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Mount Carmel Area keeps rolling with 55-7 win over Warrior Run

Written by: on Saturday, September 10th, 2022. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


TURBOTVILLE – Mount Carmel’s Week 3 game at Warrior Run on Friday had all the markings of a potential classic trap game. The Red Tornados were coming off impressive wins against good teams in North Schuylkill and Dunmore over the first two weeks of the season and had a potential matchup of unbeaten at home next week to look ahead to. Warrior Run, meanwhile, had been outscored by over 100 cumulative points in its first two games against Muncy and Hamburg.

But the Red Tornados put to rest any potential thoughts Warrior Run might have had about an upset and did so early. The Red Tornados scored on their first four offensive possessions and also added a defensive and special teams touchdown in the first half en route to a 55-7 win over the Defenders.

The win improves Mount Carmel to 3-0, and with Milton’s decisive win over Midd-West on Friday, it sets up an interesting matchup of 3-0 teams next Friday at the Silver Bowl.

“We came in here with some things we wanted to work on both offensively and defensively and we did well,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “The big thing was protecting the football on offense and we did a much better job, especially with our varsity group. And we played pretty well on defense and created some turnovers so that was good to see.”

“We fought, I’m proud of their effort but we’re just overmatched right now in all aspects,” said Warrior Run coach Derrick Zechman. “Mount Carmel is a top-notch team all the way around, especially with their size. They’re going to go a long way. We’ve faced a tough schedule right away but I’m proud of the kids not giving up.”

Mount Carmel took a 42-0 halftime lead, and its first team largely departed the game before the half, giving the Red Tornado’s second team and primary JV players some valuable reps for the entire second half.

“It’s great for them to get the varsity experience, especially when they get to play against some of their older guys,” said Darrah. “They’re getting used to higher level football, and I thought those guys did a good job and competed really hard when they were out there.”

While not the domination that the statistics showed last week against Dunmore when Mount Carmel outgained Dunmore by nearly 400 yards, it didn’t need to be for the Red Tornados to win comfortably this week. Mount Carmel had an average starting field position of the 50-yard line in the first half, while Warrior Run managed to run just a single play from the Red Tornados’ end of the field and had just three first downs in the first half.

Mount Carmel outgained the Defenders 404-184 for the game, but for the second straight week, not a single player ran for 100 yards, though the Red Tornados averaged nearly nine yards a carry.

Cole Spears had another nice game in abbreviated action, as he departed before the end of the first half with Mount Carmel holding the big lead. He tossed three touchdown passes, giving him six through three games with no interceptions, and completed 6-of-10 passes for 88 yards.

He threw a six-yard touchdown to Garrett Varano on Mount Carmel’s opening drive of the game, a 17-yarder to Jacob Schultz for his third scoring reception in the last two games, and a five-hard hookup with Matt Scicchitano, which put Mount Carmel up 35-0 early in the second quarter.

“Cole had another good game tonight. He’s been doing really well and it’s great to see him be consistent and put three games together back-to-back-to-back,” said Darrah. “I think he’s just getting started.”

Mixed in between Spears’ three touchdown passes in the first half was a blocked punt and subsequent fumble recovery in the end zone by Nick Nestico, his second touchdown in as many weeks after returning a fumble for a score against Dunmore last week. Varano also added a defensive touchdown as he returned an interception 31 yards in the second quarter after a pass went off the Warrior Run receiver’s hands and directly into his.

Xaviar Diaz also added an offensive touchdown in the first quarter, as he turned on the jets and showcased his elite sprinting speed and got into space down the left sideline for a 26-yard run.

Jacob Zarski added a 12-yard touchdown run on Mount Carmel’s first drive of the second half with the running clock. Later in the third quarter, freshman quarterback Gavin Marshalek tossed his first career touchdown with a 35-yard pass to Ben Miller on a screen pass. Marshalek completed 3-of-4 passes for 57 yards in his varsity debut.

For Warrior Run, the Defenders got on the board in the second half when Samuel Hall hauled in a screen pass and then went down the right sideline for a 45-yard touchdown reception on a nicely executed play. The score avoided the shutout and was the highlight of the night for Hall, who caught five passes for 74 yards and the score.

“We’ve got to do some better things in the offseason to get stronger and bigger. We’re undersized compared to most of the teams we’re playing right now,” said Zechman. “Our skill players are good and they are getting better each week so we’re excited about that and the future, and we can’t wait to get back at it next week.”

Mount Carmel 55, Warrior Run 7
Mount Carmel (3-0)    28   14  13   0 – 55
Warrior Run (0-3)         0     0    7    0 –  7

First quarter
9:46 – (MC) Garrett Varano 6-yard pass from Cole Spears (Yagodzinski kick), 5-53, :44
7:07 – (MC) Nick Nestico fumble recovery in end zone (Yagodzinski kick)
3:31 – (MC) Xaviar Diaz 26-yard run (Yagodzinski kick), 4-54, 1:18
:06 – (MC) Jacob Schultz 17-yard pass from Cole Spears (Yagodzinski kick), 4-50, 1:42

Second quarter
9:50 – (MC) Matt Scicchitano 5-yard pass from Cole Spears (Yagodzinski kick), 5-45, 1:23
9:34 – (MC) Garrett Varano 31-yard interception return

Third quarter
6:42 – (MC) Jacob Zarski 12-yard run (kick failed), 9-63, 5:18
3:32 – (WR) Samuel Hall 45-yard pass from Ryan Newton (Hunter kick), 4-69, 3:10
1:21 – (MC) Ben Miller 35-yard pass from Gavin Marshalek (Yagodzinski kick), 3-59, 2:11

                                          MC                        WR

First downs                       23                            8

Rushes-net yards          29-259                    27-84

Passing yardage              145                         100

Passing                        9-15-4-1                10-19-1-2

Fumbles-lost                    1-0                          4-0

Penalties-yards               7-61                        4-25


RUSHING — Mount Carmel: Jacob Zarski (7-53-1), Matthew Balichik (4-37), Xaviar Diaz (3-42-1), Ryan Weidner (3-24), Luke Blessing (2-26), Andrew Lukoskie (2-25), Orville Fesniak (2-5), Cole Spears (1-11), Michael Farronato (1-11), Michael Kimsal (1-7), Aiden Deitz (1-6), Al Bailey (1-4), Brady Wolkoski (1-6); Warrior Run: Stone Allison (7-8), Eli Butler (5-23), Colby LeBarron (5-23), Thomas Royles (3-10), Samuel Hall (2-13), Maxwell Fogelman (2-1), Carter Marr (1-1), James Keifer (1-0), TEAM (1-(-1)), Logan Blair (1-(-2))

PASSING — Mount Carmel: Cole Spears (6-10-88-3-0), Gavin Marshalek (3-4-57-1-1), Matthew Balichik (0-1-0-0-0); Warrior Run: Ryan Newton (9-15-94-1-1), James Keifer (1-4-6-0-1)

RECEIVING — Mount Carmel: Matt Scicchitano (2-38-1), Andrew Lukoskie (2-22), Ben Miller (1-35-1), Jacob Schultz (1-17-1), Luke Blessing (1-14), Michael Farronato (1-13), Garrett Varano (1-6-1); Warrior Run: Samuel Hall (5-74-1), Colby LeBarron (2-(-2)), Tyler Ulrish (1-7), Eli Butler (1-6), Thomas Royles (1-5)

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