The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Shamokin News Wire

August 31, 2013

Mount Carmel blanks Shikellamy in opener

SUNBURY — On a muggy opening night when cramps were a way of life, it looked like Shikellamy might have had Mount Carmel right where it wanted in the second half of Friday night’s Heartland Athletic Conference cross-over game.

The Braves, having somehow survived some of the strangest first halves of football you will want to see, had the Red Tornadoes on their heels, pounding the ball down their throats behind senior fullback Dwayne Pepper and his linemen.

Mount Carmel coach Carmen DeFrancesco said his coaches told him that it looked like Shikellamy was controlling the Red Tornadoes up front.

“I was thinking ‘boy, I hope this isn’t the case’ but our kids rallied in true fashion.”

The Shikellamy drive ended on the 15th play when big linebacker Christian Kelley pressured Braves quarterback Garrett Kemberling, forcing an incompletion on fourth-and-three at the Mount Carmel 16 and the Red Tornadoes rallied for a 20-0 victory.

“We bent and we didn’t break and that’s a credit to our kids,” DeFrancesco said.

Later in the quarter, a Dominic Farronato interception set up a touchdown by tight end Kelley.

“We were getting tired, but once we got up two scores, we felt that the momentum changed,” DeFrancesco said. “And you could just feel it and then our kids got their second wind.”

Shikellamy coach Todd Tilford was still shaking his head after the game just thinking about the things that went wrong.

“We just couldn’t get over the hump. We told the kids at halftime everything that could go wrong — penalties, drops and everything — we played about as horrible as I could imagine us playing and we go in and we’re down six,” he said.

“We had a good drive to start the half, but the offense just couldn’t get that thing in. We felt like we had them on the ropes. It was just strange. We kept telling our guys ‘keep on believing,’ we know we are a better team than that.”

In an odd first half, the Red Tornadoes (1-0) scored on the opening series on a nine-play, 69-yard drive capped by quarterback Zack Wasilewski’s 2-yard keeper for a 6-0 lead with 7:15 to go in the period. The kick failed.

On the ensuing kickoff, the ball took a bizarre sideways bounce away from the Braves’ return team and was recovered by the Red Tornadoes’ Kyle Karycki.

The Braves (0-1) held, but the oddities were not over.

Two series later, Shikellamy’s Ryan Wary swept the right side and left all the Tornadoes in his wake. With nothing but clear sailing to the end zone, the ball slipped out of his hands and landed out of bounds.

The Red Tornadoes eventually forced a punt.

So it was understandable for anyone to think as they watched the Braves running their Delaware wing-T to near perfection on the opening drive of the second half that the tide was turning for the home team.

Given new life by its defense, Mount Carmel added the final tally on a play that must have reminded their fans of last season when DeFrancesco would send monstrous Eric Joraskie and Tyler Kwiatkowski down the field and dare anyone to tackle them.

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound Kelley, switched to tight end this year from the offensive line, ran a jet sweep to the left and bowled over a couple of defenders for an 11-yard TD. He then caught the pass from Wasilewski for the two-point conversion to cap the scoring.

“This was a great victory. We did not know what to expect,” DeFrancesco said. “We had two mediocre scrimmages, so we were coming in here not knowing what to expect, but our kids played great, the defense was just outstanding.”

1
Text Only
Shamokin News Wire
  • Heartland Division I
    Team W L PF PA
    Danville (10-3)* 5 1 352 184
    Mifflinburg (5-6) 4 2 226 253
    Selinsgrove (6-6) 4 2 261 261
    Shikellamy (5-6) 4 2 244 221
    Milton (5-6) 2 4 344 332
    Jersey Shore (6-7) 2 4 260 313
    Shamokin (0-10) 0 6 81 367
             

    *-denotes division champion

    July 11, 2012

  • CSSE38.jpg The Daily Item's High School Football Podcast

    Listen as The Daily Item's team of sports reporters and editors break down playoff games involving Danville and Southern Columbia this weekend - Sponsored by Blaise Alexander Ford Inc., Lewisburg

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

  • The Coal Bucket stay with Mount Carmel

    Those doubters who believe that the “Coal Bucket” game becoming a meaningless matchup and has lost much of its luster did not see Friday night’s 2013 version of the annual backyard rivalry.

    November 2, 2013

  • Mount Carmel 21, Shamokin 0

    November 1, 2013

  • xshiksham26d.jpg Coal Bucket up for grabs

    Even if they were not aware of it coming in, all football coaches taking over the program at Shamokin are certainly made aware of that one game on the schedule that they need to find a way to win

    October 31, 2013 1 Photo

  • xshiksham26b.jpg Braves seniors step up against Indians

    SUNBURY — While Shikellamy was celebrating Senior Night against Shamokin on Friday, two seniors in particular stood out for the Braves.

    October 26, 2013 3 Photos

  • Shikellamy 28, Shamokin 0

    October 26, 2013

  • Twitter Feed

    August 14, 2012

  • Improving Shamokin Indians face the Shikellamy Braves

    SUNBURY — When winless Shamokin gave unbeaten Southern Columbia, the state’s No. 1-ranked Class A team (by Pennsylvania Football News) a tussle for the first quarter last week, it not only got the attention of the Tigers, who went on to win the game 56-0. Other coaches took notice as well, including Shikellamy’s Todd Tilford.

    October 24, 2013

  • Southern overcomes slow start in big victory

    It was a wake-up call that sent a mild tremor throughout the Southern Columbia sideline and it came from the most unlikely source to date, but it got the visitor's attention.

    October 19, 2013