By: Terry Pruyne | Towanda Daily Review | November 13, 2010
BLOSSBURG - When a game finishes 45-14, it may appear to be a blowout, but in Mt. Carmel's win over North Penn there was a moment that will keep the Panther side wondering 'what if.' That being said, Mt. Carmel took full advantage and never looked back.
With North Penn down 17-7 at the half, the Panthers started out on the 34-yard line after the kickoff and immediately the ball bounced their way. Jason DeHaven dropped back on first down and threw high to Marquis Delgado. When the ball went through Delgado's hands, teammate Greg Pomarico dove for the ball and hauled it in before the pigskin hit the grass for an 11 yard gain.
On the next play, DeHaven rolled left and cut up field, drawing in the defense before throwing backwards to Skye Stiner, who picked up 24 yards. Ryan Dinger then stormed up the middle for eight yards, and DeHaven completed another pass for 16 yards, giving the Panthers a first-and-goal at the five-yard line.
Then the unthinkable happened. DeHaven and Dinger mismanaged the handoff and Mt. Carmel came up with the ball. The fumble, coupled with a 51 yard touchdown run by Meyrick Lamb four plays later, left North Penn fans looking at a possible 14-point turnaround.
"We had a miscue on the five," said North Penn coach Tom Dickinson, "and no one is to blame. That happens, but you never know what could have happened."
Following Lamb's long run, the North Penn offensive still showed life, but the Tornados' defense stopped them near midfield. When Dinger dropped back to punt, Mt. Carmel rushed through and blocked the effort.
Mt. Carmel took over on the 22-yard line, and three plays later, Quarterback Rob Varano dumped a pass to Mark Minning, who cut to the center of the field, broke tackles, and scored on a 22 yard pass play.
When the Panther offense turned the ball over on downs at midfield, the Tornados marched downfield again and scored on a four yard run by Tyler Hodge.
Still undaunted, North Penn moved downfield, primarily on a 37 yard pass from DeHaven to Delgado. The Panthers found themselves on the 15-yard line, but a holding penalty and sack of DeHaven that resulted in a loss fumble stymied the drive.
Once again, the Panther defense could stop Mt. Carmel, and, more precisely, Lamb, who had runs of 12 and 39 yards on the possession, and finished the drive with a three yard touchdown. Lamb ended the game with 155 yards on just nine carries.
DeHaven connected with Pomarico with just under two minutes left in the game for a pride touchdown and Eathan Wilston added the point after for the 45-14 final tally.
Mt. Carmel started the scoring midway through the first quarter on a 26 yard run and Ian Kanezo kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
After North Penn punted, Minning returned the kick to the Panther 20-yard line as Dinger made a touchdown-saving tackle for naught. On consecutive plays, Varano completed passes to Bryan McFadden and Jacob Kleman before Cody Shustack scored from the six.
The Panthers rallied when the DeHaven/Delgado connection answered with a 24 yard touchdown. Kanezo added a 27 yard field goal to top off the first-half scoring.
"We didn't play as well as we could have," Dickinson added. "But I'm nothing but proud of the guys. Nine-and-two is a pretty good season. I'm sad for the seniors, but we will work hard in the off-season. This is not the way we'd like to end, but it has to end sometime."