MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel quarterback Tommy Reisinger felt the Red Tornadoes needed a strong performance in their home opener after a blowout loss to rival Southern Columbia last Saturday.
“We knew we had to bounce to back. We are kind of used to it after that game,” Reisinger said. “We really needed to play well.”
Reisinger threw for 197 yards and two scores, while the Mount Carmel defense forced three turnovers and blocked a punt in the Red Tornadoes’ 42-23 victory over Lewisburg on Friday night at Jazz Diminick Field at The Silver Bowl.
“I really thought we were ready for this game,” Mount Carmel coach John Darrah said. “We had a really good week of practice. They are really resilient and mentally tough kids that love playing football.
“I knew we were going to be fine. I knew we were going to bounce back.”
It started on the first drive of the game as the Red Tornadoes (2-1) drove 80 yards in 15 plays, picking up seven first downs. Reisinger hit Damon Dowkus on a fullback swing pass for a 21-yard TD on fourth-and-13. A blocked PAT left Mount Carmel up 6-0 with 6:41 left in the first quarter.
The Lewisburg defense settled in, forcing back-to-back three-and-out series, while Lewisburg’s offense was able to get on the board. Max Moyers’ 35-yard run set up Shea Girton’s 22-yard field goal that cut the lead to 6-3 with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Green Dragons (1-2) forced another punt, but a holding penalty on the return pushed them back to their own 10. On the first play, a botched handoff was recovered by the Red Tornadoes’ Colin Herb with 11:13 left in the first half.
Mount Carmel was pushed back by a hold and also Ethan Spaulding’s tackle for loss, and faced third-and-goal from the Lewisburg 36. A 25-yard gain set up Julian Stellar’s 28-yard field and gave the Red Tornadoes a 9-3 lead with 9:21 left in the second quarter.
After a Lewisburg punt, a 41-yard pass from Reisinger to Jack Chapman on third-and-1, set up Reisinger’s 6-yard TD run with 6:48 left in the first half. The two-point pass was stopped with Mount Carmel ahead 15-3.
Again it looked the like the Green Dragons might climb back into the game, but another fumble cost them. Lewisburg drove from its own 15 to the Mount Carmel 22, but Logan Wills recovered a fumble at the Mount Carmel 28.
“It’s something in the air down here,” Lewisburg coach Marc Persing said. “The first quarter until the middle of the second quarter, we are moving the ball like we have one of the best offenses in the conference. We believe that — they believe that — but we just shot ourselves in the foot.”
The Red Tornadoes were able to punch in another touchdown before halftime, converting two third-and-longs with a 9-yard gain to Chapman on third-and-9, and 29 yards to Dylan Pupo on a third-and-15. Shane Weidner scored from a yard out with 50 seconds left to give Mount Carmel a 22-3 lead at the break.
Mount Carmel ended any shot of a Lewisburg comeback by taking advantage of a Dowkus blocked punt that resulted in his own 9-yard TD run with 10:47 left in the third quarter. The Red Tornadoes then recovered a fumble just two plays later to set up a 23-yard TD pass to Chapman that made it 36-3 just 1:48 into the second half.
MOUNT CARMEL 42, LEWISBURG 23
Lewisburg (1-2) 3 0 7 13 — 23
Mount Carmel (2-1) 6 16 20 0 — 42
MC-Damon Dowkus 21 pass from Tom Reisinger (kick blocked)
L-FG Shea Girton 23
MC-FG Julian Stellar 28
MC-Reisinger 6 run (pass failed)
MC-Shane Weidner (Stellar kick)
MC-Dowkus 9 run (Stellar kick)
MC-Jack Chapman 23 pass from Reisinger (Stellar kick)
L-Max Moyers 2 run (Girton kick)
MC-Stellar 1 run (kick failed)
L-Nick Shedleski 9 run (Girton kick)
L-Jay Lannert 12 pass from Michael Farronato (no attempt)
First downs 20 17
Rushes-net yards 44-226 44-173
Passing yards 95 221
Passing 10-20-0 11-18-0
Fumbles-lost 3-3 2-0
Penalties-yards 4-30 9-75
RUSHING — Lewisburg: Max Moyers 23-114, TD; Cam Michaels 3-46; Nick Shedleski 8-30, TD; Ethan Dominick 7-26; Michael Farronato 1-16; Gavin Sheriff 1-5; Team 1-(-11). Mount Carmel: Joey Bendas 6-58; Pedro Feliciano 4-39; Shane Weidner 11-35, TD; Damon Dowkus 5-27, TD; Tom Reisinger 2-12, TD; Julian Stellar 3-11, TD; Reed Witkoski 1-9; Noah Berkoski 4-6; Garrett Varano 1-4; Cam Mannion 1-1; Michael Reed 1-0; Dylan Pupo 3-(-3); Team 2-(-23).
PASSING — Lewisburg: Shedleski 9-18-0, 83 yds.; Farronato 1-1-0, 12 yds., TD; Dominick 0-1-0. Mount Carmel: Reisinger 10-15-0, 197 yds., 2 TDs; Feliciano 1-3-0, 24 yds.
RECEIVING — Lewisburg: Simeon Beiler 4-50; Dominick 2-19; Ethan Spaulding 2-13; Jay Lannert 1-12, TD; Owen Ordonez 1-1. Mount Carmel: Jack Chapman 4-79, TD; Dowkus 3-36, TD; Pupo 1-29; Berkoski 1-28; Logan Wills 1-25; Thomas Davitt 1-24.