By Marian Valanoski
The Daily Item
MOUNT CARMEL -- Joe Dormer’s name more than likely won’t be found on any opposing team’s scouting reports as a player to be reckoned with on the field, and yet the Mount Carmel Area junior with one catch probably has earned himself an eternal spot in the football lore known as Red Tornado Football.
The play is called “Villanova” and Dormer is the last option on the passing play for quarterback Zack Wasilewski and yet the final selection proved to be the right choice as the Red Tornado wide receiver caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 10.6 seconds left in the game to lift Mount Carmel from the “jaws of defeat” to a thrilling 19-13 victory over North Schuylkill that certainly restored a breath of confidence into the home team faithful Friday at the Silver Bowl.
“Joe (Dormer) must have went to every assistant coach in the fourth quarter asking to get into the game,” MCA head coach Carmen DeFrancesco said. “That’s his first catch of the season and it could not have come at a better time.”
Wasilewski provided the Red Tornadoes with a 12-6 lead with 7:58 left in the non-conference encounter when he capped a 53-yard, nine-play drive with a nine-yard touchdown romp around right end to break a 6-6 deadlock, but the best was yet to come.
North Schuylkill took over on its own 19 with less than five minutes remaining when faced with a fourth-and-three from the 27 Austin Hummel on second-and-third effort broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and gained six yards for the first down. On the next play, quarterback Bobby Grigas found Tevin Murray behind the secondary for a 42-yard gain to the MCA 25.
Murray collected 24 more yards on the next play when Grigas found the sophomore receiver down the left sideline down to the 1. It took two runs into the line but on the latter, the sophomore signal-caller burrowed into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown and Derrick Reese’s PAT kick provided the Spartans with what looked like an insurmountable lead with only 45 ticks left on the clock.
The Red Tornadoes used a bit of luck when the visitors chose to try a short kick rather than boom one deep and the home team took possession on its own 45.
Farronato picked up nine yards on second down, and after an incomplete pass, Wasilewski displayed his own toughness on the run by bulling over several defenders for a much-needed yard to keep the drive alive at the NS 45.
Wasilewski then found Treyvon White for a 25-yard pickup down to the 20 where on the next snap Wasilewski eluded the Spartans’ fierce rush to buy time before finding Dormer in the corner of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown, 19-13.
“Wasilewski has four reads on the play and the fourth option is a desperation throw,” DeFrancesco said. “He spotted Dormer in the back of the end zone and he made the catch that may have been the big play our team has been looking for all year.”
Dormer, while changing in the victorious field house, calmly answered he had no doubt about catching the ball.
“I’m not surprised at all about catching the ball,” Dormer said. “There was no doubt in my mind I’d make the play.”
The Red Tornadoes held the potent Spartans’ rushing attack to just 33 yards on 41 carries and sacking Grigas six times for minus-20 yards while MIke Gilger secured the victory with a last-second interception to end the game.
“Maybe we are hitting our stride at the right time,” DeFrancesco said. “We need to play them one at a time and hope we can sneak into the playoffs.
“Our defense was outstanding and all year we’ve been stressing about needing to make ‘big’ plays and tonight we made several”
Wasilewski threw for 249 yards with White catching seven for 114 and Thompson, who had a 69-yard TD drive in the opening half, contributed 74.
Mount Carmel travels next week to play Hughesville.