Brother Rice’s Jack Lausch (8) hugs Sean Kinard (12) during the game against Mount Carmel. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Brother Rice quarterback Jack Lausch finished his postgame TV interview and turned around to find a dozen or so younger kids waiting for his autograph.
Brother Rice quarterback Jack Lausch finished his postgame TV interview and turned around to find a dozen or so younger kids waiting for his autograph, among other things.
One kid asked Lausch for a jersey. Another shook his hand, then said he was never washing it again. That’s the kind of stuff that happens after a packed house on the South Side watches you run for 253 yards, score four touchdowns and beat Mount Carmel 41-28 in a Class 7A state quarterfinal.
Lausch’s offensive fireworks, however, wouldn’t have been enough without some key plays by the defense.
Khary Shaw, whose last-minute heroics saved the Crusaders (10-2) in the first round against Wheaton Warrenville South, came up huge again. The senior snagged an interception with 3:29 left to set up the touchdown that put Brother Rice ahead by two scores.
”I had to jump up and get it and call game,” Shaw said. ”I was getting tired. It was that time. I’m not the most vocal guy, so I lead by what I can do on the field. Once I got that pick, I knew we had the win. Our team runs on energy, and we had a lot of it today.”
The Caravan led 7-6 at halftime, but the defensive battle totally fell apart in the second half. Shaw wasn’t the only tired defender on the field.
Crusaders running back Aaron Vaughn ran for a 79-yard touchdown on the first play of the third quarter.
”In the locker room [at halftime], we said we didn’t want this to be it, to buckle down and do what we do and put up another 40,” Vaughn said.
Vaughn finished with 17 carries for 174 yards, and Brother Rice rushed for 431 yards. Lausch was 5-for-15 for 77 yards passing and threw two interceptions, both in the first half.
”Mount Carmel’s a great program, and especially when you see them twice, they can make adjustments,” Lausch said. ”You just find any way to win. I’m proud of the way we fought and [how] we played offensively and defensively.”
Lausch again. Running and spinning free for a TD. What a run. Brother Rice leads Mount Carmel 35-28 with 4:26 left pic.twitter.com/4zH5mSH8SV
— Michael O’Brien (@michaelsobrien) November 14, 2021
The Caravan (8-4) never led after Vaughn’s touchdown run to open the second half, but they did tie the score on a stunning 49-yard run by Joey Thompson. It came only two minutes after a 49-yard touchdown run by Lausch.
Thompson also had six receptions for 50 yards.
”There’s no doubt the defenses were tired,” Brother Rice coach Brian Badke said. ”Two offenses that no-huddle and all that can especially hurt if you don’t have any depth. We’ve established some after the injuries and whatnot. And we made some big plays on defense and capitalized on them.”
Mount Carmel quarterback Blainey Dowling was 16-for-34 with two interceptions. He also had 24 carries for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
”We knew it was going to be a battle,” Badke said. ”Our offensive line really dominated the line of scrimmage, and the defensive guys made some big plays.”
The Crusaders will travel to Wheaton North for the semifinals next weekend.