Features | Friday Night Drive

Mount Carmel ready to let playmakers make plays

Jordan Lynch has a simple motto as a coach: players over plays.

The Mount Carmel coach used his talent to make plays as a Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback at Northern Illinois and brought that to his coaching career, letting his playmakers show off their talents and take over games.

“I can think I’m the best coach out there, but players win games, plays don’t win games, players in high school especially,” Lynch said. “Keep it simple, make these kids run a few schemes and make them believe in the schemes. Sell the scheme and at the end of the day, players over plays.”

Mount Carmel has playmakers on both sides of the ball but has riches of talent on the offensive end. One of the brightest stars on the Caravan offense features junior running back Darrion Dupree, one of the top Class of 2024 prospects in Illinois who holds 16 scholarship offers that include seven Power Five offers.

Dupree is a multi-threat running back, one who can cut and run the ball well and who also improved his pass-catching ability. The junior’s speed makes him an electric threat on offense and Dupree is thankful that his coach lets him show off his talent.

“He’ll have us pass, run, whatever is best for the player,” Dupree said.

Mount Carmel picked up the tempo in practice this summer and players have spent more time coaching each other than they’ve stopped practices to coach. The Caravan are more confident in their ability to know what to do in each situation.

Senior quarterback Blainey Dowling learned the importance of getting the ball to his playmakers’ hands over the offseason. After making his varsity debut as a junior, Dowling gained experience and learned when’s a good time to try to squeeze in a pass on a contested play or when he should try to make a play running the ball.

“It doesn’t always have to be a 10-yard, 15-yard throw,” Dowling said. “If you check down, you’ve got playmakers like Darrion Duprre, Jaden Bossie, Danny Furlong, Damarion Arrington, you give them a check down, they can turn that into 15, 20 yards.”

Lynch’s philosophy also translates to the team’s defense. The Caravan switched to a 3-4 defense from s 4-2-5 but Lynch admitted there isn’t much scheme to it.

The Caravan have plenty of athletes roaming around who can make plays, like defensive lineman Asher Tomaszewski and edge rusher Danny Novickas. Players like Novickas like the ability to swarm the ball and to have the chance to make a play when they see an opportunity.

“It feels really good to stick by whatever our coaches teach us but being able to go out here and play my game, play what I do,” Novickas said. “I think it definitely works and definitely benefits the team.”

Lynch is excited to watch what his players can do this season. After a season when 18 players played their first varsity snap last year, the Caravan are ready to show off what they learned last season and make some plays.

“I’m super excited,” Lynch said. “I feel confident. Any time I call a play I one, our quarterback is going to get us in the right play and two, that players over plays, that Darrion Dupree is going to go the distance and time he touches the ball.”