Homecomings of Many Kinds as North Schuylkill downs MCA 28-14
Jordan, Zahodnic lead Spartans
As defensive coordinator at North Schuylkill in 2013 and 2014, Mount Carmel Area head coach John Darrah knew what types of athletes he had in linebacker Major Jordan and defensive back Richie Zahodnic. Two years later, Darrah and the Red Tornadoes are probably glad this was the last time they had to face them. The Division I recruit Jordan put on an absolute clinic from his linebacker spot and rushed for two touchdowns on offense, both set up by runs by Zahodnic, who added two long scoring plays of his own from his quarterback spot, as the Spartans downed the Red Tornadoes 28-14 on homecoming night at the Silver Bowl.
As dominating as Jordan and Zahadnick were on the field, it was what they did after the game that was equally impressive. After both teams left the “Jazz” Diminick Field, the Spartan players sought out Darrah for their own personal homecoming. They both thanked their former defensive coordinator, with the Lafayette bound Jordan telling Darrah “You’re one of the people who helped make me who I am coach.” It was professionalism at its highest level and that attitude shown by Jordan is the perfect way to describe how North Schuylkill executed their game plan Friday night. Wally Hall’s Spartans put in a workmen-like performance, got themselves back into the win column, and are now (3-2) on the season, while Mount Carmel Area fell to (1-4).
The Spartans started the game’s scoring on their second drive, as senior quarterback Richie Zahodnic, faked a handoff up the middle, pulled back and took it 53 yards for the initial score. Senior kicker Garrett Cress connected on the PAT and North Schuylkill would lead 7-0 midway through the first quarter. As the first half progressed, the North Schuylkill defense led by Major Jordan, who was continually in on tackle after tackle, would hold the Red Tornadoes in check. “Defensively, they got penetration on us up front from their linemen,” said Red Tornado Head Coach John Darrah. “Major Jordan was all over the field.”
North Schuylkill would continue that style of play as the first half continued, with Zahodnic, who at times looked like a magician on play fakes from his quarterback spot, adding a 22 yard touchdown run. Cress would add the PAT and the Spartans would head into the locker room leading 14-0. The Red Tornadoes would get the ball to start the second half but could not get a drive established. North Schuylkill would take over, following Red Tornado junior Tommy McDonald’s punt, and would capitalize with Major Jordan taking it into the end zone from 2 yards out. Jordan’s touchdown run was set up by a 65 yard run by Zahodnic. Cress again added the PAT and the Spartans now led 21-0.
In the fourth quarter, Jordan would add 1 yard touchdown run, a score that was again set up by a 60 yard run by Zahodnic two plays earlier in the drive. It was as if the Spartans hit the ‘replay’ button as this scoring drive mirrored their prior one from the third period. Cress would add his fourth PAT and the North Schuylkill would increase their lead to 28-0. Following the Spartan touchdown, the Red Tornadoes would put together their best drive of the evening, highlighted by a 15 yard run by Red Tornado junior wingback CJ Reichard and two John Ayres passes, one for 13 yards to freshman tight end Logan Wills and a second to tight end Wes Shurock for 41 yards, which would set up Ayres for a 1 yard touchdown run. Junior kicker Rosolino Mangiapane would add the PAT and the Tornadoes would get on the scoreboard, although trailing 28-7.
Mount Carmel Area would add another score in the fourth quarter, this one highlighted by some amazing plays by CJ Reichard. On the drive, Reichard would haul in two passes for 79 yards, the latter of which was a 33 yard “keeping the feet in bounds” reception along the right sideline. Three plays later it would be Reichard taking it into the end zone from 1 yard out. Mangiapane would add the PAT to cut the scoring deficit to 28-14 and that is how the score would remain until the final whistle. Next Week North Schuylkill will host Lehighton while Mount Carmel Area will continue its gauntlet of a schedule and travel to Danville to take on the Ironmen.
MCA: 0-0-0-14 = 14
NS: 7-7-7-7 = 28
MOUNT CARMEL (1-4)
John Ayres 20-39, TD; Lane Tanney 3-7; Zach Zarkowski 9-10; CJ Reichard 5-21, TD.
John Ayres 8-27-1, 203 yards
CJ Reichard 2-79; Wes Shurock 2-41; Lane Tanney 2-45; Shane Weidner 1-25; Logan Wills 1-13.
Mount Carmel Area Statistics compiled by Jose Gonzalo
NORTH SCHUYLKILL (3-2)
Richie Zahodnic 15-225, 2 TDS; Major Jordan 13-25, 2 TDS; Mitchell Wagner 6-33; Tyler Eldson 5-7; Zack Chowansky 2-6.
Richie Zahodnic 1-2-0, 40 yards
Bobby Wagner 1-40.
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