Matt Lenti’s tackle saves Mount Carmel’s upset of Loyola

Mount Carmel's Demetrias Rias (22) breaks through the line. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.
Mount Carmel's Demetrias Rias (22) breaks through the line. Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times.

It all came down to the final moment of the final play of the game. If Loyola quarterback Matthew Schiltz gets into the end zone the Ramblers win. If Mount Carmel stops him it wins.

Matt Lenti got the job done. The Caravan senior flew at Schiltz’s feet and took him down before he crossed the goal line. No. 18 Mount Carmel beats No. 2 Loyola 17-12 in Wilmette. Watch it below:

“I saw the quarterback scrambling out to his left and I saw that we had [the receivers] pretty well covered,” Lenti said. “So I knew he was going to come out and run so I came up and made the tackle.”

It was the game-winning play, but it was just one of a slew of big defensive plays by the Caravan. Lenti also had an interception. Sophomore linebacker Kenenna Odeluga was a force. He had two interceptions and made several key tackles. Ross Valenti had two sacks and Koron Walker had one.

“Our defensive line played an outstanding game,” Lenti said. “We really shut down their run early and after that all they tried to do was pass. We played the pass heavier and made plays.”

Loyola (2-1) scored first but Mount Carmel (2-1) answered with 17 consecutive points. Both touchdowns were short runs from senior Kieran Conjar.

“It’s brand new for us on offense,” Mount Carmel coach Jordan Lynch said. “They are learning and we are getting stronger every day.

“[Conjar] is everything you want as a first-year head coach. I couldn’t be more thankful for him.”

The Caravan’s last win against Loyola was in 2014.

“Everyone knows Loyola, everyone knows Mount Carmel,” Lenti said. “It’s a big game. I don’t think people thought we had that good of a chance to win. The defense played their butts off.”

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Schiltz was 23-for-41 passing for 265 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions. Rory Boos caught 13 passes for 188 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Flores was Loyola’s leading rusher with 13 carries for 40 yards.

“Mount Carmel is built on defense,” Lynch said. “That wins championships. Our defense carried us today.”

Demetrius Rias had 17 carries for 86 yards for Mount Carmel and Rad Premovic, the quarterback, completed three passes for 20 yards and ran for 61 yards.

Lynch, who took over for legendary coach Frank Lenti under controversial circumstances in December, earned his first signature win in just his third game as head coach.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with the coaches, it is the players,” Lynch said. “Our seniors are hungry. Matt Lenti, Kieran Conjar, Koron Walker, Rad Premovic came out and played a heck of a game.”

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