WASHINGTON ― Mount Carmel gained a little more than just a homecoming victory against Breese Mater Dei last Friday.
The Golden Aces (1-3), who halted a four-game losing streak dating back to Nov. 5, 2016, as Zach Whittler stopped Travis Jasper short of the goal line on a 2-point conversion run, preserved a 27-26 overtime win that, more importantly, gave MCHS a significant boost of confidence.
“I think this is the kind of win that can turn our season around,” Mount Carmel wide receiver/defensive back Jacob Thacker said after the Golden Aces' first win of 2017. “We had to start somewhere, and this one was as exciting as they come.”
MCHS quarterback Austin Rager said last Friday his team has confidence heading into tonight's Big Eight Conference road game at Washington. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. (Central).
“This is a new start for us,” Rager said. “Now, our whole team knows that we can win.”
Rager enters the game against the Hatchets after completing 36 of 74 passes for 382 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in three games this season. Both of his interceptions came against the Knights last Friday.
With 344 yards and four touchdowns on 65 carries, Rager is Mount Carmel's leading rusher.
Braden Stipp, who has been the Golden Aces' go-to receiver this season, has 28 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns.
Thacker (32), Whittler (29) and Blake Kight (26) are the top three tacklers for MCHS. Whittler has a team-leading three sacks and Stipp adds a team-high three interceptions.
Whittler said practice this week was mostly the same as it has been all season.
“It's been about the same because we're focusing on getting a win tonight (at Washington),” Whittler said.
At 0-2 in the Big Eight Conference, the Golden Aces are seeking their first league win of 2017.
MCHS has scored 90 points and allowed 101 points in its first four games.
Meet the Hatchets
Washington enters the contest at 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big Eight. The Hatchets have scored 172 points and allowed 82 points.
Quarterback Jose Mejias is Washington's undisputed leader. A dual threat to pass and run, he is 37 of 68 for 824 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions through the air, while adding 277 yards and two TDs on 51 carries this season.
Kevin Laguerre (36 carries, 367 yards, five TDs), Daniel Devine (38 carries, 143 yards, one TD) and Jaydin Pendley (25 carries, 123 yards, one TD) comprise a potent backfield for Washington, which has piled up 1,074 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2017.
Wes Edwards (11 catches, 466 yards, five TDs) and Marcus Thorne (14 catches, 171 yards, four TDs) are the primary receivers for Mejias.
Pendley (16) and Thorne (11) are the top tacklers for the Hatchets. Laguerre has one sack, while Thorne adds one interception.