The result sent shock waves around the city’s football community in high school on Friday: St. Ignatius 27, Mount Carmel 0.
Forget Monday’s usual Four Downs. This disruption is big enough to pull all the focus off the weekend. Wolfpack’s last victory against Mount Carmel was in 1928. The teams were equal in 1960.
The story is a bit misleading because St. Ignatius did not have a football team from 1964 to 2005. But it also increases Wolfpack’s performance. They have built a program from scratch.
“It’s been two days and I’m still trying to treat it,” said St. Ignatius junior Vinny Rugai. “I have been to Mount Carmel matches since I was born and I do not remember seeing them shut out or lose by more than 14 points. They just came out flat. We were sure to go in and knew we could take it to them and knew they might be underestimating us. ”
Rugai plays linebacker and runs back for Wolfpack. He had 12 tackles and 14 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown against the caravan.
Rugai has been to Mount Carmel matches for so long because his father played quarterback for Caravan.
“He was fond of me and had certainly rooted in St. Ignatius,” Rugai said. “But it meant a lot more to beat them because he played there, and Mount Carmel football has been such a part of our lives.”
Wolfpack runs the triple option. Coach Matt Miller says the running game behind a line of Damian Lassak, Will Mulchrone, Jake Rothgery, Emmett Rhoades, Drew Steigleder had 335 rushing yards against the caravan.
St. Ignatius has had about eight players go both ways before this season. Rugai is now the only player to start with offense and defense, which is a sign of growth for the program.
“Rugai is all over the field and also a really good leader,” Miller said. “Jack Molloy’s father is also an alum from Mount Carmel. He had 10 carries on 87 yards and a touchdown and caught our only pass. ”
St. Ignatius opened the season with victories against Von Steuben, Bremen, St. Laurence and Marmion. It’s a good start, but it gave no indication of what would happen to the caravan.
“The Marmion game was tough for us,” Rugai said. “We were down 16 in the fourth quarter and won. So after that, we did not celebrate during the match against Mount Carmel. We knew anything could happen. ”
Mount Carmel finished second last week and has beaten St. Rita, Phillips, Notre Dame and Marist this season.
“I did not know what to say to the team right after the game,” Miller said. “I was shocked.”
St. The Ignatius community rejoiced in the victory all weekend.
“I got a message from Tony Harris, who started the program in 2003,” Miller said. “Then I heard from many of the players who went through the hard parts early, the 1-8 seasons. When you think about how much it means to so many people, it really starts to build and you see the gain. Mount Carmel has been dominant for so long. We are missing another playoff match. ”
That’s the next step for Wolfpack. They have four winable matches to end the season: De La Salle, St. Viator, DePaul Prep and Fenwick. St. Ignatius is likely to enter the final class of Class 6A with a high seed.
“A gain like this changes the mindset of everyone around you,” Miller said. “We keep playing the playoffs and then take some lumps. This was a really big one for us to take a step forward. ”
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