Spartans Make Statement: Defeat Red Tornadoes 41-0
Friday night marked the 50th meeting on the gridiron between the storied coal region programs of Mount Carmel Area and North Schuylkill. Coming into this game both squads had identical records of (3-3) and were looking to make a statement heading toward the post-season. On the golden anniversary of this game it was the Spartans who clearly played like a team that could not afford to lose in a 41-0 shutout win over the Red Tornadoes.
Although far from over, 2015 has not been a kind season for North Schuylkill. After 6 games, their (3-3) record has been a disappointment. The Spartans have been riddled with a barrage of injuries this year and the overwhelming pre-season choice in both the Anthracite Football League and District XI “AA” fell into a state of limbo at the season’s mid-point. What the Spartans did on Friday night is prove that they have the capabilities to be a dangerous team moving forward and, if healthy, belong in the conversation as one of the premier “AA” teams in eastern PA.
Against Mount Carmel the Spartans rushed for 405 yards, with the main bell-cow being fullback Major Jordan, who accounted for 235 of those yards on 25 carries. It was Jordan who set the tone on the first play of the game, rumbling for 50 yards. Quarterback Richie Zahodnick would score two plays later on a 20 yard touchdown run. Bobby Grigas added his first of 5 PAT’s on the evening to make the score 7-0. The Spartans would not look back. “This was a big win for us, said Major Jordan. “We’re playing pretty good football right now. I’m very proud of our team.” Head Coach Wally Hall has got to be pleased with the output of his new power look offense as Jordan has eclipsed 200 yards in each of the last 2 games.
As good as Jordan’s evening was, Zahodnick was equally impressive, looking like a maestro, from his quarterback position. He carried out several ball fakes to perfection and showcased his elusive game speed while gaining 108 yards and scoring the Spartans’ first 4 touchdowns. “The line played really well, said Zahodnick. “I had all the time in the world to make my reads.” North Schuylkill’s remaining score came on the first play of the fourth quarter when Bobby Grigas executed a fake field goal from his kicker position, connecting with Rutgers bound wide receiver Tevin Murray for an 11 yard scoring strike to make the score 35-0 after the PAT. Major Jordan would add a 3 yard touchdown run to close out the scoring for the Spartans. They would take a knee on the conversion, making it 41-0.
The Red Tornadoes could never string their positive plays into a score, with their closest being a 16 play drive in the second quarter that brought the ball to the 5 yard line. On 4th down, Kyle Karyicki did his best Tim Tebow impersonation, attempting a jump pass to tight end Wes Shurock, who made his return to the Mount Carmel Area lineup, but it fell incomplete. Also returning for the Big Red was freshman quarterback/safety John Ayres who missed the last 2 games with a knee injury. Defensively, Sophomore Manus McCracken notched 15 tackles and Senior Allen Yancoskie had 14 tackles from their linebacker spots. At (3-4) the Red Tornadoes need to put the last two weeks behind them and get ready for a three game stretch that includes games against Warrior Run, Central Columbia, and arch-rival Shamokin in the annual coal bucket game. All three of those games are must-wins for Mount Carmel in order to have a chance to qualify for the District IV “AA” 8 team playoff field. “This team has overcome adversity before, said Red Tornado Head Coach John Darrah. “We need to move past these last two weeks and get ready to move forward and play Big Red football the way we are capable of playing.”
North Schuylkill at (4-3) are also still fighting for their own playoff lives, as District XI “AA” only takes 4 teams into its tournament. The Spartans, who are undefeated in road games this season, will travel to Jim Thorpe for a marquee matchup with the undefeated (7-0) Olympians.
MCA: 0 – 0 – 0 – 0 = 0
NS : 21-0-7-13 = 41
MOUNT CARMEL (3-4)
Kyle Karycki 11-36; Lane Tanney 4-19; Allen Yankoskie 1- 4; Zachary Zarkowski 3-12; John Ayres 9-6; Cameron Britt 2-12; Team 1- (-12)
John Ayres 3-11-1, 22 yds
Wes Shurock 3-22
Mount Carmel Area Stats provided by Jose Gonzalo
North Schuylkill (4-3)
Major Jordan 25-235 TD; Richie Zahodnick 13-108 4 TDs; C.J. Steinhilber 6-30; Dylan Reese 2-23; Braden Heyer 1-8; Justyn DeAngelo 1-1
Zahodnick 1-4-0, 33 yards; Bobby Grigas 1-2-1, 11 yards, TD
Jonathan Smith 1-33; Tevin Murray 1-11 TD
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