Please support our Reporters

League Standings
Scoring Stats
Statewide Schedules

EPA Statewide Scoreboard

Tiger Offense Unstoppable

Written by: on Saturday, September 10th, 2016. Follow Dave Fegley on Twitter.


Southern Columbia runs through Mount Carmel

Football fans around the country have been eagerly anticipating this weekend as the NFL season kicks off. Millions of people have their fantasy football rosters in place and have to make difficult decisions as to who they should start. The decisions would be easier if the fantasy world revolved around high school football rather than professional. After Friday night’s game at The Silver Bowl, fantasy owners would be drooling to have any offensive weapon on Southern Columbia’s squad and would be dropping Mount Carmel Area’s defense instantaneously. In the 21st rendition of the SCA vs MCA rivalry, the Tigers reset the record for the most points scored in a game by defeating the Red Tornadoes 63-34. Jim Roth’s team also improved to 13-8 all-time against Mount Carmel. Plain and simple: Southern Columbia’s offense did what they wanted, when they wanted, & however they wanted.

The Tiger offense picked up a staggering 645 yards and scored nine touchdowns without punting at all in the victory. “Obviously our offensive line got the job done. I mean if you look at the final scoreboard and read the stats, the offense was impressive,” said freshman running back Gaige Garcia who was the leader with 196 rushing yards on just 13 carries. Hunter Thomas added 181 yards on only 11 carries, and they both contributed three rushing touchdowns. Thomas’ first one came on the first offensive play that the Tigers ran, and it came just a week after the senior left early in a win against Bloomsburg with an ankle injury. “I told everyone that my ankle felt better as the week moved on. It didn’t look good last weekend with the swelling, but that first carry certainly felt good,” said Thomas about his 54 yard opening play score to put the Tigers up 7-0.

The Red Tornadoes offense answered the call by driving 74 yards on the next drive. Quarterback John Ayres called his own number and scored from four yards out to tie the game at 7-7. On the Tigers second offensive play, they scored again. This time Garcia raced 67 yards down the sideline to put the visiting Tigers in front 14-7. “The skill position guys appreciate when we block for them up front and open up holes. With the line blocking well, our backs have been able to pick up lots of yardage,” said SCA offensive lineman Oak Six who is one of four first year starters on the line.

Lane Tanney, who had the best offensive performance for the Tornadoes, tied the game at 14 apiece on the first play of the second quarter with a 15-yard run. Southern got their passing game involved on the ensuing drive. Stone Hollenbach had completions of 31 and 17 yards to Julian Fleming and Garrett Henry respectively to set up a one-yard score for Garcia. “There were a few times that we slowed them down, but not many. Trying to stop a team like that is a tough task,” Mount Carmel coach John Darrah said. Ayres scored his second touchdown on a short run on the following drive. Then, the Tigers turned the ball over on downs and Wes Shurock caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Ayres to give the Tornadoes a 28-21 lead with 41 seconds left in the half. For the third time in the half, Southern needed only a single play to score. Thomas took a hand-off and sprinted 54 yards to pay dirt to tie the game at the half with neither defense showing any sign of stopping the opposing offense in the 28-28 slugfest.

The third quarter was when Southern’s defense finally gained control and the offense continued to soar. Thomas scored at the 9:15 mark to give his Tigers the lead for good. A 31-yard dash to the end zone gave them a 34-28 lead. After forcing Mount Carmel to punt, Garcia scored on a 74-yard run. It was Southern’s fourth one-play scoring drive of the game. Nic Fetterman added a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 42-28. Then, the Tigers defense stuffed the Red Tornadoes on a fourth down with Mount Carmel threatening deep in Southern territory. Max Tillett, who was filling in for injured Cal Haladay, was the first body to get to the runner behind the line of scrimmage and a half dozen other Tigers pounced on the play to give the ball back to SoCo’s offense. This time Southern did their damage through the air. Hollenbach hit his favorite receiver, Fleming, on a 10 yard out pattern. Fleming juked out a half dozen defenders and outran the rest of the defense for an 87-yard touchdown to extend the visitors lead. “Offensively we moved the ball the entire night. In the first half we had a lot of trouble with our front getting pushed around on defense. With their scheme, you need to be aggressive at the point of attack and I thought the defense did a better job of holding their ground after halftime,” Jim Roth said. “Unfortunately we suffered some injuries on defense early on, but guys like Max Tillett, who is another freshman, stepped up nicely for us.” MCA didn’t convert on fourth down when attempting a fake punt on the next drive, and Fetterman added a fourth score of the quarter on a 27-yard run to give the Tigers a commanding 56-28 lead at the quarter’s end. The Tigers needed two plays to score on that drive.

Fetterman added another score in the fourth quarter to put the game into the Mercy Rule at 63-28 on a night when the Red Tornadoes honored the late Phil Gergen with a banner under the scoreboard for his 40-year contribution as the public address announcer at Mount Carmel.  “Hunter and Gaige ran the ball great all night, and I love blocking for them. It’s nice to get some carries though as well. I think we were just more disciplined and focused in the second half and the final score showed it,” said Fetterman. After that touchdown, both teams gave their reserves a chance to get in on the action. The Red Tornadoes added a late score when Tanner Karycki ran one in from 19 yards out. The starting backfield of the Tigers averaged over 14 yard per carry in the victory. “Their defense wasn’t staying in position and that helped us develop our inside running game. They were flowing outside and expecting sweeps, but we just ran it up the middle for success,” lineman Connor Fulmer said.

Southern Columbia will try and win their 45th consecutive regular season game next week on the road at Hughesville. “Each week we are improving. Our offensive guys have a ton of confidence at this point, and we will try to improve in all three phases again next week. The defense and special teams coverage are the main improvement areas, but we have athletes that are capable of fixing them,” Roth said. Mount Carmel has another tough opponent next week as they travel to Montoursville and will try to end their two game skid and improve the defense that is giving up an average of over 46 points per game through three weeks. “We will take a look at the film and try to get better. I have confidence in these guys,” said Darrah. Hughesville is 2-1 and Montoursville hasn’t lost.

SCA: 14-14-28-7 = 63
MCA: 7-21-0-6 = 34



Gaige Garcia 13-196, 3 TDs; Hunter Thomas 11-181, 3 TDs; Nic Fetterman 8-80, 2 TDs; Stone Hollenbach 2-16; Nate Crowl 2-24; Ty Roadarmel 2-8; Cole Potter 1-5


Stone Hollenbach 3-6-0, 135 yds, TD


Julian Fleming 2-118, TD; Garrett Henry 1-17

1st DOWNS: 22




Lane Tanney 13-100, TD; John Ayres 17-72, 2 TD; Tanner Karycki 2-27, TD; Zack Zarkowski 7-20; Shane Weidner 2-12; Nick Troutman 2-9; Tommy Reisinger 1-2.


John Ayres 5-12-0, 114 yds, TD; Tommy McDonald 1-1-0, 7 yds; Tommy Reisinger 0-1-0


Lane Tanney 3-45; Wes Shurock 1-43, TD; CJ Reichard 1-32; Manus McCracken 1-1.

1st DOWNS: 16


MCA stats provided by Damien Scoblink (PE)

Follow on Twitter @EPAFootball

Leave a Reply

8 Responses to “Tiger Offense Unstoppable”

  1. Vic says:

    Watch the game. Everyone where I was standing was commenting on it saying Roth would score 100 if he could. Is he still bitter from some of the early beatings he got from MCA? I couldn’t tell you, but 8 mins left in the game and MCA already conceded defeat and WAS subbing and SCA still had the 1st team offense in. SCA was 1-2 plays and score and MCA took drives to score, so you know they weren’t coming back from 28 pts down. Great 1st half, but SCA was the better team. MCA has too many 2 way players and tired out. Many people from MCA and Shamokin (including a large % of good football players) moved to SCA in the last 20 years and who could blame them? Look at the names. SCA has been good for a while, but that is why SCA is at the level it is today.

  2. Brian says:

    Plus hynoski lived in elysburg from elementary school near Knoebels. Families move to better their lives for their children. Who really wants to live in the shamokin of mt. Carmel area. I graduated from southern but I don’t live in the school district and my kids don’t go there. Something must be up because my kids aren’t going to the school I went to. There’s no law saying you have to go to the school your parents did.. This is pointless to argue with people who are narrow-minded and it’s completely off topic.

  3. John says:

    Hey Bob,

    What kind of a moron are you? Becker’s parents both are Southern grads. His father is the principal at SCA! He always lived in the district and never has ever had an affiliation with Bloomsburg. You must be a special kind of stupid!

    Haters are going to hate. If you’re not from the home of the champions, you are just jealous of the success. As they say, “you hate us cause you ain’t us!”

  4. Bob says:

    Lets see, Garcia, gosh didn’t his dad play for Mount Carmel awhile back? Hollenbach, gee, wasn’t he playing for Lewisburg recently? Strange how Southern manages to get Becker from Bloomsburg a few years back. He graduated last year and now they get another transfer quarterback. What about Hynoski, his dad was a great back at Mount Carmel. The list of transfers just keeps getting longer and longer, no wonder Southern’s so good with all that hard work, dedication and transfers! By the way, I’m not from the area’s mentioned, just an observer. Oh and don’t forget the two brothers who got to Mount Carmel via the transfers to Lourdes and their co-op!

  5. Brian says:

    Vic that is a lie. Subs didn’t go in until SCA put the game into mercy rule. Plus the way the game was going back and forth the first half no lead was safe. It kind of reminded me a little of the 76-47 game SCA played against Pius X in 2005 I think it was. That game turned into the mercy rule too.

  6. Tom says:

    No need for Mt. Carmel fans to be upset. Think of all the money they are saving on fireworks. Sca will continue to dominate our local schools!

  7. Ok Vic says:

    Ok Vic. That is not true and even if it were, it is up to the losing team to conceded defeat and sub FIRST. Most coaches to not do that until it is in the Mercy-Rule.

  8. Vic says:

    Darrah was subbing MCA players heavily with SCA up by 28 in the 4th q, Roth still leaves his 1st team O in including all state RB against MCA 2nd team. smh