South Side Shuts out MCA 40-0
Coming off of an emotional win over arch-rival Shamokin last week, Mount Carmel Area was excited to make a return to the District IV “AA” playoffs. As the #6 seed Red Tornadoes made the hour plus drive north on Interstate 180, they also knew near perfect execution was needed to upset the #3 seed South Williamsport Mounties. That, coupled with the fact that starting junior quarterback John Ayres only played a few snaps due to an injury sustained in the Shamokin game, made it a very long evening for the Big Red at Rodney K. Morgan Stadium. South Williamsport, firing on all cylinders, scored 20 points in each half en route to a 40-0 shutout victory.
The Mounties put together a balanced offensive attack, gaining 183 yards on the ground, but also 126 through the air, and wasted no time showcasing their bruising running back junior Gideon Green, who finished with 152 yards and 3 touchdowns and will undoubtedly make South Williamsport a tough out in the District IV playoffs. It was Green who got the scoring started with a 3 yard plunge in the first quarter. Senior kicker Kyle Betz would add the PAT and the Mounties would lead 7-0 with 6:19 left in the period.
As good as Green was on the ground, South Williamsport was also effective through the air and showcased their ability to throw it when needed throughout the first half. The Mounties would go aerial on their next score with sophomore quarterback A.J. Flick hitting senior tight end Patrick West for 21 yard strike with 9:57 left in the second quarter. Betz would again add the PAT and South Side would lead 14-0. Green, running behind a physically dominant offensive line, would continue to punish the Red Tornado defense and add a second quarter score of his own. The 2 yard touchdown dive would come with 2:04 left in the half. “Our line wanted to be the bully in this game,” said Green. “We didn’t want to get bullied, so we physically kept going and grinding them up.” Betz would miss the PAT, but the Mounties would increase their lead to 20-0, one they would take into the locker room.
The second half, was much like the first, as Mount Carmel Area could not find a rhythm offensively without Ayres, and could not catch a break either. On the first play from scrimmage after the halftime break, senior running back Zach Zarkowski fumbled, giving South Williamsport good field position. They would capitalize and lean on the running of Green for most of the drive, however, head coach Chris Eisworth dialed up a well-timed reverse pass from senior receiver Aaron Guerrisky to quarterback A.J. Flick for 18 yard score with 7:24 left in the 3rd quarter. Betz converted on the PAT and the Mounties were now ahead 27-0.
South Side would continue inflicting their will throughout the period, as Green would add a third touchdown, a 1 yard run, with 2:04 left. Leading 33-0, South Williamsport elected to go for two, but the conversion failed. The Mounties would also get some help from their special teams. The Red Tornadoes attempted to punt on their next possession and South Williamsport’s aggressive front line got through the Mount Carmel protection and blocked the kick. Sophomore tight end/linebacker Chevy Bolay would recover and score for the touchdown. Betz would add the PAT and the Mounties would lead 40-0, one they would hold until the final whistle.
With the victory, South Williamsport (10-1) advances to the District IV “AA” semi-finals and will travel to #2 seed Wellsboro (11-0). Mount Carmel Area will finish its season at (5-6) with the loss. Some highlighted bright spots for the Red Tornadoes, was senior wingback Lane Tanney tying the single game school record with 9 receptions and the staunch play of linebacker Manus McCracken who led all tacklers with 17 stops on the evening. “It was a tough game. I hoped that we could of pulled this one out for our seniors,” said a disappointed McCracken after the game. The Red Tornadoes will graduate six players: Wes Shurock, Lane Tanney, Zach Zarkowski, Tom Pastucha, Trevor Shuder, and Michael Anzulavich.
Although not being able to send the seniors out on top, his relentless play allowed McCracken to achieve 100 tackles on the season and leaves him just 1 tackle shy of 200 for his career. The junior, will undoubtedly be a candidate for post-season award teams and be a vital component and leader for John Darrah’s Red Tornadoes for the 2017 season. Upon being told of his achievement McCracken said, “It was a personal goal of mine this season and a lot of hard work to get it.” It is the hard work that McCracken speaks of that will allow these young Red Tornadoes to continue to improve and press toward a breakout season next year.
MCA: 0 -0 -0-0 = 0
SW: 7-13-20-0 = 40
MOUNT CARMEL (5-6)
John Ayres 3-10; Lane Tanney 10-53; Zach Zarkowski 9-44; Tanner Karycki 4-8; Shane Weidner 1- (-5); Tommy Reisinger 3 – (-15).
John Ayres 1-3-1, (-2 yds); Tommy Reisinger 9-21-0, 74 yds.
Lane Tanney 9-81; Wes Shurock 1- (-9).
Mount Carmel Area Stats complied by Jose Gonzalo
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT (10-1)
Gideon Green 27- 152, 3TDS; Ashton Martin 8- 29; Luke Winner 2-11; Gannon Guerrisky 1-2; Brian Whither 1-0.
A.J. Flick 5-10-0, 108 yds TD; Aaron Guerrisky 1-1, 18 yds, TD.
Aaron Guerrisky 5-87; Patrick West 1-21 TD; A.J. Flick 1-18, TD
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