameon Hall intercept the ball at the Crusader 3-yard line.
Brother Rice saw out the rest of the half and the Caravan started out with the ball. Damarion Arrington would sneak it through the middle of the Crusader d-line for an 18-yard touchdown to make it a one-point game.
Heading into the 4th quarter, the Crusader offense faced a daunting 4th and 16 from the Caravan 29-yard line. Badke kept Lausch and the offense on the field and after rolling to the right, Lausch connected with Da’kobie Wordlaw with an unbelievable catch in the endzone to make it a 29-21 ballgame.
Lausch said, “It was 4th and 16 in a crucial point in the game. We knew we needed to make a play. I saw Kobie in the end zone and knew that he was going to make a play for us. That catch was phenomenal. The guys up front did a great job and Kobie made a huge play for us.”
After a massive 4th down stop on their own goal line, the Crusader offense kept rolling and after going 97 yards downfield, Lausch would hand the ball off to Tommy Bennett from 2 yards out for a touchdown to extend the lead to 36-21.
Carmel wouldn’t go away though. From the Crusader 1-yard line, Damarion Arrington scored his fourth touchdown of the game, making it 36-28. After a controversial onside kick, the Caravan got the ball back with 3:38 left in the game, and from the Crusader 19-yard line, Arrington put his fifth touchdown away. After a successful 2-point conversion, the game was tied at 36.
On the first play of the next Crusader drive, Lausch rolled to his left, and with just 50 seconds left on the clock, Lausch found Danny White downfield at the Caravan 30-yard line. After an astonishing catch by White, he would run without resistance for a 65-yard touchdown catch to make it 43-36.
On the catch, Lausch said, “Two-minute drill is a situation that you practice and dream of doing in a game. We knew that we needed to get a score and win the game. I rolled out to allow the receivers to get themselves open and Danny just beat his guy. He made an amazing play and took it to the house.”
With only 50 seconds and no timeouts, Carmel managed to drive it to the Crusader 25-yard line with one second left and one last chance to win the game. Dowling took the snap and looked for Arrington in the back corner, but the ball was batted away by Lausch himself, reliving his sophomore days as a safety and giving the Crusaders a 43-36 win.
On the win, Lausch said, “I was really happy with the way we competed and fought until the very end. It’s awesome to win a big rivalry game like that on the road.”