FOOTBALL FRIDAY: Mount Carmel looks to bounce back against Montoursville
MOUNT CARMEL - Mount Carmel Area head coach Carm DeFrancesco wants to avoid a repeat of the 2012 season when the Red Tornadoes host unbeaten Montoursville tonight.
Not that the entire 2012 season was bad, as the Red Tornadoes finished the season 8-5 and were District 4-AA runnerS-up. But the way the season unfolded proved to be difficult and might be repeated tonight.
The Red Tornadoes opened the season with two wins in 2012, and did the same thing this year. Then they lost to Southern Columbia, Loyalsock and Montoursville in three straight games. Again, the 2-2 Red Tornadoes have dropped consecutive games to Southern and Loyalsock.
"We don't want to be 2-3 again and be in the position where we're chasing points and watching the scoreboard the rest of the season," DeFrancesco says.
But, as already stated, the Warriors are 4-0 and will bring a very good, tough team into the Silver Bowl.
"They are an excellent team," DeFrancesco says. "They're physical, they're big. They might not have the skill players Loyalsock has but they're a better team overall."
The Warriors have at least one very, very good skill player in tailback-linebacker Cameron Ott, who ran for 314 yards in a 41-0 win over Hughesville last week. and who now has 795 yards in four games and is averaging well over 10 yards a carry. Ott is complemented nicely by Alec Rothrock and quarterback Griffin Dunne and a big, strong offensive line.
What really impresses DeFrancesco though, is the Warriors' defense.
"They have a really athletic, aggressive defense," he says. "They just fly to the ball, all 11 guys.
Obviously, the Tornadoes will have their hands full. But DeFrancesco saw positives in last week's 34-27 loss to Loyalsock and counts this as a winnable game.
"We still feel we can win the game," he says. "We had a good practice today (Monday) and watched film and feel good. Our offense was real balanced against Loyalsock and we had a good running game. We went into that game really wanting to work on the run game and we did it. We're going to have to do that all season if we want to be successful.
"But again, we had some breakdowns in special teams. That's such an important part of the game and it's costing us right now."
Blake Panko had his first 100-yard rushing game against the Lancers, and Mike Gilger ran for a touchdown and caught a pass for another. Quarterback Zach Wasilewski has completed 40 of 72 passes for 512 yards and four touchdowns, and Treyvon White and tight end Christian Kelley have proven to be a solid receiving combinations.