JERSEY SHORE — Sometimes in sports, everything can go right for one team while nothing goes right for the other.
That is basically the gist of what happened on Friday at Jersey Shore as just about everything went right for Mount Carmel while next to nothing went well for the home standing Bulldogs. The end result was a convincing 47-7 win for the Red Tornadoes to improve to 3-1 heading into next week’s showdown with unbeaten rival North Schuylkill, which had an equally convincing 54-0 win over Schuylkill Haven on Friday.
John Ayres ran for 216 yards on just 11 carries and scored three touchdowns, including two on runs of 55 and 61 yards, respectively, and the Red Tornado defense held the Bulldogs to under 100 yards.
“I thought we played well offensively and defensively and we got much better field position, which was one of our objectives coming into the game,” said Mount Carmel coach John Darrah. “John had a big night and I’m really happy for him. He puts in a lot of hard work and is one of our leaders and it was great to see him bust off some big runs tonight.”
While Ayres was the standout offensively, Mount Carmel’s entire defense held a Jersey Shore team that had scored 30 in a win against Montoursville last week scoreless. About the only thing that went wrong for the Red Tornadoes other than two missed PATs was a fumbled handoff with under a minute to play in the game as they were attempting to run out the clock that was returned 83 yards for a touchdown.
The Red Tornadoes had three sacks on the night, but also had several hurries and quarterback knockdowns as the Bulldogs were held to just 95 total yards and only 23 on the ground. Jersey Shore ran only nine of their 45 offensive plays on Mount Carmel’s side the field, and none closer than the Red Tornado 43.
“We wanted to be pretty aggressive defensively and our guys did a good job with timing some stuff up and getting to the quarterback and I also thought we did a good job of tackling when he did get the ball out,” said Darrah.
“We knew Mount Carmel has a really good team so that didn’t surprise us,” said Jersey Shore coach Tom Gravish. “They have a host of great running backs, their quarterback plays well, they have good tight ends and defensively, they’ve got great guys up front, so hats off to them.”
Ayres’ 55-yard scamper on the Red Tornadoes’ second play from scrimmage gave them an early 7-0 lead less than two minutes in to the game after Jersey Shore had gone three-and-out on its first possession.
On the Bulldogs’ next possession, Tanner Lorson was picked off by Avery Demko on the just the second play of the drive, and the pick was returned to the Bulldog 28. Three plays later, Tom Reisinger found Shane Weidner for a 20-yard touchdown reception to give Mount Carmel a 14-0 lead.
Mount Carmel got two more long plays in the first half that resulted in two more touchdowns for a 34-0 halftime lead. Ayres ended the first quarter with a 65-yard run to set up the Red Tornadoes at the Bulldog 21, and five plays later, he ran it in from one yard for his second score to put Mount Carmel up 20-0. Later in the second, Reisinger beat a Jersey Shore blitz with a well-executed screen pass to Tanner Karycki, who turned it into a 61-yard touchdown pass to make it 27-0.
Then, after Mount Carmel received the second half kickoff, on the first play from scrimmage of the half, Ayres burst through a hole for a 61-yard touchdown run to put the Red Tornadoes up 34-0.
Another Red Tornado rushing touchdown, this one a 12-yarder from Noah Berkoski, which followed a 37-yard punt return by Weidner, put the game into the mercy rule midway through the third quarter. Tyler Owens capped the scoring for Mount Carmel with a 38-yard touchdown later in the third quarter.