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Mount Carmel at Loyalsock preview

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Correspondent Loyalsock quarterback Nathan Bauman runs against Montourosville. Bauman has thrown for 417 yards this season.

Mount Carmel PPG–28.4, PPA–19.9; YPG–332.4, YPA–264.9

Mount Carmel facts: Featuring one of the district’s biggest and best lines, Mount Carmel looks like the only potential threat to Southern Columbia in the District 4 Class AA field. The Tornadoes have won two straight since losing to Southern 40-14, and built a 20-point fourth-quarter lead before defeating Danville, 34-21 a week ago. Their only other loss is to the state’s top-ranked Class AAA team, North Schuylkill. Mount Carmel ran for 303 yards against Danville and 321 yards in a 21-7 win against Montoursville. Julien Stellar ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns last week while also throwing a fake field goal touchdown pass to Chase Balichik. Quarterback Pedro Feliciano has run for 474 yards and five touchdowns. Keep an eye on fullback Ryan Weidner as well after he ran 10 times for a career-high 60 yards. Danville threw for 240 yards against Mount Carmel last week but standout lineman Matt Kelley did intercept a pass. Mount Carmel has 17 sacks this season and leading tacklers Stellar and Thomas Davitt each have 2 1/2. They also have combined for 18 tackles for loss. Garrett Varano has two interceptions, including a game-changing pick-six against Bloomsburg late in the first half two weeks ago. Mount Carmel is third in the district playoff standings and is close to passing Troy for second. The Tornadoes have played in three of the last four District 4 finals, losing each time to Southern.

Mount Carmel player to watch–Matt Scicchitano: The junior defensive end leads Mount Carmel with 5 1/2 sacks. Two of those came against North Schuykill. Scicchitano, a 6-foot-4, 250-pounder, also has made 10 tackles for loss and caught a 15-yard touchdown against Hughesville.

Loyalsock PPG–25.3, PPA–25.0; YPG–349, YPA–347.3

Loyalsock facts: The Lancers were scheduled to play Lewisburg last week but that game was canceled early Friday. Loyalsock has not played since losing 42-14 against Troy two weeks ago. The Lancers are playing a similar-minded team tonight with Mount Carmel featuring a big line and a run-heavy offense. The Lancers are trying to work their way up in the District 4 Class AAA standings and enter tonight sixth. The top four teams will host quarterfinal games. Loyalsock started the season 3-1 and highlighted a three-game winning streak with a victory against defending district champion Danville. Starting quarterback Tyler Gee was injured in that game and missed the next two but is nearing a return. Nate Bauman played well in a Week 5 loss against Montoursville, throwing for 268 yards. Wide receiver Rian Glunk is averaging more than 100 yards per game and is among the top three in all major categories despite not playing last week. Running back Davion Hill also is ranked among the area’s leaders and ran for 147 yards and two scores against Troy. The defense stuggled mightily against Troy, allowing 562 rushing yards. Linebackers Cy Cavanaugh and Gavin Rice both are averaging nearly 10 tackles per game and Logan Bastian averages eight. Loyalsock protected the football well through its first five games but lost three turnovers against Troy, one which ended a promising drive and two which set up Trojan scores. The Lancers are seeking their ninth straight winning season and, with all eight teams qualifying in Class AAA, will be making their 10th straight playoff appearance.

Loyalsock player to watch–JerVal Weeks-Shuler: The senior defensive end provided a bright spot at times against Troy and had two tackles for loss, including one inside the 5-yard line which forced a field goal try.

Outlook: This all comes down to what happens up front. Troy was good along the line, but Mount Carmel likely is better. Loyalsock has to find a way to negate that strength, and if it does, this could be one of this weekend’s best games.

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