Mt. Carmel Clings to Perfect Record
CATAWISSA- The Red Tornadoes(9-0) held on to their place atop the Heartland Conference Div. II as well as the District IV “AA” point standings. The Tigers of Southern Columbia(7-2) retain a narrow lead in the District IV “A” standings and second place in the HAC Div.II. After four straight losses to the Tigers the Tornadoes’ fortunes have turned. There were many fans across the state waiting to see this clash between the two state powers and local rivals. Most expected a good, hard-hitting, quality game. The hard-hitting part was present, but it was one of the uglier games I have ever watched from the standpoint of a die-hard football fan. The game was marred by penalties, bad spots on crucial plays, poor execution, dropped balls, and constant game stoppages. These were spread pretty evenly between both teams and resulted in absolutely no rhythm and an unenjoyable game to witness. Most often when two good teams do battle on the field folks say “Its a shame someone had to lose.” It was almost a shame someone had to win this one…
The game opened with an uncharacteristic three-and-out series by Southern. Mount Carmel responded with their own three-and-out, but immediately got the ball back with great field position when the punt was dropped at the Southern 35. Two nice carries of six and 29 yards by Julius Demetrius got MCA on the board first at 7:59 of the opening quarter.
The teams then traded series as both defenses held strong. The Tiger defense set up their offense with good field position at the Tornado 48. A toss from Jeremy Campbell to TE Ken Schetroma gained 24 yards to the 24. Two plays later Steve Roth pounded his way in from the 16 to even the score at 7 a piece.
Southern’s defense came up big again on the next series, holding MCA to zero yards on three plays and regaining possession at the Tornado 41.
The Tigers began to move the ball with their signature ground attack down to the MCA 25 yard-line. That’s when the penalty flags began to fly and any flow in the game simply ceased. In a flurry of three penalties and a sack SC found themselves back at their own 29 facing fourth and 50.
After receiving the punt, a struggling Marcus Wesilewski finally connected on his seventh attempt of the game. Justin Pellowski turned on the afterbuners to catch up to Wasilewski’s pass and go the distance for the 66-yard touchdown at 8:43 of the second quarter.
Southern’s defense continued to come up with big stops for the remainder of the half, including a thwarted fake punt attempt. This gave the offense another chance to even the score with plenty of time on the clock. But, the offense faltered when Austin Carpenter dropped a pass right into his hands with open field in front of him. Dropped balls, more incomplete passes and another sack stymied any chance of Southern scoring before the half – it would remain 14-7 in favor of Mount Carmel.
The second half opened with yet another three-play stand by the Tiger defense. The offense ground it out with a time consuming drive with some help from a Campbell to Joe Admire pass for 24 yards. However, after a first and goal at the two the Mount Carmel defense held strong, forcing a third and goal, when Coach Roth decided to go to the air. The pass was picked off in the endzone, killing the drive in its tracks.
The two rivals battled back and forth, unable to get much going with penalties and delays stopping the contest’s momentum. On what was to be Southern’s last chance to tie the game, a poor ball spot after a quarterback sneak on fourth and one gave possession back to MCA with just over three minutes to play.
Two plays later Demetrius found an opening on the left side and burst for over 60 yards. Another penalty made it first and goal at the two. Four plays later Demetrius took it in for the score. Colin Menapace went 3/3 on PATs for the night capping the score at 21-7 with 1:02 remaining.
Southern(7-2) hosts Milton(1-8) as they try to regroup before the district playoffs begin. They only managed 188 yards on the ground with one TD in their loss, but did have five catches for 92 yards and other balls that should have been caught. Total offense was 280 yards.
Mount Carmel(9-0) travels to take on a much improved North Schuylkill(7-2) team, as they try to enter playoffs with a perfect record. The Red Tornadoes went 5/21 passing for 106 yards and a score, and had 100 yards on the ground with two TDs for a total of 206 yards of offense.
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