Mount Carmel Area over Hughesville for first win of the season
HUGHESVILLE – Up until last year, Pedro Feliciano had never played quarterback in his life. But now in 2021, the junior finds himself starting under center for Mount Carmel, the state’s winningest program.
And while the best is likely yet to come, in just his second career start on Friday, Feliciano ran for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns and threw for another, with two of his scores coming at the most opportune times, and the Red Tornados picked up their first win of the year, 48-20 over Hughesville.
“Pedro is a great competitor and he’s only really been quarterbacking a few years of his life,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “This was really only the second start at quarterback of his life so when he gets a little more polished up and that catches up with the competitiveness – he’s good now, but he’s going to be really good when that happens.”
Just as if not more important than his statistics on Friday, was when in the game Feliciano delivered. After Mount Carmel took a 7-0 lead on Garrett Varano’s 22-yard run with 5:46 left in the first quarter, Hughesville answered with a 96-yard kickoff return by Brenden Knight to tie the game. But Feliciano helped the Red Tornados immediately respond as he marched Mount Carmel 60 yards down the field in eight plays, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Matt Scicchitano in the back of the end zone.
“We just took what the defense gave us and tried to keep them off balance by having so many different guys touch the ball and some runs broke a little longer than others and Pedro had that one scramble,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah.
That one scramble was a 47-yard touchdown run by Feliciano later in the game in the third quarter to put Mount Carmel up 34-13. That immediately answered a Hughesville touchdown on the Spartans’ first second-half possession, as Joey Swink hit a wide-open Anthony Ferrigno on a play-action fake to cut Mount Carmel’s three-score halftime lead back to just two.
Feliciano would post his second rushing touchdown on Mount Carmel’s next drive following his long run. The Red Tornados capitalized on a Hughesville lost fumble, and Feliciano punched it in from 10 yards out. A play prior to his touchdown run, Feliciano also threw a forceful block on the reverse as he got out in front of Michael Farronato and pushed back a defender about five yards on a 10-yard gain for Farronato.
Overall, the Red Tornados scored on four straight drives in the first half after their opening drive stalled at the Hughesville 23. Mount Carmel extended its lead after Feliciano’s touchdown pass with a pair of second-quarter scores to take a 28-7 halftime lead. Thomas Davitt capped a short five-play, 60-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown. Then, Mount Carmel got a very short field when Hughesville fumbled the snap on a punt, and three Julien Stellar runs produced another touchdown.
“We were hoping to hit them all and finish them all and that’s our goal every week. We didn’t finish them all but we did finish more than last week so there is some progress,” said Darrah. “We want to get to the point where it’s sort of automatic that when it’s there, we know we’re going to connect.”
The Red Tornados added one final touchdown late in the third quarter as Cole Spears entered the game at quarterback and capped a six-play, 68-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to put the game into the mercy rule.
“We were going up against a lot of big guys out there and we fought really hard and never gave up,” said Hughesville coach Howard Rainey. “We were worried about their size from the beginning and if we were going to be able to stop them, and I think we did a lot better than I thought we would early. We knew they were going to score more than an average team would against us but we kept at it and I think we’ll have some wins ahead of us.”
If some wins are ahead for the Spartans this year, Knight will likely play a big role in them. Knight electrified the Hughesville crowd with the long kickoff return in the first half, and for the game ran for 45 yards and had 180 kickoff return yards.
“If you give him a little space, he’ll run and if he has to, he’ll run you over,” said Rainey. “He’s going to make a great running back for us this year.”
The Spartans added a late touchdown as J.J. Gabel capped a drive with a four-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, aside from Knight’s long touchdown return, Mount Carmel only gave up one big play, the 58-yard touchdown pass from Swink to Ferrigno on Hughesville’s initial drive of the second half, which preceded Feliciano’s long touchdown run. Other than that play, Mount Carmel only gave up three other plays of 10 yards or more in the game and held Hughesville to just 63 rushing yards and 165 overall, while racking up 314 rushing yards of its own.
Mount Carmel 48, Hughesville 20
Mount Carmel (1-1) 14 14 20 0 – 48
Hughesville (0-2) 7 0 6 7 – 20
5:46 – (MC) Garrett Varano 22-yard run (Stellar kick), 3-46, 1:17
5:32 – (H) Brenden Knight 96-yard kickoff return (Heiney kick)
2:11 – (MC) Matt Scicchitano 15-yard pass from Pedro Feliciano (Stellar kick), 8-60, 3:21
10:56 – (MC) Thomas Davitt 6-yard run (Stellar kick), 5-60, 1:27
7:58 – (MC) Julien Stellar 4-yard run (Stellar kick), 3-16, 1:12
9:33 – (H) Anthony Ferrigno 58-yard pass from Joey Swink (kick failed), 4-73, 2:27
8:01 – (MC) Pedro Feliciano 47-yard run (run failed), 4-79, 1:32
5:26 – (MC) Pedro Feliciano 10-yard run (Stellar kick), 4-21, 1:03
:48 – (MC) Cole Spears 1-yard run (Stellar kick), 6-68, 2:41
4:59 – (H) J.J. Gabel 4-yard run (Heiney kick), 5-64, 3:15
First downs 22 9
Rushes-net yards 44-314 31-63
Passing yardage 38 92
Passing 4-10-1-1 4-15-1-1
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-47 6-37
RUSHING — Mount Carmel: Julien Stellar (11-59-1), Pedro Feliciano (9-115-2), Michael Farronato (6-26), Garrett Varano (4-53-1), Andrew Lukoskie (3-16), Cole Spears (3-7-1), Jacob Zarski (2-24), Thomas Davitt (2-11-1), Matt Balichik (2-5), Luke Blessing (2-(-2)); Hughesville: Brenden Knight (14-45), Joey Swink (9-4), J.J. Gabel (3-4-1), Aiden Barlett (2-12), Anthony Ferrigno (2-3), Gabe Wagner (1-(-5))
PASSING — Mount Carmel: Pedro Feliciano (3-8-31-1-1), Cole Spears (1-1-7-0-0), Matt Balichik (0-1-0-0-0); Hughesville: Joey Swink (4-13-92-1-1), Blake Davis (0-2-0-0-0)
RECEIVING — Mount Carmel: Matt Scicchitano (1-15-1), Michael Farronato (1-14), Jacob Schultz (1-7), Cole Spears (1-2); Hughesville: Anthony Ferrigno (1-58-1), Justin Fowler (1-29), Brenden Knight (1-3), Chaz Neidig (1-2)
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