November 10, 2013

Enoch Smith plays strong in playoff victory

CHICAGO -- Enoch Smith was beating himself up emotionally Friday night, midway through the fourth quarter of a huge second-round game in the Illinois Class 7A state playoffs.

The Mount Carmel High School defensive lineman, a 2014 four-star recruit committed to Michigan State, couldn't believe what had just transpired to put rival Chicago St. Rita High ahead of his team, 15-14, with about eight minutes left.

Three plays by Chicago St. Rita receiver/defensive back Julian Crum -- a blocked punt for a safety, a 40-yard TD run on a reverse and a 70-yard TD reception -- undid in about four minutes all the domination Mount Carmel did defensively through nearly three full quarters.

Smith, who mostly lined up at right defensive end, was particularly galled by the reverse, which Crum ran to his side of the field.

"I was a little discouraged, because I felt that if I'd kept my shoulders parallel to the line of scrimmage I could've made that stop," he said, after helping the Caravan seal off a 20-15 comeback victory at their home field, Gately Stadium, on Chicago's South side. "My coach just told me to keep my head up and, 'Next time you get out there, you're going to make a big-time play,' which I did."

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