In the week leading up to their rivalry game, Mount Carmel coach Carmen DeFrancesco said he was sure Southern coach Jim Roth would be anxious to see how his many first-year starters would perform when forced to play four quarters, rather than less than half of a game as in the team’s two blowout wins.
Roth found out, and it did not work in Mount Carmel’s favor. The Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter for a convincing 49-33 win.
Talking specifically about halfback Nate Hunter and quarterback Taylor Young — both of whom overcame fumbles and, in Young’s case, an interception — Roth said, “I was impressed with the way (Hunter) ran the ball. In the series after he had the fumbles, I thought he really showed something. There was no tentativeness, and I think he was even more aggressive. It was nice see him pick it up and put that behind him.
“It was the same with Taylor. Sometimes he just had a little bit of problem with his touch. (On the interception) he had the kid in the flat on that pass open and he did not get enough air under the ball, and it kind of floated. But I can’t say enough about the way he ran the ball and the way he came back and played in the second half after some mistakes early,” Roth said.
He added, “This was a growing experience for these guys as many of them are first-year starters, and, in this environment, it was huge to see them come out in the second half and play so well.”
EASY PICKINGS: Lewisburg junior cornerback Ben Frankel played a huge role in Friday night’s victory over Hughesville with two interceptions and a touchdown catch. His second interception of the game, coming in the third quarter, set up his own score. He was pushed out of bounds after a 45-yard return to the Spartans’ 10 and caught a TD soon after.
Frankel’s inteception in one-on-one coverage was so good, it looked like he was the intended receiver. Hughesville’s Kris Newman ran a fly pattern down the left sideline, but Frankel was step-for-step with him and made a great over-the-shoulder catch for the pick.
“We worked more on technique this week than we have in a long time. (Newman’s) eyes were just set on the deep part of the field, so I thought it was coming,” Frankel said. “I didn’t care about the receiver at that point. I just went for the ball.”
Once he made the interception, he was able to pick up some blockers and almost return it for a touchdown, but he got hemmed in on the sideline and was pushed out of bounds.
“I had flashbacks to Towanda, when I got tackled after I cut back, so I stayed safe,” Frankel said. “I just didn’t have enough to get the score.”