BIG RED ROLLING… Mount Carmel Area 41, Central Mountain 21
The Mount Carmel Area Red Tornadoes took their longest road trip of the season Friday night playing Central Mountain at the Wildcats’ Don Malinak stadium, which sits roughly 75 miles from the Silver Bowl. As the Tornado team bus traveled up Interstate 80 to Mill Hall, players had plenty of time to reflect on this week’s message from head coach John Darrah, “Be mature and focus on this week…It’s a long bus ride, we’re playing on the road, and this team has some good athletes.”. The Tornadoes showed that focus early and maintained it enough throughout the game in their 41-21 victory over the Wildcats. The win puts the Tornadoes at (2-2) on the season and sets up a Heartland Conference Division II showdown next week with the Danville Ironmen at the Silver Bowl.
The Tornadoes set the tone early in the first quarter and moved the ball well against the Wildcats but the drive came up short as the Big Red was turned away on downs. News would get worse shortly after as starting quarterback John Ayres left the game with an apparent leg injury and would not return to the ball game. For most young teams this would pose a panic situation, but not these Red Tornadoes, who have developed a confident maturity as the 2015 season has progressed. Sophomore Tommy McDonald would take over the quarterback duties and, on his first series, connected on a screen pass to senior TE Mason Duran which would take the ball deep into Central Mountain territory. Senior RB Kyle Karycki would finish the drive on a 5 yard touchdown run. Junior Thomas Pastucha’s PAT was blocked and MCA found itself leading 6-0 early in the 2nd quarter.
On Rosolino Mangipane’s ensuing kickoff, Central Mountain’s junior quarterback and kick returner, Justin Neff, scooped up the ball and took it the distance, knotting the score at 6-6. Sophomore Austyn Carson’s PAT would give the Wildcats a 7-6 lead. On the Tornadoes’ next possession that maturity was evident and it came from a surprising source- signal caller Tommy McDonald. The quarterback would own the second quarter and orchestrated three more scoring drives, all culminating in touchdown passes. T he first, following Neff’s kickoff return, was a 51 yarder to junior TE Wes Shurock who broke away after a great block by junior Lane Tanney. The 2 point conversion run failed and the Tornadoes woud take a 12-7 lead. The second came on the Tornadoes next possession and was set up after a huge 24 yard run by fullback Allen Yancoskie who, by wearing #44, looked reminiscent of former Tornado state title era fullback Shawn Sheptock. Two plays later McDonald hooked up with Shurock again, this time from 32 yards out and Big Red increased its lead to 18-7. The two point conversion pass to Tanney was good and MCA now led 20-7.
The Tornadoes defense once again shut down Central Mountain- aided by a great pass break up by sophomore Michael Cuff on 3rd down. This would allow the McDonald air show to continue on the next drive as he would connect with wingback Lane Tanney on a 25 yard strike to put the Tornadoes ahead 26-7. The drive was fueled by a screen pass to Kyle Karycki and some nice running by Junior back Zachary Zarkowski, who also added the 2 point conversion, to increase MCA’s lead to 28-7. Central Mountain would briefly move the ball enough to set up a 47 yard field goal attempt, which fell short, making the halftime score 28-7 in favor of Mount Carmel. How great was that second quarter for Tommy McDonald? He was a perfect 6-6 in the passing department for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns. By intermission, Mount Carmel Area picked up 13 first downs, had 156 yards rushing, and 312 yards of total offense. While the defense held Central Mountain to 39 total yards.
The story of the 3rd quarter would be more Big Red and healthy dose of senior running back Kyle Karycki who is really coming into his own as one of the premier backs in the district and easternPAfootball.com coverage region. Karycki had 4 punishing runs on the Tornadoes first drive and this coupled with a shifty run by McDonald set up Mount Carmel deep into Central Mountain territory. They would capitalize as Karycki took it in from 1 yard out, his second score of the game. The PAT was blocked, making it 34-7 MCA. Karycki’s heroics were not done and added an electric 75 yard scoring burst, his 3rd, on the Tornadoes’ next drive. The second of the back-to-back third quarter Karycki touchdowns was set up following a fumble recovery by Allen Yancoskie. This time Pastucha was given enough time to split the uprights and his PAT made the score 41-7 in favor of the Tornadoes with 3:43 left in the 3rd period.
At this point in the game coach John Darrah decided to rest some of his starters after a remarkable effort. Central Mountain would take advantage of some Tornado miscues to score 2 late touchdowns. The first was a 5 yard run by Hunter Weaver, which cut the deficit to 41-14. The second, after an MCA fumble, was an Austyn Carson 21 yard scoring strike to J.J. Harris. Carson would add his third PAT, making the final score Mount Carmel Area 41, Central Mountain 21.
MCA: 0-28-13-0 = 41
Central Mtn : 0-7-0-14 = 21
MOUNT CARMEL (2-2)
Kyle Karycki 19-183 3 TD; John Ayres 2-9; Lane Tanney 1-2; Allen Yankoskie 6- 64; Tommy McDonald 4-34; Zachary Zarkowski 6-26; Cameron Britt 3-0; Michael White 3- (-8); Michael Cuff 1- (-2)
John Ayres 1-2-0, 4 yds; Tommy McDonald 6-7-0 158 yards, 3TD
Wes Shurock 2-94 2 TD; Lane Tanney 2-32 TD; Mason Duran 1- 24; Allen Yancoskie 1-4; Kyle Karycki 1-8
Mount Carmel Area Stats provided by Jose Gonzalo
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN (2-2)
Hunter Weaver 15-49 TD; Justin Neff 7-12; Austyn Carson 3-9; Bryce Mansfield 1-2; Tanner Weaver 2-0
Justin Neff 2-5-0 13 yds; Austyn Carson 3-6-0 56 yds TD
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