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Defense sparks Mount Carmel’s 28-6 win over Shikellamy

Written by: on Saturday, September 11th, 2021. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


SUNBURY – Undermanned and undersized compared to their opponent generally doesn’t lead to a great outcome in football.

That’s what Shikellamy was compared to Mount Carmel on Friday. But committing four turnovers also usually doesn’t lead to good outcomes, and that’s what Mount Carmel did.

Eventually, something had to give, and luckily for the Red Tornados, they were able to score a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to overcome losing the turnover battle, and aside from one big play that produced Shikellamy’s only score of the game, Mount Carmel held down the Braves on defense to improve to 2-1 with a 28-6 win over Shikellamy.

“We had a lot of nice drives but unfortunately turned the ball over at times, so that’s something we have to do better with and we need to finish,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “It was good how we responded and scored a few times to put the game away. It’s difficult to win when you turn the ball over that many times, so our guys showed a lot of resiliency to win the game in that situation, and we’ll keep working to get better at that.”

Mount Carmel was able to overcome its turnovers, but it was because of those turnovers that the game was just a one-possession contest heading into the fourth quarter. Mount Carmel committed two first-half turnovers and one early in the third quarter, two of which were in the red zone, and gave Shikellamy the ball inside their own 10 both times.

Yet, aside from the one big play, Shikellamy was largely unable to take advantage, as Mount Carmel’s size advantage on the line didn’t give the Braves much of an opportunity to get their Wing T offense functioning very well.

“We played a kid at center tonight that had never played center in his life, and I thought he did a heck of a job against a pretty good nose guard there,” said Shikellamy coach Jim Keiser. “I’m so proud of our kids. They really played hard. We’re sitting there with 27 kids. We’re missing 10 with injuries and we were gassed (by the end).”

After a scoreless first quarter, the Red Tornados used some outstanding field position to get on the board first with 10:07 left in the second quarter. After Pedro Feliciano was picked off at the Shikellamy 8-yard line, Mount Carmel forced the Braves into a three-and-out, and the Braves’ punt was returned all the way to the Shikellamy 15 by Cole Spears. One five-yard penalty and play later, Michael Farronato took it in for a 10-yard touchdown run.

Then, on Shikellamy’s ensuing drive, Wertman was picked off by the nose tackle, Kelin Geary at midfield. Geary ran the ball back about five yards before he was stripped of the ball, only to have Julien Stellar pick it up at the 39-yard line and run it all the back to the end zone for a touchdown to make it 14-0, which would be the first of three touchdowns for Stellar on the night.

But the Braves did hang around until the fourth quarter, mainly due to Mount Carmel’s turnovers, and then, a long play that nearly cut Mount Carmel’s lead in half at the end of the third quarter.

Having only accumulated 54 total yards of offense to that point, the Braves got an 87-yard touchdown pass from Braydon Wertman to John Peiffer that more than doubled their offensive output on the night, and after a blocked PAT, cut the lead to 14-6.

But Shikellamy’s lack of depth proved to be detrimental as for the second straight week, Mount Carmel and specifically quarterback Pedro Feliciano responded immediately when the game tightened a bit. After starting their ensuing possession at their own 31, the Red Tornados faced a third-and-1 at the Shikellamy 48, and Feliciano burst up the middle for a 39-yard gain, being caught just inside the Braves’ 10. One play later, Stellar punched it in from nine yards out – his second of three touchdowns on the night – to give the Red Tornados a 21-6 lead.

After the Red Tornado defense held Shikellamy to a three-and-out on the Braves’ next drive, Mount Carmel put together another six-play drive against a worn-down and outmatched Shikellamy defensive line, highlighted by a 30-yard pickup by Thomas Davitt, and capped by Stellar’s third touchdown of the night, to put the game away.

Helping balance out their turnovers, Mount Carmel’s defense was exceptional. Excluding the one big play that produced Shikellamy’s only score of the game, Mount Carmel allowed just 110 total yards, with 51 of those coming on the Braves’ last two drives after the Red Tornados had gone up 28-6 midway through the fourth quarter.

“I thought our defense played really well, gave up a play here or there and that big one really woke us up a little bit,” said Darrah. “Everyone has heard the term ‘grinding it out,’ and that’s pretty much what we did. Our pass game wasn’t the best tonight and we kept the ball on the ground and we found a way to keep chewing up yards and get some first downs and when we didn’t turn the ball over, we were able to capitalize and score.”

Mount Carmel 28, Shikellamy 6
Mount Carmel (2-1)     0    14   0    14  – 28
Shikellamy (0-3)          0     0     6     0  –  6

10:07 – (MC) Michael Farronato 10-yard run (Stellar kick), 1-10, :05
7:01 – (MC) Julien Stellar 39-yard fumble return (Stellar kick)

:47 – (S) John Peiffer 87-yard pass from Braydon Wertman (kick blocked), 3-93, 1:43

10:00 – (MC) Julien Stellar 9-yard run (Stellar kick), 6-69, 2:47
5:46 – (MC) Julien Stellar 6-yard run (Stellar kick), 6-54, 3:07

                                        MC                         S

First downs                      16                          6

Rushes-net yards         42-308                   33-73

Passing yardage              48                        124

Passing                        2-5-0-2                 6-20-1-2

Fumbles-lost                   3-2                        3-1

Penalties-yards              7-47                      9-61

RUSHING — Mount Carmel: Julien Stellar (13-67-2), Pedro Feliciano (10-94), Garrett Varano (7-51), Michael Farronato (6-55-1), Thomas Davitt (4-38), Jacob Zarski (2-3); Shikellamy: Coltyn Sempko (8-33), Issac Shaffer-Neitz (8-25), Braydon Wertman (7-(-11), Gage Wolfe (6-36), Chase Morgan (1-2), John Peiffer (1-1), Rayshawn Martin (1-(-3)), TEAM (1-(-10))

PASSING — Mount Carmel: Pedro Feliciano (2-5-48-0-2); Shikellamy: Braydon Wertman (6-19-124-1-2), TEAM (0-1-0-0-0)

RECEIVING — Mount Carmel: Jacob Schultz (1-24), Michael Farronato (1-24); Shikellamy: John Peiffer (3-109-1), Kaden Hoffman (2-11), Issac Shaffer-Neitz (1-4)

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