Countdown to FNL: Mount Carmel

Fall high school season is quickly approaching, so we're taking a look at a few of the teams we'll be tracking this fall.

As the defending 8A state champions, the Mount Carmel Caravan will have a target on their backs all year, and everyone will be throwing their best at them all season.

For the most part, Mount Carmel brings back the main core of their talent from last season. Draco Smith is now at Northern Illinois, Vince Speller is at Eastern Illinois, and quarterback Don Butkus has graduated.

But MSU commit Enoch Smith Jr., Illinois commit Matt Domer, and division one offensive line recruit Nate Oquendo return. Mount Carmel will definitely need to solidify the quarterback position for their triple option rushing attack, but they have a talented back in Domer to tote the rock and carry the load.

At the center of it all is storied Head Coach Frank Lenti Sr. The long time Caravan coach has led his team to the State Championship game several times over his career and come home victorious in a few, including last year. So of course he'll be looking to bring another home this year.

Here are some games to watch...

Toughest Game: 10/18 v. Providence Catholic

Last year's matchup between these teams was marred with turnovers, but it was a defensive battle and a big game. I would expect both teams to be rolling at full steam coming into this one yet again.

Potential Trap Game: 9/27 v. St. Rita

With a huge matchup against perennial power Loyola Academy the following week, St. Rita is always a tough matchup. If Mount Carmel looks ahead to the next week and overlooks St. Rita, they might fall victim to the infamous "trap game." Especially since Loyola handed Mount Carmel their only loss last year during their state championship season.

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