Get Your Popcorn Ready…Mount Carmel Area 21, Lewisburg 7
Friday night was a big evening at the Silver Bowl in Mount Carmel. It was the Tornadoes home opener, facing an undefeated opponent in Lewisburg. Aside from their 2-0 record, the Green Dragons were also coming into town with Mount Carmel Area’s former starting quarterback, Dominic Farronato and his brother Dylan Farronato, on their team bus. Friday was also the first time MCA head coach John Darrah coached a game in the Silver Bowl and was only fitting that this game be against a former collegiate teammate, Micahel Ferriero, with the pair both playing together at Wilkes University. That storyline was enough to have any fan and, even players, excited to get their popcorn ready for this Heartland Conference division II matchup.
The tone of the first quarter and eventually the game was set by the relentless play of the Mount Carmel Area defense who constantly kept pressure on Lewisburg senior quarterback Trent Gower, causing 6 hurries, 2 sacks, and 3 interceptions. The first of those three picks was snagged by John Ayres in the first quarter and set up the Red Tornadoes initial score. The drive was fueled by the hard running of senior running back Kyle Karycki, who dominated the drive with several punishing runs, including a 32 yarder, and a well earned 3 yard punch-in for the touchdown. Junior Thomas Pastucha’s PAT out of the hold of sophomore Tommy McDonald made the score 7-0 with 4:38 remaining in the first, which is how the score would remain until the end of the quarter.
Lewisburg would answer Karycki’s score on a drive that saw Dominic Farronato taking over the play calling duties for the Green Dragons after starter Trent Gower was knocked out of the game. However Gower would return before the drive was over to connect with senior receiver Matthew Fedorjaka on a 15 yard scoring strike six seconds into the second quarter. Sophomore Nate Liscum’s PAT knotted the score at 7-7.
Although Lewisburg had early success in the quarter, the rest of it belonged to the feisty Red Tornadoes who put together two more scoring drives. The first score, immediately following the Lewisburg touchdown, was taken to the house by senior sensation Kyle Karycki from 37 yards out. Pastucha’s PAT was blocked and MCA regained the lead 13-7. It would be a lead they would not relinquish for the remainder of the game. The defensive pressure never stopped and the Big Red’s Brendan Boris sacked Lewisburg QB Gower on 4th down of the next series. On the very next play Ayres went aerial and hooked up with TE Wes Shurock on 57 yard vertical strike. Shurock showcased his speed and outraced the Lewisburg defenders the final 45 yards to the endzone. Ayres would keep it on the 2 point try and was successful, making the score MCA 21-7 with 2:21 left in the half. Ayres’ conversion would be the last points scored by either team on the evening.
The Red Tornadoes came out fired up in the second half and received a spark on their first drive from junior wingback Lane Tanney who nearly went the distance on an electric 74 yard run. Mount Carmel would march to the Lewisburg 5 yard line but were turned away on downs. However, the Big Red’s defense would not relent their endless pursuit QB Trent Gower in the second half. The Tornadoes defensive front led by Mason Duran, Wes Shurock, Ethan Bartos, and Brendan Boris, along with linebackers Allen Yancoskie and Manus McCracken, made life miserable for the Lewisburg signal caller. Sophomore Tommy McDonald would add an interception, the Red Tornadoes 3rd, in the end zone to turn away Lewisburg’s biggest threat in the second half. The play of Mount Carmel’s defensive backs was also a key to this victory. “Our d-backs did what we asked them to do play after play. They rose to the occasion and played good defense.” said Mount Carmel Area head coach John Darrah, who would notch his first career victory with this win. “It feels really good. Our kids don’t give up. I’m so thrilled for them to get this victory and see their hard work pay off.”
Mount Carmel Area will take it to the road next Friday as they travel to Mill Hall to face Central Mountain, while Lewisburg will also play away at Milton.
MCA: 7-14-0-0 = 7
LEWISBURG: 0-7-0-0 = 14
MOUNT CARMEL (1-2)
Kyle Karycki 20-135 2 TD; John Ayres 19-73; Lane Tanney 5-87; Allen Yankoskie 4- 24; Manus McCracken 1-1; Zachary Zarkowski 1-0.
John Ayres 2-5-1, 62 yds TD
Wes Shurock 2-62 TD
Mount Carmel Area Stats provided by Jose Gonzalo
Spencer Bartlett 6-38; AJ Ramirez 7-36; Dominic Farronato 8-8; Trent Gower 5-(-3)
Gower 12-28-3, 110 yds TD; Dominic Farronato 2-2-0, 17 yds
Matt Fedorjaka 7-62, TD; Donte Malone 2-34; Noah inch 2-16; Andrew Ramirez 2-8; Aaron Veloz 1-7
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