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Mount Carmel Area wins battle of unbeaten teams, improves to 4-0 by topping Milton Area

Written by: on Saturday, September 17th, 2022. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.


MOUNT CARMEL – It was a showdown of two 3-0 teams on Friday night at the Silver Bowl as Milton faced its toughest test of the year to this point against Mount Carmel.

And while the Black Panthers gave Mount Carmel all it could handle early on, the Red Tornados turned up the heat on Milton late, scoring four touchdowns in the second half to overcome a halftime deficit and improve to 4-0 with a 41-19 win over Milton.

“It’s certainly not the outcome we wanted or had hoped for, but I’m happy with the way we played. We played hard but did some things not right that gave them some opportunities, and we turned the ball over but didn’t get any turnovers, so we need to fix that, but overall, I thought we competed well tonight,” said Milton coach Phil Davis. “They’re big and talented and they wore us down a little bit. They’re a really good team.”

After racking up 209 first-half yards while taking a 13-12 halftime lead, Milton managed just 125 yards in the second half, of which 66 came on a single play, and the Black Panthers did not have any passing yards in the second half.

“They did some stuff that they hadn’t really showed on film, so I think they had a few things in mind that they were waiting to use against us, so that caused us some struggles but at the end of the day, we gutted it out and got the job done,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “We wore them down there toward the end of the game and we were able to spring some big runs. I’m really happy with how we played and we made huge plays when we needed them.”

It was Milton that started the game strong, however, scoring on its first drive as a five-yard touchdown run by Cale Bastian capped a 75-yard drive, which featured a 66-yard reception by Peyton Rearick. Bastian finished with 157 yards on 24 carries to lead Milton, and he also threw for 101 yards.

Mount Carmel answered almost immediately, as Xaviar Diaz took the handoff on the Red Tornados’ second play from scrimmage and in a burst of speed dashed down the right sideline for a 45-yard touchdown run.

The Black Panthers later took back the lead late in the first quarter when Mason Rowe ran it in the end zone from 23 yards to give the Black Panthers a 13-6 lead.

Mount Carmel’s subsequent drive went over five minutes and got down to the Milton 3-yard line, but the Red Tornados were stuffed on fourth down and gave the ball back to the Black Panthers. Although they came up empty, that drive would help give them good field position to start their next drive as Milton went three-and-out and punted it back to Mount Carmel, giving them the ball at the Milton 41.

From there, Cole Spears engineered a seven-play, 41-yard drive that culminated when he hit a wide-open Jacob Schultz down the left sideline, who dove for the pylon to finish a 14-yard touchdown reception and pull the Red Tornados within one, 13-12, after their second missed PAT of the night. The kicking game was not a strength for either team on the evening, as Mount Carmel missed three of four PATs, one being partially blocked, and Milton also had a PAT blocked.

Spears continued his solid play to start the season, as he completed 9-of-11 passes for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and also ran for 81 and a score. He is also yet to throw an interception through four games.

His second touchdown toss of the game went to Garrett Varano for 25 yards, who also dove for the pylon down the left sideline with 6:00 to go in the third quarter. That put Mount Carmel up 28-13 and followed an interception by Schultz that stopped Milton’s first drive of the second half.

Earlier in the quarter, Mount Carmel received the second-half kickoff, and after a nice 32-yard return by Varano, proceeded to go to its signature ground and pound to produce a six-play, 48-yard drive capped by Luke Blessing’s 4-yard touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion.

“They were mixing up some looks, so the second half, we just slowed it down a little bit, called some plays at the line of scrimmage, which helped us out and got us some favorable looks,” said Darrah.

Milton would answer back after Varano’s touchdown with a 66-yard touchdown run by Bastian that made it 28-19 after Varano raced around the edge on the line of scrimmage to block the PAT.

But that play was largely the extent of Milton’s offense in the second half. While the Mount Carmel defense made it tougher for Milton in the second half, Mount Carmel’s offense tacked on a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as Michael Farronato took an end around 32 yards for a touchdown, and then Spears put a bow on the victory with a 57-yard touchdown run with 5:10 remaining.

Mount Carmel 41, Milton 19
Milton (3-1)                13   0    6    0 – 19
Mount Carmel (4-0)     6    6   16  13 – 41

First quarter
9:07 – (M) Cale Bastian 5-yard run (pass failed), 5-75, 2:53
8:30 – (MC) Xaviar Diaz 45-yard run (kick blocked), 2-66, :37
1:44 – (M) Mason Rowe 23-yard run (Witter kick), 7-41, 2:52

Second quarter
3:06 – (MC) Jacob Schultz 14-yard pass from Cole Spears (kick failed), 7-41, 3:20

Third quarter
9:10 – (MC) Luke Blessing 4-yard run (Blessing run), 6-48, 2:50
6:00 – (MC) Garrett Varano 25-yard pass from Cole Spears (Varano pass from Spears), 3-29, 1:32
3:53 – (M) Cale Bastian 66-yard run (kick blocked), 5-78, 2:07

Fourth quarter
7:56 – (MC) Michael Farronato 32-yard run (Yagodzinski kick), 7-57, 3:59
5:10 – (MC) Cole Spears 57-yard run (kick failed), 3-73, :53

                                           M                        MC

First downs                       15                           17

Rushes-net yards          38-233                    37-277

Passing yardage              101                          96

Passing                        4-13-0-2                 9-11-2-0

Fumbles-lost                    1-0                         1-0

Penalties-yards               8-65                       5-35

RUSHING — Milton: Cale Bastian (24-157-2), Montgomery Fisher (7-45), Mason Rowe (6-34-1), Xzavier Minium (1-(-3)); Mount Carmel: Luke Blessing (9-31-1), Cole Spears (8-81-1), Ryan Weidner (6-39), Xaviar Diaz (5-78-1), Garrett Varano (4-20), Michael Farronato (3-39-1), Jacob Zarski (1-3), TEAM (1-(-14))

PASSING — Milton: Cale Bastian (4-13-101-0-2); Mount Carmel: Cole Spears (9-11-96-2-0)

RECEIVING — Milton: Peyton Rearick (1-66), Xzavier Minium (1-19), Dylan Reiff (1-9), Luke Goodwin (1-7); Mount Carmel: Garrett Varano (5-64-1), Jacob Schultz (1-14-1), Luke Blessing (1-9), Michael Farronato (1-6), Xaviar Diaz (1-3)

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