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No stopping Brown, Caravan
By Larry Weindruch | Daily Herald Correspondent

Palatine's Parker Brown pauses to reflect on the end of his football season after the Pirates' 34-0 loss to Mount Carmel in the Class 8A playoffs Friday night at Palatine.


Daniel White | Staff Photographer

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Published: 11/3/2007 12:32 AM

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All the practice in the world couldn't have prepared Palatine for the speed of Mt. Carmel's Tim Brown.

The 5-foot-8, 180-pound speedster burned Palatine's defense for first-half touchdown runs of 88 and 92 yards and opened the second half with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Coach Frank Lenti gave him the rest of the night off after gaining 191 yards in 6 carries in the No. 1-seeded Caravan's 34-0 victory over the host Pirates on Friday in the second round of the Class 8A football playoffs at Chic Anderson Stadium.

The No. 9-seeded Pirates (7-4) seemed to be on their way to tying the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter when a drive that started on their own 22 reached the Mt. Carmel 19 but stalled on the 34 because of an offensive pass interference penalty.

Jack Hansen's punt pinned the Caravan (11-0) on their own 8, but Brown burst through the line on the second play and outran the Palatine secondary.

"They do that all the time," said Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly. "You can do well for a while and then miss on one play. They've got good backs, and we're not fast in the secondary."

The Pirates moved the ball well on their next possession only to be turned away again. Matt Rossi (13-of-25, 127 yards) completed 4 passes for 37 yards, and his 5-yard scramble moved the ball to the Caravan 8. A pair of incomplete passes ended that threat.

"The coaches thought we could pass, and it worked well early," said Chris Norman, who rushed for 53 yards on 7 carries.

Mt. Carmel stretched the lead to 20-0 with 1:14 left in the half when Brown burst through the line for his 92-yard touchdown, the same play that produced his first score.

"Timmy had a great night," said Mt. Carmel coach Frank Lenti. "The beauty of our style is there are so many things we can do."

In addition to Brown, the Caravan relied on Edwin Williams (21 carries, 89 yards), who scored the first touchdown, and sophomore Denzel Thompson (4 carries, 57 yards, all in the second half).

Mt. Carmel's final score came on a 41-yard pass from Jordan Lynch to tight end Jordan Morgan with 6:03 left in the third quarter.

Although they were out of the game, the Pirates turned in a spirited goal-line stand, stopping Mt. Carmel with 3:21 left, stuffing Williams at the 1.

Rossi then directed a drive that included 2 completions to Nick Busch (6 catches for 43 yards) and a 27-yarder to Tom Eanes on the Caravan 20 with 5.4 seconds left in the game. Rossi's pass to Busch was batted away in the end zone as time expired.

"We were moving the ball effectively until we got to the red zone," Rossi said. "We just couldn't finish."

"We had opportunities that we'd maybe get it in, and just didn't," Donnelly said.

Donnelly said he was proud of his team's first playoff run in 11 years and found Friday's game a valuable learning experience.

"That's why you want to be in the playoffs," Donnelly said. "They (Mt. Carmel) might be in the north bracket again, and it shows us what we have to do to compete with them. When we lose, we learn."

Dan Sutton led the Pirates with 62 yards on 9 carries, and Eanes added 30 in 8 tries. Mookie Williams caught 3 passes for 26 yards, and Eanes had a pair of catches for 37 yards.