Darrion Dupree dazzles as Mount Carmel hammers Batavia in Class 7A semifinals

By Chicago 5 Min Read

Darrion Dupree scored four touchdowns in the first 14 minutes of Mount Carmel’s 64-26 victory Saturday against visiting Batavia in the Class 7A state semifinals.

Two of them were among the most impressive in the area this season.

Dupree’s second touchdown came on a 26-yard pass from Jack Elliott that was deflected. Dupree had a good look at the pass as it ricocheted into the air and just stuck with it, contorting his body with grace and control to haul it in.

‘‘That was crazy,’’ said Dupree, a Wisconsin recruit. ‘‘I didn’t even know I caught it. It happened so fast. I can’t wait to see it.’’

His fourth touchdown was a showcase of his raw football ability. It’s why he has a scholarship offer from Alabama.

Dupree caught a short screen pass from Elliott, then started to fall. He steadied himself with a hand to the ground, looked up and saw the entire Bulldogs defense heading for him. He broke multiple tackles, then outran everyone else for a 74-yard touchdown.

‘‘I was tripping, and then it was a touchdown,’’ Dupree said.

Elliott, who accounted for five total touchdowns and threw for an astounding 461 yards, marveled at Dupree’s highlights.

‘‘Special,’’ Elliott said. ‘‘He’s the best player in the country, and we won state last year without him. It’s been like a revenge season for him. He didn’t get to play in the state championship, and he deserves to play in that. So we got him there.’’

Dupree had four carries for 74 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 100 yards and two more against Batavia (11-2). He was injured and missed the playoffs last season.

Elliott was 23-for-28 with four touchdown passes and had three carries for 76 yards and another touchdown. Mount Carmel (12-1) scored every time it had the ball.

Darrion Gilliam had eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown and Kevin Gardner added seven receptions for 94 yards for the Caravan, who led 42-14 at halftime, even though it didn’t feel as though the Bulldogs had played badly.

‘‘They are loaded,’’ Batavia coach Dennis Piron said. ‘‘Our kids played their butts off, and we are a pretty good football program. So when that happens, you are a little bit shocked. . . . It feels like every single play they are a threat to take it to the house.’’

Tavon Rice and Daniel Banks each had two sacks for Mount Carmel. Bulldogs quarterback Ryan Boe was rushed often in the first half.

‘‘They are a great team, great competitors,’’ Rice said. ‘‘It was fun to play against them three years in a row. We have to know their offensive line and study their scheme. It is really just knowledge.’’

The Caravan will face Downers Grove North in the Class 7A title game Saturday at Illinois State’s Hancock Stadium. 

Piron, whose team has suffered season-ending losses to Mount Carmel for three consecutive seasons, has issues with the Caravan’s style.

‘‘There might be some things that an awful lot of people saw that really didn’t look too good over there,’’ Piron said. ‘‘That’s just not how we play.

‘‘They might think they fly around and are physical, but there is a lot of stuff that goes on that doesn’t seem necessary. We have a lot of tough football games, and players hug each other after games and it feels really good. You won or lost a tough battle. This just doesn’t feel so good.’’

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