Mount Carmel over South Williamsport
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT – Over the years, Mount Carmel has developed a reputation as a ground-and-pound team offensively that will put together long, methodical drives and use its array of running backs to wear down the opposing defense.
The run game is still the Red Tornadoes’ bread and butter, but lately, Mount Carmel has not only developed a potent passing threat but has also been striking quickly. The Red Tornadoes did that once again on Friday at South Williamsport and their defense turned in another strong performance as well as Mount Carmel topped the Mounties 55-13.
“We definitely have some skilled players and some speed at those positions on offense and our passing game is really coming along,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “It doesn’t happen all the time but we’ll take it when it does.”
A week after scoring four touchdowns on its first nine offensive plays in its shutout over Hughesville, Mount Carmel had three single-play drives that ended in touchdowns as well as a two-play drive and a pair of four-play drives, all of which ended in the end zone as well. Tom Reisinger threw for 100 yards and three touchdowns on just four completions and five attempts, while John Ayres ran for 157 yards on just six carries.
The Red Tornadoes also continued their recent stretch of defensive dominance as one week after holding Hughesville to just five offensive yards, the Red Tornadoes held South to just 84 first half yards and only 156 for the evening.
“We’ve got some veterans out there on defense and they really understand the scheme and what’s going on and we keep having good practices that get better each week,” said Darrah. “We’ve played South three straight years now so our guys were familiar with them and not only do we have veterans but guys are playing their responsibilities.”
South Williamsport, meanwhile, would be hard-pressed to think of any three-game stretch in recent years that was more difficult that the one that just concluded. The Class A Mounties had the Class AA Red Tornadoes to contend with after duking it out with Class AA state title contender Southern Columbia and Class AA district contender Central Columbia the last two weeks.
“We’re a little banged up but I just want to commend my team because going through a three-game stretch like that at the Class A level against three very good teams like that is mind-boggling, so I’m very proud and can’t say enough about them,” said South Williamsport coach Chris Eiswerth.
The Red Tornadoes put up 480 yards overall, including 338 in the first half as they took a 42-7 halftime lead, which enabled the clock to run for the entire second half due to the mercy rule. They were able to do so despite committing nine penalties for 105 yards in the first half alone.
Mount Carmel scored a pair of first quarter touchdowns on the first of Reisinger’s three touchdown passes, this one a 29-yard pass to Noah Berkoski, which was followed by a Shane Weidner 42-yard run on the second play of Mount Carmel’s next drive. It remained a close game early in the second quarter after South found the end zone with 10:38 remaining in the second when Austin Nash hauled in a four-yard touchdown pass from A.J. Flick to make it one-score game, 14-7.
That was as close as the Mounties would get, however, as Mount Carmel answered almost immediately as despite starting from their own 17 on its ensuing possession, needed just four plays to score on a 34-yard pass to Jack Chapman from Reisinger. John Ayres also ripped off a 44-yard run on the drive that would have been longer if not called back due to a penalty.
Mount Carmel then made it 28-7 on South’s next possession when Weidner returned an interception 62 yards for a score with 6:49 left. The Red Tornadoes then proceeded to score two more touchdowns on as many touches as they scored on the first play of their next two drives, first on an 80-yard touchdown run by Ayres and then on a 34-yard screen pass to Avery Demko in which he caught the pass only about three yards in front of the line of scrimmage and then weaved in and out of traffic and into the end zone.
“I thought coming into the game that Mount Carmel probably had the best defense that we’ve seen,” said Eiswerth. “They run the 4-3 very well and are very physical and we knew it was going to be tough to do a lot of good things against them. I was hoping we could make a few plays here and there and early on we did move the ball and scored but then we gave up some big plays.”
Tyler Owens added a pair of rushing touchdowns in the second half for the Red Tornadoes to cap the Mount Carmel scoring.
About the only thing that went wrong for the Red Tornadoes were penalties, as Mount Carmel committed 10 for 115 yards for the game.
“Our guys are really aggressive and sometimes that happens but there were way too many tonight, so we’ll have to address that and use our heads a bit more,” said Darrah.
South, which lost starting running back/linebacker Luke Winner in the first half with a leg injury, pulled most of its starters for the entire second half, and was rewarded for its persistence when second-string quarterback Landon Lorson capped an 11-play, 73-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter.
Now that the Mounties are through this brutal stretch of their schedule, Eiswerth is hopeful that the experience gained by his younger players playing in much of the second half of these games, as well as the high level of competition, will benefit his squad as they head to the last two weeks of the regular season and what should be the comparatively easier District 4 Class A playoffs.
“Time will tell, but we’re excited to see now what we can do the next few weeks and hopefully they’ll continue to work and believe,” said Eiswerth. “It’s all a learning curve and we’ll continue to work, study film and take something positive out of this.”
Mount Carmel 55, South Williamsport 13
Mount Carmel (6-2) 14 28 7 6 – 55
South Williamsport (4-4) 0 7 0 6 – 13
4:31 – (MC) Noah Berkoski 29-yard pass from Tom Reisinger (kick blocked), 12-79, 3:58
2:28 – (MC) Shane Weidner 42-yard run (Reisinger run), 2-51, :28
10:38 – (SW) Austin Nash 4-yard pass from A.J. Flick (Brian Yoas kick), 8-73, 3:50
8:58 – (MC) Jack Chapman 34-yard pass from Tom Reisinger (Julien Stellar kick), 4-83, 1:40
6:49 – (MC) Shane Weidner 62-yard interception return (Stellar kick)
4:05 – (MC) John Ayres 80-yard run (Stellar kick), 1-80, :13
2:14 – (MC) Avery Demko 34-yard pass from Tom Reisinger (Stellar kick), 1-34, :09
9:33 – (MC) Tyler Owens 1-yard run (Stellar kick), 4-30, 2:27
11:50 – (MC) Tyler Owens 45-yard run (kick failed), 1-45, :10
3:46 – (SW) Landon Lorson 1-yard run (pass failed), 11-73, 8:04
First downs 17 12
Rushes-net yards 28-380 33-78
Passing yardage 100 78
Passing 4-5-3-0 8-18-1-1
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 10-115 3-25
RUSHING: Mount Carmel: John Ayres (6-157-1), Shane Weidner (4-59-1), Tanner Karycki (3-32), Tyler Owens (3-56-2), Julien Stellar (3-24), Reed Witkoski (3-3), Dylan Pupo (2-28), Michael Reed (2-13), Noah Berkoski (1-5), Damon Dowkus (1-3); South Williamsport: Gannon Guerrisky (9-14), Lane Lusk (8-28), Luke Winner (6-26), Rion Withers (5-8), Clayton Swarthout (2-3), A.J. Flick (2-(-2)), Landon Lorson (1-1-1)
PASSING: Mount Carmel: Tom Reisinger (4-5-100-3-0); South Williamsport: A.J. Flick (5-12-38-1-1), Landon Lorson (3-6-40-0-0)
RECEIVING: Mount Carmel: Jack Chapman (1-34-1), Avery Demko (1-34-1), Noah Berkoski (1-29-1), John Ayres (1-3); South WIlliamsport: Cole Lentz (2-33), Lane Lusk (1-29), Gannon Guerrisky (1-10), Austin Nash (1-4-1), Grant Bachman (1-8), Clayton Swarthout (1-3), Chris Klem (1-(-9))
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