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Late 99-yard drive a winner for Carmel

CHICAGO -- Jordan Kos bottled his frustration after fumbling a punt that left Carmel on its 1-yard line as soon as it happened in the fourth quarter.

He understood right away if the Corsairs had any chance of rallying from a three-point deficit in the final minutes, his disappointment had to be short-lived. Immediately, Kos got in the huddle and went back to work.

Over the next 18 plays and five minutes, Kos was given the ball nine times and pushed the Corsairs down the field. He rushed for a total of 42 yards before junior Brian Brennan scored the biggest touchdown of his career, scoring from 20 yards out to put Carmel ahead.

The Corsairs’ defense held strong in the end, picking off Marist for the third time, as visiting No. 5 Carmel defeated the RedHawks 20-16 in the East Suburban Catholic matchup.

“It was a little pressure,” said Kos, whose team improved to 5-0. “We had to drive 99 yards. I kind of felt responsible, like I owed it to my team. I had to run hard there.

“Anything can happen. We know what this team is capable of. We’re really confident in everyone we got out here. Stranger things have happened. We’re just going to bust our tails, do what we could, get in the end zone, win the game.”

Brennan’s game-winning score was the finishing touch on a memorable day for him. It started during the first period of class Friday, when Carmel coach Andy Bitto told him he would be playing a larger role that evening.

He took full advantage of that opportunity, beginning in the second quarter when he was pitched the ball at running back and threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Cappis to give the Corsairs a 13-9 lead. He would end the day with one touchdown pass, one touchdown run and 80 rushing yards on 12 carries.

“Basically, I was ready to play,” said Brennan, whose brother Sean Brennan also intercepted a pass. “I wasn’t nervous. I don’t really get nervous.”

As for the final touchdown, Brennan took little credit.

“Everyone was blocking well, I saw a hole, I took it, end zone right there,” he said. “I didn’t see anything. All I saw was grass.”

It was what Kos also saw most of the game. He ran for a game-high 213 yards on 23 carries. He had four runs of 10-plus yards, including a 38-yarder and a 67-yard touchdown run.

Trailing 13-10 at halftime, Marist (3-2) went ahead 16-13 with an 11-yard pass from Luke Oosterbaan to John Caraher on the RedHawks’ first possession of the third quarter.

Oosterbaan was 19-for-29 for 173 yards and two touchdowns. McKinley Moore rushed for 103 yards for the RedHawks.