ST. CHARLES -- University City High senior running back David Carmichael doesn't mind too much that his remarkable 2012 season has gone vastly unnoticed by most fans and experts who the local high school football scene.
Carmichael has been one of the best players in what might be the best football conference in the state this year. Yet hardly anyone had noticed.
That is until Wednesday night, when the U. City rushing dynamo announced himself to the local high school football world, with an all-world performance—159 yards and five touchdowns—to lead the Lions to a 42-0 upset win over top-seeded St. Charles West at Steve Stahl Stadium in St. Charles.
"I try," Carmichael said, after leading U. City to an astonishing blowout win over the GAC North champion and district No. 1 seed Warriors. "We can throw the ball too, but our run game's better. So, got to give a shout out to my offensive line. They just opened holes for me all night."
Boy did they ever, as U. City had no trouble moving the ball on the ground, and gained huge chunks of yards whether it was Carmichael, quarterback George Brown, or freshman Jabriee Mason running the ball.
Carmichael's scoring runs came on plays of 2, 16, 30, 2 and 20 yards. But the way the U. City offensive line blocked on Wednesday, it could have been any of the Lions' backs to provided the scores.
"I believe a smart man would always try to get the ball into the hands of his best players," U. City head coach Carl Reed said. "Last year, we had Alex Henry, Tony Newman, and DeAndre Williams, so our best players were all receivers.
"This year, our best guys are guys that run the ball. So we could go either or. We still have all that stuff in our offense, but our strength is running it, so that's what we do."
U. City also had a stellar night on defense, holding St. Charles West to less than 200 yards of total offense, while also forcing four turnovers.
One of those big turnovers was an interception by sophomore Ronnell Perkins near his own goalline, as St. Charles West was attempting to score just before halftime.
Had the Warriors been able to get any kind of points, it would have possibly given them some momentum going into the break, even though they were down 35-0 at the time.
At that point, any kind of positive happening would have been huge for St. Charles West.
But Perkins, who also had a touchdown catch in the first half, stepped in front of West quarterback Kyle Anders' pass for his second momentum-killing interception of the night, and with it, took away the Warriors' best chance to get any points.
Carmichael now has 1,169 rushing yards this season—third most in the Suburban South Conference—and he leads the league with 22 touchdowns.
"We expect this from Dave," Reed said. "He is a very consistent back. He's a 1,000-yard back in our tough conference. He does a great job of finding the end zone, and we're very proud of him. The offensive line did an outstanding job of blocking for him tonight. We were prepared to win in the trenches this week."
U. City (6-5) will now face Clayton High School for the Class 4 District 5 championship on Monday, Nov. 5, at Gay Field in Clayton.
The Greyhounds are 8-3 this year, after finishing second in the Suburban East Conference, and are led by their own dynamite little running back Tyler Walker.
Kickoff on Monday is set for 7 p.m., with the winner advancing to the MSHSAA state quarterfinals on Saturday, November 10.
"We're just trying to get to the Dome," Carmichael said, of U. City's hopes to reach the state championship game. "That's what it's all about."
Score by Quarters ... 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 -- Final
University City ....... 21 . 14 .. 7 ... 0 -- 42
St. Charles West ..... 0 .... 0 ... 0 ... 0 -- 0
UC - David Carmichael 2 yd run (Chris McFadden kick) -- 7:19 .......... 7-0
UC - David Carmichael 16 yd run (Chris McFadden kick) -- 4:11 ....... 14-0
UC - David Carmichael 30 yd run (Chris McFadden kick) -- :14.8 ....... 21-0
UC - Ronnell Perkins 30 yd pass from George Brown (Chris McFadden kick) -- 11:48 ..... 28-0
UC - David Carmichael 2 yd run (Chris McFadden kick) -- 6:48 ......... 35-0
UC - David Carmichael 20 yd run (Chris McFadden kick) -- 8:28 ........ 42-0