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Friday, December 9, 2022

Banks on it: Daniel Banks delivers game-clinching sack as Mount Carmel holds off Brother Rice: ‘This kid’s a stud.’

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Mount Carmel’s Daniel Banks is not your typical defensive lineman.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pound junior played safety and tight end before moving to defensive end for the Caravan. He knows some people might not expect much from him there.

“When they moved me to D-line, I just took over on defense,” Banks said. “I always think someone is counting me out. Every single time I get out there, I think about that chip on my shoulder and I play for it.”

Banks came up with the game-sealing sack in the final minute Friday night, allowing the Caravan to escape with a 28-21 CCL/ESCC Blue win over host Brother Rice in Chicago.

Blainey Dowling completed 22 of 34 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns for Mount Carmel (6-0, 2-0). He also ran for the game-winning 15-yard TD with 1:58 to go.

Marcus Brown, a junior making his first start at quarterback for Brother Rice (3-3, 0-2), ran 18 times for 64 yards and two TDs. He ended up completing 5 of 7 passes for 138 yards and a TD.

With Brown going out after suffering an injury in the third quarter, Ryan Hartz drove the Crusaders down to Mount Carmel’s 27-yard line in the final minute.

But Tavon Rice sacked Hartz on second down. Then on fourth-and-16, Banks broke through the offensive line and came up with another sack to clinch the victory.

“When we were in the huddle, coach (Jordan Lynch) said, ‘Do it for your brothers,’” Banks said. “I couldn’t think about losing to Brother Rice four times in a row.

“I hit him with a good move and I got to the quarterback.”

Mount Carmel's Denny Furlong (11) gets tackled after making a catch against Brother Rice during a CCL/ESCC Blue game in Chicago on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

Dowling said Banks has shown in practice he can make big plays.

“Honestly, in the offseason, I didn’t think he was going to be a help on our defense,” Dowling said. “Then there was one week where he just completely wrecked our O-line.

“He came back from a concussion and it was just out of nowhere like, ‘Who’s this kid?’ That’s when I knew, ‘This kid’s a stud.’”

Dowling, meanwhile, led the winning drive after Mount Carmel took over at the 50 with 5:38 to go in a 21-21 tie.

He hit Danyil Taylor Jr. on a key 8-yard pass on third-and-8 and then bolted for the go-ahead TD on a 15-yard run.

On the winning score, Dowling had the option to hand the ball to Darrion Dupree or take off himself. He chose the latter.

Brother Rice quarterback Marcus Brown (16) hands off the ball to Randall Nauden (21) during a CCL/ESCC Blue game in Chicago on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

“We were reading it until the end,” Dowling said. “We saw something and we liked it. We thought it’d hit and it did.”

Denny Furlong had nine catches for 138 yards and a TD for Mount Carmel.

Before suffering an injury, Brown was terrific with his arm and legs for Brother Rice, running for a pair of 4-yard TDs and hitting Owen Lyons for a 52-yard TD pass midway through the third quarter to force the 21-21 tie.

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Leo Niksic had an interception and forced a fumble for the Crusaders.

Brother Rice coach Casey Quedenfeld felt most people expected Mount Carmel, which has won its first five games by at least 24 points, to handle the Crusaders with the same ease.

Brother Rice quarterback Ryan Hartz (17) throws a pass against Mount Carmel during a CCL/ESCC Blue game in Chicago on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.

“We know what the noise is and we just have to not believe in that noise,” Quedenfeld said. “We hear all the stuff about new coach, new scheme, only three returning starters.

“The guys believed in themselves and they came out and scrapped. We constantly use the word ‘scrap.’ That’s who we are. That’s what our identity is.”

Scrappy also is a good way to describe Banks.

“I love when people underestimate me,” Banks said. “I can’t let them be right. I’ve got to prove everybody wrong.”

Steve Millar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.



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