A new era for Our Lady of Mount Carmel began Friday evening as the school played its first-ever varsity football game.
In a scene right out of “Friday Night Lights”, the Cougars took to the field at Eastern Regional Park against the school’s closest MIAA neighbor and biggest rival Baltimore Lutheran. Saints coach and athletic director Brent Johnson and Baltimore County Councilman Joe Bartenfelder, who each played an important role in helping make the Cougar football program a reality, were honored before the game.
The Saints posted a 34-24 decision, but the night belonged to the fans and supporters who witnessed history. Hundreds of current students from Mount Carmel’s lower and upper school and parents lined the sidelines and filled the bleachers, keeping track of all the Cougars’ firsts.
The first touchdown in a Mount Carmel was from the opposing end as Saints (2-0) marched down the field on the opening drive, and quarterback Aaron Armes capped it with a two-yard run. Gabe Yuille provided the first big play in Mount Carmel football history, returning the ensuing kickoff to the Saints’ 30-yard line.
On the Cougars’ second-ever drive, Corey Brown became a trivia answer in Mount Carmel athletic lore, scoring the first football touchdown from a yard out, tying the game at 6 in the first quarter.
The Saints regained lead in the second quarter on a 39-yard run by John Nunes, but the Cougars quickly responded with an 88-yard kick return by Yuille for a touchdown, bringing the Cougars to within a point at half, 13-12.
At halftime, Mount Carmel presented a $600 check to Brodie Crowder, the cousin of John Crowder, to assist in starting the John Crowder Foundation. Mount Carmel students and faculty donated the money during the school day Friday.
Crowder, a promising student/athlete, was gunned down July 5 in east Baltimore.
The Saints pulled away in the third quarter as Jay Davis picked up a fumble and ran 35 yards for a touchdown, and Nunes scored from seven yards out.
Though the scoreboard read Lutheran 34, Mount Carmel 24, Cougars coach Robb Johnson was elated.
“I am proud of all our players, they played hard and looked as good as some teams who have been around for years,” said Johnson.
The night was summed up by Mount Carmel senior Daquanne Boothe, who thanked Bartenfelder for his help to the football program. Moments later, he told a fan he didn’t know what the final score was.
“I was having too much fun,” Boothe said.
Baltimore Lutheran 34, Mount Carmel 24
BL 6 7 14 7-34
MC 6 6 6 6-24
BL-Arms 2 run (kick failed)
MC-Brown 1 run (kick failed)
BL-Nunes 39 run (Dooley kick)
MC-Yuille 88 kickoff return (kick failed)
BL-Davis 35 fumble return (Dooley kick)
BL-Nunes 7 run (Dooley kick)
MC-Onwudiegwu 26 run (pass failed)
BL-Davis 11 pass from Arms (Dooley kick)
MC-Yuille 11 run (run failed)