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Last-second controversy contributes to Sock loss
August 29, 2014 - Mitch Rupert
MOUNT CARMEL – A solitary yello flag laid on the wet grass back near Loyalsock's 45-yard line. It represented the end of the Lancers' 25-22 loss to Mount Carmel at the Silver Bowl on Friday night.
But with another flag having been thrown some 40 yards down field where Loyalsock's Fletcher Quigley had been hit late out of bounds, confusion engulfed the air.
Quigley had the football put in his hands by Kyle Datres via a backwards pass on a last-second kickoff return as a last-ditch effort for the Lancers to somehow pull out only the second win in its history against the Red Tornadoes. But the pass from Datres to Quigley was ruled a forward pass, making it illegal even though it appeared to travel from Datres at the 43-yard line to Quigley at the 40 or 41.
Now, the late hit on Quigley didn't much matter. Instead of one untimed down from the Mount Carmel 10-yard line – which the late hit penalty would have necessitated – with a kicker in Austin Champion who has plenty of leg to make the kick and tie the game, the Lancers were told the game was over and their miracle comeback bid in the final two seconds had fallen short.
Instead, it was a field goal from Mount Carmel first-year senior kicker Tom Belski, a 37-yarder with 2 seconds left on the clock and his second of the night, that was the difference.
“It's difficult. I want to see it on film. The reality is that until we see it on film, we don't know,” Loyalsock head coach Justin Van Fleet said. “We can send in film (to PIAA or District 4 officials), and certainly we will. At that point, we'd be at the 10-yard line, and our kicker from the 10-yard line is real sound. We'll look at the film evidence. Their coaching staff and a large amount of the people here are pretty sure it was thrown backwards.”
Van Fleet didn't hang on to his disagreement with the result of the final play, though. He spoke his piece and moved on. Instead he focused on the other 47 minutes, 58 seconds of football where his Lancers, ranked fourth in the state in Class AA by Pennsylvania Football News, could have changed the outcome entirely.
There were two costly turnovers in the first half which led to one of Mount Carmel's three scoring drives to take a 15-7 lead at halftime. He pointed to parts in the Lancers' run defense which allowed Mount Carmel to accumulate 314 yards on 48 carries (6.5 yards per carry).
And ultimately, it was that run defense which allowed the Red Tornadoes to cover 68 yards in 10 plays to take a 22-15 midway through the fourth quarter. And it was the run defense which allowed Mount Carmel to get into position for Belski to make up for missing his first extra-point opportunity of the night in the first quarter.
Belski, who is a first-year football player, drilled the game-winning 37-yard field goal like a veteran, despite a heavy rush from the Lancer defense.
“He is ice,” Mount Carmel head coach Carm DeFrancesco said. “After he missed the first extra point, his head got down, but the guys kept saying it's OK. For him to kick these two (field goals), they were the game-winners.”
The final Belski kick – he also connected from 32 yards with 2 seconds left in the first half – erased a tremendous up-tempo offensive effort from Loyalsock in the fourth quarter. It was an offensive effort which saw the Lancers overcome a 15-7 deficit, and a 22-15 deficit to tie the game each time.
Datres (134 rushing yards, 87 passing yards) erased the first deficit with an incredible 31-yard touchdown run, his second TD of the night, when he broke to the left sideline on a quarterback draw, hurdled a defender who was standing flat-footed, then outraced the Mount Carmel defense to the pylon for the touchdown. Marty Clark's tough two-point conversion run tied the game.
Then, after Mount Carmel marched on its 10-play, 68-yard drive to take another lead, Datres rolled to his left away from pressure and found Quigley crossing the field. He hit Quigley in stride, and the senior receiver broke away from the defense for a 55-yard touchdown reception.
It tied the game at 22-22, but left 4:54 on the clock for Mount Carmel to make its final drive.
“We wanted to get the points on the board. We didn't want to run around and see if we could waste some clock and put points on the board later,” Quigley said. “We just wanted to put our mark on the board and give the defense a chance to stop them.”
“When we spread the field out, we were able to exploit some things they were doing,” Van Fleet said. “(Mount Carmel) has good athletes, but I think they started getting tired and our speed was able to take over.”
Mount Carmel 25, Loyalsock 22
Loyalsock 7 0 0 15 – 22
Mount Carmel 6 9 0 10 – 25
MC – Blake Panko 5 run (kick failed), 5:10
L – Kyle Datres 17 run (Austin Champion kick), :13
MC – Kyle Karycki 15 run (pass failed), 9:10
MC – Tom Belski 32 field goal, :02
L – Kyle Datres 31 run (Marty Clark run), 10:27
MC – Panko 4 run (Belski kick), 5:31
L – Fletcher Quigley 55 pass from Kyle Datres (Champion kick), 4:54
MC – Belski 37 field goal, :02
First downs 16 22
Rushes-yds 37-197 48-314
Com-att-int 4-9-1 5-13-0
Pass yards 87 36
Total yards 284 350
Fumbles-lost 3-1 2-0
Penalties-yards 3-25 8-65
Rushing-Loyalsock, Kyle Datres, 16-134, 2 TDs; Marty Clark, 14-41; Nate Rainey, 6-22; I-Keem Fogan, 1-0. Mount Carmel, Blake Panko, 23-117, 2 TDs; Kyle Karycki, 13-117, TD; Dominic Farronato, 8-42; Christian Kelley, 2-20; Allen Yancoskie, 1-20; Treyvon White, 1-(-2).
Passing-Loyalsock, Kyle Datres, 4-9-1, 87 yds., TD. Mount Carmel, Dominic Farronato, 5-11-0, 36 yds.; Team 0-2-0.
Receiving-Loyalsock, Fletcher Quigley, 2-75, TD; Nate Krizan, 1-6; Clark, 1-6. Mount Carmel, White, 2-27; Kelley, 2-11; Karycki, 1-(-2).
Interceptions-Mount Carmel, Kyle Karycki.
RECORDS: Loyalsock (0-1); Mount Carmel (1-0).
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