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By Lance Larcom
Northern Tier West Sports Report
MOUNT CARMEL — North Penn-Mansfield came out swinging against heavily-favored Mount Carmel here Friday, but the top-seeded Red Tornadoes were just too much to handle and the Panthers fell 60-20 in the District IV Class AA quarterfinal match-up.

After a three-and-out by NP-Mansfield to start the game, the Panthers came up with a fourth-down sack by Kohen Lehman to snuff out the Tornadoes initial drive. 

Taking over on their own 29 yard line, the Panthers connected on a long ball from Karson Dominick to Sammy Lawrence that would have set NPM up in Mount Carmel territory, but an offensive pass interference call negated the gain and the Panthers would eventually punt.

The Red Tornadoes proceeded to score on nine of their next 10 possessions, including the next four drives in the first quarter, as the Red Tornadoes used quick scoring drives to quickly pull away from the Panthers. 

“I was proud of the way we got after them early,” NPM Head Coach Chris Olson says, “Our tackling hurt us tonight .. we were misaligned on a couple early touchdowns. Our defense plays better with momentum, but we couldn’t get that back tonight after the early stop.”

Quick scoring drives by the Red Tornadoes would doom the Panthers, as MCA scored seven touchdowns, including six in the first half, on drives that lasted under a minute. Three were single-play drives, including their first score, which came with 6:45 left in the first quarter.

Mount Carmel would add scores at the 4:30, 2:34 and :51 marks of the first quarter and take a 26-0 lead into the second quarter.

The Panthers would score their lone points of the first half when Ethan Dick grabbed a mishandled Tornado handoff out of the air and returned it for a touchdown a minute into the second quarter. The extra point kick was blocked and Mount Carmel’s lead was 26-6.

The Red Tornadoes answered right back less than a minute later with a score, and added two more touchdowns before the break and took a 47-6 lead into the locker rooms. 

Mount Carmel came out of halftime and scored on the first play of their first possession for a 54-6 lead. 

On the ensuing possession, North Penn-Mansfield put on a five-play drive, ending on a 36-yard hook-up between Dominick and Lehman. Jackson Brion hit the extra point and NPM trailed 54-13 with 9:14 left in the third quarter.

Dominick finished with 150 yards passing, completing 18 of his 33 attempts with two scores.

Mount Carmel scored on a 65-yard pass play with 7:39 left in the third for their final points of the night and the Panthers finished off a 13-play, 78-yard drive with a Dominick-to-Cooper Shaw four-yard touchdown pass four minutes into the fourth quarter to provide the 60-20 final.

North Penn-Mansfield edged MCA in first downs, 19-17, and gained 119 yards rushing on the night, while the Tornadoes ran for 249 yards and had 282 yards through the air.

“Offensively, we needed to be able to run the ball against them,” Olson says, “but their size and speed made it tough. We made some plays on the outside, but just couldn’t sustain it.”

The loss ends North Penn-Mansfield’s season with a 3-8 mark. 

“The message all week was to play hard, play fast and have fun,” Olson stated. “We knew we would be the underdog, and we knew that their size would be difficult to overcome. The loss is disappointing, but I’m proud of my boys.”

A dozen Panthers suited up for the final time for North Penn-Mansfield, including leading rusher Lehman, leading receiver Lawrence and two-way starting lineman Jacob Johnson.

Mount Carmel 60, North Penn-Mansfield 20

Mount Carmel (11-0) 26 21 13 0 — 60
North Penn-Mansfield (3-8) 0 6 7 7 — 20

First quarter 
6:45 — (MC) Xaviar Diaz 36-yard run (kick failed)
4:30 — (MC) Matt Schicchitano 17-yard pass from Cole Spears (kick failed)
2:34 — (MC) Luke Blessing 49-yard run (Yagodzinski kick)
:51 — (MC) Michael Farronato 13-yard run (Yagodzinski kick)
Second quarter 
11:04 — (NPM) Ethan Dick 40-yard fumble return (kick blocked) 
10:26 — (MC) Garrett Varano 34-yard run (Yagodzinski kick)
6:58 — (MC) Luke Blessing 39-yard pass from Cole Spears (Yagodzinski kick)
4:06 — (MC) Garrett Varano 21-yard run (Yagodzinski kick)
Third quarter 
11:40 — (MC) Michael Kimsal 61-yard run (Schoppy kick)
9:14 — (NPM) Kohen Lehman 36-yard pass from Karson Dominick (Brion kick)
7:39 — (MC) Tait Adams 65-yard pass from Gavin Marshalek (kick blocked)
Fourth quarter 
7:19 — (NPM) Cooper Shaw 4-yard pass from Karson Dominick (Brion kick)
Team statistics 
                                   NPM MC 
First downs 19 17 
Rushes-net yards 38-119 21-249 
Passing yardage 150 282 
Passing 18-33-2-0 12-16-3-0 
Fumbles-lost 0-0 3-1 
Penalties-yards 9-69 10-95 
Individual statistics 
North Penn-Mansfield: Kohen Lehman (23-63), Ethan Dick (8-19), Easton Pequignot (3-17), George Valentine (3-16), Joe Sember (1-4)
Mount Carmel: Xaviar Diaz (5-60-1), Michael Kimsal (3-61-1), Garrett Varano (2-55-2), Ryan Weidner (2-18), Orville Fesniak (2-8), Luke Blessing (1-49-1), Michael Farronato (1-13-1), Daniel Velasquez (1-1), Gavin Marshalek (1-1), Andrew Lukoskie (1-(-1)), Brady Wokoski (1-(-2)), Cole Spears (1-(-14)) 
North Penn-Mansfield: Karson Dominick (18-33-150-2-0)
Mount Carmel: Cole Spears (11-15-217-2-0), Gavin Marshalek (1-1-65-1-0) 
North Penn-Mansfield: Sammy Lawrence (6-38), Cooper Shaw (5-38-1), Kohen Lehman (4-64-1), Derek Litzelman (2-8), Alex Davis (1-2)
Mount Carmel: Michael Farronato (3-86), Garrett Varano (3-20), Matt Schicchitano (2-34-1), Jacob Schultz (2-38), Luke Blessing (1-39-1), Tait Adams (1-65-1)

PHOTOS: Lance Larcom

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