Byline: Kathy Rudolph Daily Herald Correspondent
Friday night's matchup between Carmel and Gordon Tech could have gone down as the game that brought stickum back to football.
Instead, the host Corsairs are more likely to remember their 18-14 victory for building the kind of character that wins games like this one.
An interception and a fumble led to both of Gordon Tech's scores. It also put Carmel (1-2, 1-0) in a hole that its offense didn't seem capable of getting out of.
"We're young and we're learning how to win," said Carmel coach Mike Fitzgibbons. "The kids talked about learning when they lose. Now they want to learn when they win."
At the top of the list of those leaving the game with a stronger character would have to be Carmel running back John O'Malley.
With his team down 8-6, O'Malley was hit hard and coughed up the ball at his own 17-yard line. Gordon Tech's Paul Chabura scooped the ball up and scored to give the Rams a 14-6 lead with 5:23 remaining in the third quarter.
But O'Malley redeemed himself when he ran back the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown despite appearing to be stopped at least three times during that run.
"He fumbles the ball, and he's on the kickoff team. What happens? He comes out and runs it all the way back. That epitomizes this group," Fitzgibbons said. …