BOLINGBROOK, Ill. -- Bolingbrook’s preparation for Saturday’s Class 8A second-round matchup with Mount Carmel began a little over a year ago.
On Oct. 29, 2010, Mount Carmel dominated Bolingbrook in a 28-point victory in the Class 8A first round. It was a difficult defeat for the Raiders to swallow.
From that date, Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow vowed he wasn’t going to allow another team to run an option offense with that much success against his defense. He and his staff went on a mission to learn as much as they could about containing that specific offense.
On Saturday, Bolingbrook’s due diligence paid off. The Raiders confined Mount Carmel’s offense to one touchdown, and they defeated the visiting Caravan 21-7.
“I’ll be honest with you -- our defensive staff researched and talked to people from California and all over the country on how to stop the splitback veer,” Ivlow said. “That was a long process and started with last year’s loss. We knew we were going to cross paths again.”
Bolingbrook (10-1) will host Downers Grove South (10-1) in the Class 8A quarterfinals next week. Downers Grove South defeated Brother Rice on Friday.
In Bolingbrook’s research, the coaches discovered the best approach to stopping the veer offense was technique, reading keys and switching coverages. Bolingbrook followed through in all three areas on Saturday.
Mount Carmel’s offense struggled throughout the night. The Caravan had 104 yards of total offense in the first half, but nearly half of them came on a 43-yard run by Brandon Greer. Mount Carmel also was shut out in the opening half.
In the second half, Mount Carmel rushed for 23 yards and threw for 129 yards and scored one touchdown. The Raiders picked off Caravan quarterback Don Butkus twice in the fourth quarter.
“It just felt like we couldn’t get in a rhythm offensively,” Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti said. “They did a great job. You have to give Bolingbrook credit. They played very well. Our defense I thought did a fine job. We just couldn’t get them off the field. They made a few too many plays.”
Bolingbrook quarterback Aaron Bailey was behind a number of those offensive plays. He rushed for 114 yards on nine carries in the first half and finished with a game-high 127 rushing yards. He also threw for 60 yards.
Bailey broke a 38-yard run on the game’s first play, and the drive later resulted with a 2-yard touchdown run by Jaden Huff to put the Raiders ahead 7-0 in the first quarter. Bailey increased that lead to 14-0 with a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Huff added another touchdown run in the second half to go up 21-0.
“We just have to go through our game plan and not think outside of our head,” Bailey said. “Just go out and perform like we have been, don’t try to change things up. We always have certain plays for certain defenses. We just performed the way we have been doing all season long.”
Mount Carmel scored its lone touchdown on a 31-yard pass to Frank Kelly. Butkus was 13-of-26 passing for 141 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.
Bolingbrook’s Tevin Teamer and Greg Gordon each intercepted a pass.