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Mount Carmel Area rolls past Dunmore, 42-14

Written by: on Saturday, September 3rd, 2022. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


MOUNT CARMEL – More times than not, a team that loses the turnover battle by two will generally lose the game. Unless that is, they do everything else right.

Mount Carmel did indeed do just about everything else right on Friday against Dunmore. And that was more than enough to overcome three turnovers, as the Red Tornados topped the Bucks 42-14.

“Our offensive moved the ball well, we looked good in our base stuff and ran the ball well, and I thought we looked really good in our spread stuff,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “I thought Cole did an awesome job distributing the ball well, so I was very happy with his performance.”

Mount Carmel was balanced and efficient offensively and largely had its way with the Bucks both offensively and defensively for most of the game. The Red Tornados outgained Dunmore 540-158. At halftime, despite having just a 14-point lead thanks to the turnovers, the Red Tornados had a 323-94 advantage in yards. Mount Carmel gashed the Bucks for 416 yards on the ground, which were spread out to 12 different rushers as the team’s leading rusher was Xaviar Diaz with 95 yards and a touchdown.

Even more efficient was the Red Tornado passing game. A week after completing over 73 percent of his passes in his first career start in Mount Carmel’s win over North Schuylkill, Cole Spears went for an over 90 percent completion rate, hitting on 10-of-11 passes for 124 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also added 33 rushing yards on four carries.

“We want to be able to do both (run and throw). We’ve got some speed so we want to take advantage of it. Teams that can defend the run well, we want to throw a little bit, and teams that can match us athletically, we feel we can still pound the ball down people’s throats,” said Darrah. “We’re trying to be good at multiple things. If we can eliminate the turnovers, I think we play a really clean game.”

“They have a big physical line, a bunch of good running backs and good receivers – they have a really good team,” said Dunmore coach Kevin McHale. “We have to play a clean game to beat a team like that. We got some turnovers in some key spots but we just weren’t able to execute. When they put the ball on the ground, you have to be able to score points.”

However, not only did the Bucks not score any points off of Mount Carmel’s three turnovers, they gave up points on their only turnover of the game.

Spears completed his first five passes of the game on Mount Carmel’s opening drive that went to the Dunmore 13, but the Red Tornados lost a fumble in the red zone. On Dunmore’s subsequent drive, however, Thomas Bowen was sacked and fumbled at his own 10-yard line, which Nick Nestico recovered and went 12 yards for a touchdown to put Mount Carmel up 6-0 with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

Mount Carmel extended its lead to two touchdowns early in the second quarter as the Red Tornados stopped the Bucks on fourth down from their 27, and then marched the ball down the field in chunks, the final one a 24-yard touchdown pass from Spears to a wide open Jacob Schultz, and Luke Blessing ran in the two-point conversion to make it 14-0.

Dunmore answered by picking up a couple of chunk plays of its own on its ensuing drive, which ended with the Bucks cutting the lead in half on a 31-yard touchdown reception by Domenic DeSando, who hauled in a nicely placed ball from Bowen near the sideline of the end zone to make it 14-7.

The Red Tornados then lost another fumble in Dunmore territory, losing it at the Buck 30, but the Mount Carmel defense hunkered down and forced the Bucks to punt. Mount Carmel took over at its own 21, and proceeded to once again march the ball down the field with little trouble, going 79 yards in just six plays, capped by a Michael Farronato 26-yard run for a touchdown in which he burst through a gaping hole up the middle.

Dunmore answered on the ensuing kickoff as Danny Pigga found a gaping hole of his own and turned it into an 88-yard kickoff return for a score to pull the Bucks back within a score, 21-14.

But the Red Tornados once again answered almost immediately, taking its ensuing drive 61 yards down the field in six plays, capped by Farronato’s second touchdown of the game as he again hit a hole for 21 yards to the end zone, extending Mount Carmel’s lead to two scores again heading into halftime. Farronato was extremely efficient with 52 rushing yards on just three carries.

“From the beginning, we knew we had to play a clean game, but we just didn’t execute. We were offsides on the opening kickoff, had multiple penalties with 12 guys on the field, a few more offsides, so we didn’t play the game we needed to,” said McHale. “You can’t have those mistakes against them, and then they moved the ball well. Offensively, we couldn’t put drives together. We had some momentum when we scored, but they scored right before the half to make it a two-score game.”

In the second half, it was more of the same, as Mount Carmel scored on its first two possessions, with Xaviar Diaz going for a 28-yard touchdown run and then Spears hitting Schultz in stride for his second touchdown of the game with 4:45 left in the third quarter. Schultz led the way for Mount Carmel’s receivers with 70 yards on four catches to go with his pair of touchdowns.

Mount Carmel 42, Dunmore 14
Dunmore (1-1)           0    14    0     0 – 14
Mount Carmel (2-0)      6    22   14    0 – 42

First quarter
6:25 – (MC) Nick Nestico 12-yard fumble return (kick failed)

Second quarter
10:38 – (MC) Jacob Schultz 24-yard pass from Cole Spears (Blessing run), 5-73, 1:18
6:46 – (D) Domenic DeSando 31-yard pass from Thomas Bowen (Reesey kick), 6-66, 3:52
2:23 – (MC) Michael Farronato 26-yard run (Yagodzinski kick), 6-79, 1:52
2:10 – (D) Danny Pigga 88-yard kickoff return (Reesey kick)
:54 – (MC) Michael Farronato 21-yard run (Yagodzinski kick), 6-61, 1:16

Third quarter
8:08 – (MC) Xaviar Diaz 28-yard run (Yagodzinski kick), 6-57, 2:49
4:45 – (MC) Jacob Schultz 30-yard pass from Cole Spears (Yagodzinski kick), 4-66, 1:09

                                          D                          MC

First downs                       11                           25

Rushes-net yards           35-92                    41-416

Passing yardage               66                          124

Passing                        8-18-1-0                10-11-2-0

Fumbles-lost                    1-1                          3-3

Penalties-yards              10-54                       5-41

RUSHING — Dunmore: Nico Ruggiero (14-64), Jake Hickey (6-11), Thomas Bowen (4-(-18)), Danny Pigga (3-15), Cal Talutto (3-13), Josh Malone (2-11), Ryan Mecca (2-(-7)), Jacob Ramos (1-3); Mount Carmel: Jacob Zarski (8-75), Xaviar Diaz (7-95-1), Garrett Varano (5-50), Ryan Weidner (4-68), Cole Spears (4-33), Luke Blessing (4-31), Michael Farronato (3-52-2), Andrew Lukoskie (2-9), Ben Miller (1-5), Brady Wolkoski (1-1), Michael Kimsal (1-(-1)), Matthew Balichik (1-(-2))

PASSING — Dunmore: Thomas Bowen (8-18-66-1-0); Mount Carmel: Cole Spears (10-11-124-2-0)

RECEIVING — Dunmore: Domenic DeSando (3-39-1), Patrick Puclowski (2-11), Jake Hickey (2-2), Lorenzo Mitchell (1-24); Mount Carmel: Jacob Schultz (4-70-2), Garrett Varano (2-24), Xaviar Diaz (2-9), Matt Scicchitano (1-14), Michael Farronato (1-7)

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