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Written by: Dave Fegley on Sunday, November 7th, 2021
As the No. 2 seed in the District 4 Class 2A playoffs, Mount Carmel Area (9-2) got to host their opening round game inside of the historic Silver Bowl and ran over Bloomsburg (4-7) by a score of 54-13.
In the win, Red Tornado head coach John Darrah picked up his 50th career victory, and one of his senior captains broke a program mark that stood for more than two decades.
“Our run game is very consistent. I didn’t realize we had as many rushing yards as we did (558 yards), but our guys have a lot of confidence running the ball. Our line deserves the credit because they have been dominant for us all season long,” said Darrah who is in his seventh season.
By making six of eight extra point attempts in the victory, Mount Carmel senior Julien Stellar broke Mike Sinkovich’s career mark of 118 made PAT’s. Stellar heads into next week now with 121 during his tenure.
“I am very happy for Julien. He is our leader and does a great job for us on both sides of the ball as well,” Darrah said. “It was obviously good for our team to get this win, but we need to clean up some things. One thing is wrapping up while tackling, but our guys have been great on defense all season so I don’t see that being a huge concern moving forward.”
The Red Tornadoes built a 20-0 halftime lead against the Panthers by getting contributions from all around the field. The only negative in the end was having two junior starters go down with injuries. Matt Kelley and Michael Farronato both watched the second half with an ice pack on a leg.
Out of the Wildcat Formation, Stellar scored the opening touchdown from a yard out with 8:41 left in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, Jacob Schultz made an impact after missing last week’s game at Shamokin with an injury.
After making three tackles on the previous Bloomsburg drive, the sophomore caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Pedro Feliciano. It was Schultz’s team-leading fourth of the season, and he also caught all four of the total completions for the Red Tornadoes on the afternoon.
Early in the second, the Panthers were threatening to cut the Red Tornadoes lead in half, but junior Liam Bradley made a stop on a fourth and goal from the one after Bloomsburg was able to get into the scoring position with some third down completions earlier in the drive.
“They are really tough to try and run on. We knew we would have to have success throwing the ball, and we did, but they came up with the stops when they needed to,” Bloomsburg head coach Mike Kogut said.
On the next play, Stellar broke off a run out to midfield. Six plays later, Feliciano was able to bounce off a couple of tackle attempts and found the end zone from 11 yards out to give Mount Carmel a 20-0 lead at halftime on Joe “Jazz” Diminick Field.
In the second half, the Panthers made it a two-score game on two different occasions, thanks to the play of their quarterback Michael Widom. On a handful of occasions, the senior appeared to become invisible as Mount Carmel defensive linemen had him in grasp but weren’t able to bring him down.
Widom threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Guzevich at the 10:06 mark of the third quarter to cut the Red Tornadoes lead to 20-7, but then the Panthers couldn’t stop the Red Tornadoes on defense. Mount Carmel went 80 yards and Stellar scored on a five-yard run less than four minutes later.
Bloomsburg responded with another touchdown, this one coming on a halfback pass as Guzevich found Damon Rasmussen from 42 yards out. At that point, MCA’s lead was cut to 27-13 with 4:04 left in the third quarter. That was the last time however that the Red Tornadoes gave up points in the game.
“Michael Widom played outstanding football for us by his ability to escape pressure on multiple occasions and executing on some of his throws,” Kogut said. “You have to give Mount Carmel the credit though because they answered the call after our two touchdowns. They are a very good team and will be a tough out for a team going forward.”
Down the stretch, the X-Factor, became Mount Carmel’s Xavier Diaz. The sophomore needed just four carries in the quarterfinal win to rack up 149 rushing yards and touchdown runs of 50 and 63 yards capped off the victory.
“Xavier is the man. He has outdone himself each week that last couple of games. He’s very explosive and just continues to get better and better every time he gets his hands on the football,” said Darrah.
The Red Tornadoes will again get to host a playoff game next Saturday. Their opponent will be the Trojans of Troy who defeated Sayre 20-6. In the other semifinal, top-seeded Southern Columbia will be at home against South Williamsport.
Mount Carmel 54, Bloomsburg 13
Bloomsburg: 0 – 0 – 13 – 0 — 13
Mount Carmel: 13 – 7 – 20 – 14 — 54
MC — Julien Stellar 1 run (Stellar kick), 8:41
MC — Jacob Schultz 17 pass from Pedro Feliciano (kick blocked), 3:49
MC — Feliciano 11 run (Stellar kick), 5:02
B — Daniel Guzevich 29 pass from Michael Widom (Sisay Doerschler kick), 10:06
MC — Stellar 5 run (Stellar kick), 6:36
B — Damon Rasmussen 42 pass from Guzevich (kick missed), 4:04
MC — Xaviar Diaz 50 run (kick missed), 3:55
Mc — Thomas Davitt 14 run (Stellar kick), 1:30
MC — Diaz 63 run (Stellar kick), 8:28
MC — Al Bailey 8 run (Stellar kick), 7:24
Bloomsburg – Mount Carmel
First downs 12 – 26
Rushing-yds. 26-79 – 53-558
Passing 13-32-0 – 4-8-1
Passing yds. 218 – 28
Total yds. 296 – 586
Fumbles-lost 3-2 – 2-1
Penalties-yds. 11-88 – 9-64
RUSHING — Bloomsburg: Michael Widom 10-56; Daniel Guzevich 3-10; Damon Rasmussen II 4-8; Brady Horan 4-5; Nick Wharton 4-4; Nasir Kelly 1-(-4). Mount Carmel: Xaviar Diaz 4-149, 2 TD’s; Julien Stellar 13-131, 2 TD’s; Pedro Feliciano 11-121, TD; Michael Farronato 6-56; Ryan Weidner 2-39; Thomas Davitt 7-19, TD; Cole Spears 2-16; Matt Balichik 3-14; Al Bailey 3-13, TD; Maddox Reed 1-2; Daniel Velasquez 1-(-2).
PASSING — Bloomsburg: Michael Widom 11-30-0, 172 yds, TD; Daniel Guzevich 2-2-0, 46 yds, TD. Mount Carmel: Pedro Feliciano 3-7-1, 22 yds, TD; Cole Spears 1-1-0, 6 yds.
RECEIVING — Bloomsburg: Damon Rasmussen 5-126, TD; Daniel Guzevich 4-49, TD; Parker Jones 3-39; Michael Widom 1-4. Mount Carmel: Jacob Schultz 4-28, TD.
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