MOUNT CARMEL -- On a rainy night it literally came to pass, Princeton Community's first football win at Mount Carmel since Nov. 7, 1969 -- a couple weeks after Princeton-born Gil Hodges' New York Mets became Miracle Mets by winning the World Series.
Junior receiver Miles Bostick turned classmate Gerit Bock's pass into a 50-yard second-quarter touchdown that with sophomore Cole Hurt's conversion brought a 7-0 second-quarter lead that stood up for a 14-6 Friday night win a few yards from the Wabash River.
It stood up because, after the Golden Aces reached Princeton's 15 on sophomore Kaleb Applebey's 19-yard pass to junior Satchel Patberg, junior cornerback Darrion Madison intercepted near the goal line and gave the Tigers the ball at their 5 with just 49 seconds left. Bock knelt down three times, forcing the hosts to use their last two time-outs. And when senior Austin Rager fielded Bock's punt and returned 21 yards, he was pushed out of bounds at the 18 with time expired.
"It's great to be part of history," the 16-year-old Bock said of the Tigers' first win in Mount Carmel since their 1969 predecessors prevailed 25-13. Having matched last season's three-win total, they'll match 3-1 records with visiting Gibson Southern in next Friday's 7 p.m. county rivalry renewal.
Due to a steady rain the first quarter-and-a-half, before it eased and eventually stopped, this interstate matchup didn't figure to be decided by pass plays. "Yes the rain and wet field put limitations on us, but Princeton had to contend with the same things and they outplayed us," said Mount Carmel Coach Michael Brewer, whose Golden Aces will take a 1-2 record Friday into to Olney, Ill., a longtime rival until the North Egypt Conference folded early this century.
"Coach (Jared) Maners told us to stay focused and tuned in despite the conditions. We did that," said the 18-year-old Madison, who complemented senior running back Devonte Hardiman in the Tigers' running game. The 210-pound Hardiman, with 3 minutes 32 seconds left, capped a 52-yard drive with a 1-yard thrust that with Hurt's placement brought the final score as the Tigers beat the Golden Aces for the third time in four years.
"It was pretty tough to run early-on, but our coaches told me to run on my outside foot and cut. Running on your outside foot gives you more stability," said the 17-year-old Hardiman, who rushed 18 times for 98 yards and caught 4 passes for 38.
"I've got to credit our offensive line -- Kobe James, Adam Ashworth, Cole Hensley, Julian Hyneman. Tim Ota."
Maners lauded the 17-year-old Hardiman as "Player of the Game. Devonte not only ran the ball, he played big at outside linebacker including his interception at our 25 early in the third quarter."
"Once again our defensive line and linebackers played big. Those eight are tough and can handle about anybody."
The Tigers didn't budge despite losing a fumble on the night's first scrimmage play, after a kickoff that was moved from 7 p.m. to 6 in hopes of beating an expected late storm. A late-first-quarter bid ended when junior Trent Wilkinson intercepted in the end zone, and moments later senior Blake Kight recovered a Hardiman fumble. But they stopped the Aces' next two possesions, regained the ball at their own 40 with 2:04 left in the half, and Madison's 14-yard run started the 60-yard drive capped by the Bock-to-Bostick 50-yard play 54 seconds before the break.
"We knew that play would be there," said Maners. Bock, who completed 9 of 17 passes for 118 yards as the Tigers managed 244 yards of offense while allowing 149, lauded Bostick as "a fast receiver. I saw him get open and just put the ball between their cornerback and safety."
The 16-year-old Bostick, asked how he got open, grinned and said, "I burned him. After I made the catch (near the north sideline), I knew I had to cut in and jump to get past their last man. I was able to do that."
The Aces, after sacking Bock for a 6-yard loss, regained the ball at Princeton's 43 early the third quarter and scored by painstakingly covering that distance in 10 plays. Applebey hit Patberg with a 10-yard pass. Junior Trevor Peterson, who rushed 7 yards earlier on the drive, scored from the 8 with 3:08 left the third quarter. And when Maners argued that the touchdown should have been nullified by a false start, a penalty was assessed and the extra-points play started a yard-and-a-half from goal instead of the 3. So Brewer called for a two-point try.
"Unfortunately we mishandled the snap and the play was stuffed," Brewer said. "We called a wedge play with Kight running the ball. We had our linemen there and Blake is a big, strong kid, but we didn't handle the snap."
Bock's 14-yard pass to Hardiman, the latter's 18-yard run and Bock's 10-yard keeper run set up Hardiman's TD that with Hurt's kick brought the final margin. Applebey's 7-yard pass to Luke Gould, 12-yard run and 19-yard pass to Partberg brought first down at the Tigers' 15, but then came Madison's clinching interception.
"I thought they'd throw to Partberg again since he'd just caught a couple. I kept an eye on their quarterback, got in position and just tried to make a play," Madison said. "Now it feels great."
Prince.Comm. 0 . 7 . 0 . 7--14
MountCarmel . 0 . 0 . 6 . 0--6
P -- Miles Bostick, 50 pass from Gerit Bock (Cole Hurt, kick)
MC -- Trevor Peterson, 8 run (run failed)
P -- Devonte Hardiman, 2 run (Hurt, kick)
P . MC
First downs . 14 . 11
Yds.rushing . 39-152 . 40-109
Passes . 9-11-1 . 6-13-2
Passing yds. 117 . 51
Total off. 57-244 . 53-149
Penalties . 5-40 . 3-15
Princeton: Devonte Hardiman, 18-98; Darrion Madison, 13-38; Gerit Bock, 7-15; team, 2-minus 25.
Mount Carmel: Blake Kight, 12-46; Trevor Peterson, 21-52; Kaleb Applebey, 3-13; Satchel Patberg, 1-1; Austin Rager, 2-(-2); Zeke Hadra, 2-0.
Princeton: Gerit Bock, 9-11-1-117.
Mount Carmel: Kaleb Applebey, 5-13-2-51.
Princeton: Devonte Hardiman, 4-38; Zach Dove, 2-26; Miles Bostick, 1-50; Dominic Hardiman, 1-13; Keith Garrett, 1-1.
Mount Carmel: Satchel Patberg, 2-30, Luke Gould, 2-18, Kyle Kline 1-3.