Cavs' Carmella blitzes Indians
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Lehighton's Zach Coleman turns the corner and look for running room against East Stroudsburg South.
Red zone turnovers on its first two possessions of the game no problem.
Well over 100 yards in penalties not a big deal.
An early deficit who cares.
With Michael Carmella at quarterback, nothing was going to stop the East Stroudsburg South offense.
Carmella did it through the air and also on the ground to lead the Cavaliers to a 35-12 victory.
"I can't say enough about Michael's play tonight," said East Stroudsburg South coach Ed Christian. "He consistently made great decisions, he was extremely accurate, he had just an outstanding game."
Carmella ran the Cavaliers' spread offense to perfection. He completed 25 of 31 passes for 308 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran the ball 12 times for another 105 yards and a score.
"Their quarterback did a great job," said Lehighton coach George Ebbert. "They're a well coached team that does a great job running their offense. They have a ton of offensive weapons and their quarterback did a great job of spreading the ball around and finding the open man."
Despite Carmella's outstanding performance, the Cavaliers found themselves behind 6-0 early in the second quarter.
That was because they had long drives end with fumbles deep in Lehighton territory the first two times they had the ball.
Following the second turnover, the Indians drove 84 yards for a touchdown. Reserve running back Zach Coleman, playing because starter Giuseppe Caruso was injured early in the game, had a 63-yard run to spark the offense. An eight-yard pass from Josh Agosto to Matt Rebovich produced the score.
"We didn't take care of the football the first two times we had it and that could have cost us," said Christian. "Lehighton has some playmakers. Their quarterback "Lehighton has some playmakers. Their quarterback can hurt you and they have some running backs with big-play ability. You can't make those kinds of mistakes.
"Fortunately, our kids did a nice job of bouncing back. We didn't drop our heads . We have a young team and I was happy with the way we responded after Lehighton took the lead."
The Cavaliers turned to Carmella to help them answer back and he delivered.
First, he led a 74-yard TD drive that he capped with a 30-yard pass to Matt Walters. The same pair hooked up for a three-yard TD pass with just :04 left in the half that gave ESS a 14-6 lead.
Carmella tossed a seven yard TD pass to Francesco Zeyes on East Stroudsburg South's first possession of the third quarter to make it 21-6.
"We have a lot of kids who run good patterns and can catch and Michael gets the ball to them," said Christian about the fact that nine different players caught passes.
The Indians had one last chance to get back into the game as they drove to the Cavalier one-yard line in the final minute of the third quarter, but a problem on the snap from center resulted in Agosto being tackled for no gain.
South then put it away with TD drives of 98 and 59-yards in the fourth quarter.
"I don't think the final score indicates the type of game it was," said Ebbert. "We were hanging tough late in the third quarter and had a chance to punch it in and make it a one score game, but we weren't able to do it. We had some miscommunication on the snap and never got to run the play.
"But I saw some improvement. We just have to keep battling and keep improving and we'll be alright."