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North Schuylkill’s Josh Chowansky has big night in win over Mount Carmel Area

Written by: on Sunday, August 29th, 2021. Follow Matt Beltz on Twitter.

 

MOUNT CARMEL – North Schuylkill, which enters the 2021 season as the top-ranked team in the state in Class 3A according to PennLive.com, relies on its up-tempo and fast-paced offense to wear opposing defenses down. So, when the Spartans and Mount Carmel were hit with a 30-minute lightning delay midway through the second quarter, that didn’t exactly play to North Schuylkill’s advantage.

And the Spartans came out sluggish afterward, as Mount Carmel scored to tie the game, and the Spartans only managed -11 yards in nine plays following the delay and leading into halftime.

But from there, just like he did all night, Josh Chowansky provided a spark that woke the Spartans back up, as he ripped off a 59-yard touchdown run to put North Schuylkill up for good, part of a 252-yard rushing performance, as the Spartans topped Mount Carmel 33-14.

“Our game is tempo. Offensively, we’re going to play as fast as we can to tire guys down,” said North Schuylkill coach Wally Hall. “That helps our defense and gets us in a groove. We had a delay and that starts to change the emotions of the players and we did come out a little flat (afterward), but right away, we knew what we wanted to do.”

Despite hitting that dead spot at the end of the first half, North Schuylkill still managed 466 yards of offense for the game, outgaining a competitive but ultimately outlasted Mount Carmel squad by over 200 yards. Still, for a squad that only played three games last season, the Red Tornados turned in a respectable performance against a team that should contend for a 3A championship and one that they should be able to build on as they get into their District 4 and HAC schedule.

‘We expected to move the ball pretty well,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “There were a couple of opportunities we left out on the table. I’m very confident in us moving the ball. The thing we’re really talking about is just finishing. There are some dagger plays we have out there, that once we start making them, that’s where we’re really going to reach the next level.”

Those opportunities left on the table included a pair of turnovers, one that occurred in the red zone early in the game, and one near the end of the third quarter that North Schuylkill converted into a touchdown to take a two-score lead.

But things were close early. The Spartans came out firing in their hurry-up offense on the opening drive of the game after receiving the opening kickoff. Chowansky got loose for a 38-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, and North Schuylkill also converted a 4th-and-10 from the Mount Carmel 20 to extend the drive as Jake Hall found Evan Stanakis for an 11-yard reception. Two plays later, the Spartans capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception by Joey Flail from Hall in the corner of the end zone, the first of three touchdown passes for Hall on the night.

“Their depth and tempo are difficult to deal with. I think they only had one two-way player, and we have a lot of them so that coupled with the up-tempo makes it difficult but it’s no excuse,” said Darrah. “We knew we were going to have to deal with that coming in, but I thought we played really hard the entire game and never gave up so I was proud of them in that regard.”

The Red Tornados drove all the way to the North Schuylkill 8-yard line on their ensuing drive but turned it over on the fumble. The Spartans responded by driving it all the way into the red zone on the other end of the field, but on a 4th-and-8, Hall was flushed out of the pocket and stripped, losing the fumble.

After Mount Carmel punted on their next drive, the Spartans took it at their own 21 and drove it all the way to the Red Tornado 9. They were lining up to kick a field goal at the south end of the Silver Bowl, when lightning was sighted at that same end of the stadium, requiring the minimum 30-minute delay.

Out of the delay, North Schuylkill instead elected to go for it on the fourth-down play, and Hall was sacked by Matt Scicchitano.

Mount Carmel took over at its own 18 and proceeded to run it right at the Spartans, going 82 yards in eight plays – all runs – and Pedro Feliciano capped the drive with a five-yard touchdown run. Julien Stellar picked up 40 yards on five carries on the drive, and Mount Carmel was also aided by a personal foul penalty on the Spartans.

But North Schuylkill’s defense forced the Red Tornados into a three-and-out to begin the second half after Mount Carmel received the opening kickoff, and on the Spartans’ second play of their ensuing drive, Chowansky produced his longest run of the night to put the Spartans up 14-7.

Chowansky helped the Spartans take advantage of Mount Carmel’s second fumble of the night late in the third quarter. It gave North Schuylkill possession near midfield, and Chowansky ran the ball on four of the eight plays on the drive, adding 32 more yards to his total, and Jake Hall capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown to put North Schuylkill up 20-7.

‘Traditionally, we’re a spread team and try to run and pass 50-50. But, with the weather conditions, we weren’t going to have that tonight,” said Hall. “Earlier in the week, we adjusted. It’s good that we have the personnel that we could just get under center and just run downhill with the football.”

Mount Carmel answered with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Feliciano to Jacob Schultz with :45 left in the third quarter to make it 20-14.

But the Spartans came back with touchdowns on their next two possessions to put it away, as Jake Hall found Carl Brown to cap both drives, first from 50 yards out and then from 30.

North Schuylkill 33, Mount Carmel 14
North Schuylkill (1-0)      7      0    13   13 –  33
Mount Carmel (0-1)          0      7     7     0   –  14

First-quarter
8:37 – (NS) Joey Flail 7-yard pass from Jake Hall (Mentzer kick), 10-68, 3:23

Second-quarter
4:45 – (MC) Pedro Feliciano 5-yard run (Stellar kick), 8-82, 3:25

Third-quarter
9:37 – (NS) Josh Chowansky 59-yard run (Mentzer kick), 2-64, :32
1:58 – (NS) Jake Hall 2-yard run (kick blocked), 8-47, 1:20
:45 – (MC) Jacob Schultz 40-yard pass from Pedro Feliciano (Stellar kick), 3-59, 1:13

Fourth-quarter
10:59 – (NS) Carl Brown 50-yard pass from Jake Hall (run failed), 5-65, 1:46
5:12 – (NS) Carl Brown 30-yard pass from Jake Hall (Mentzer kick), 3-52, :26

Statistics
NS                         MC

First downs                       20                          19

Rushes-net yards           45-299                  52-194

Passing yardage              167                         50

Passing                        7-16-3-0                 3-10-1-0

Fumbles-lost                    2-1                         4-2

Penalties-yards              9-115                      3-15

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING — North Schuylkill: Josh Chowansky (26-252-1), Jake Hall (10-(-1)-1), Terry Thomas (7-50), TEAM (2-(-2)); Mount Carmel: Pedro Feliciano (19-41), Julien Stellar (12-68), Garrett Varano (6-33), Cole Spears (5-21), Jacob Zarski (4-10), Michael Farronato (3-34), Thomas Davitt (1-3), TEAM (2-(-16))
PASSING — North Schuylkill: Jake Hall (7-16-167-3-0); Mount Carmel: Pedro Feliciano (3-5-50-1-0), Cole Spears (0-5-0-0-0)
RECEIVING — North Schuylkill: Joey Flail (3-74-1), Carl Brown (2-80-2), Evan Stanakis (1-11), Josh Chowansky (1-2); Mount Carmel: Garrett Varano (2-10), Jacob Schultz (1-40-1)

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