STRIVE FOR 5
Dunmore routs Susquehanna for fifth straight championship Seven players score touchdowns for Bucks.
DUNMORE — Dunmore was on a quest, particularly its seniors.
A victory Saturday night would give the Bucks five straight district titles and four for the senior class. Mission accomplished. Behind a dominant performance on both sides of the ball, the No. 1-seeded Bucks rolled to a 60-19 win over No. 3 Susquehanna in the District 2 Class 2A championship game at Dunmore Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Seven players had touchdowns for Dunmore (9-3), led by two each from Cristian Buckley and Rayshaun Dawkins. Offensively, the Bucks scored on their first seven possessions to storm to a 54-0 lead late in the third quarter. Defensively, they
limited Susquehanna (7-5) to just 35 total yards in the first half.
Afterward, the players dedicated the win to head coach Jack Henzes, who has been sidelined all season while recovering from a heart procedure.
“This one is a little more special because it’s for coach,” senior defensive back Greg Mcdade said. “It’s been weird without him, so it’s good that we got the win for him.”
With the win, Dunmore moves on to the PIAA Class 2A tournament, where it will face District 12 champion West Catholic in the first round Friday night at a site and time to be determined. West Catholic beat Bishop Mcdevitt in double overtime Saturday, 34-33, to advance.
“We work for this all year round,” Bucks senior defensive lineman Tyler Overholtz said. “We’re always working out, making sure we’re at our best, doing the best that we can do. We look forward to it from the beginning of the season. Work, work, work, work. keep on it and it pays out in the end. All the morning and afterschool lifting is worth it.”
After forcing Susquehanna to punt on the opening possession, Dunmore marched 57 yards in eight plays with Buckley capping the drive on a 4-yard touchdown run. The first of Emma Coar’s six extra points made it 7-0 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
Two plays into the ensuing Sabers possession, Mcdade intercepted a C.J. Stone pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown that made it 13-0 with 4:22 left in the first.
“I have to give the credit to my defensive line. They got to the quarterback and forced a bad ball,” said Mcdade, who had another interception return for a touchdown later in the first half wiped out by a penalty. “I was just in the right place at the right time to return it.”
Following another punt, the Bucks went on the move again and this drive was all Kyle Harrity. The senior running back caught a 21-yard pass from quarterback Steve Borgia, had a 33-yard run, then finished off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run that made it 20-0 with 1:27 left in the first.
“The coaches have faith in me to run the ball, so I just try to do the best I possibly can,” Harrity said. “I have to thank the O-line. Those guys were really moving people.”
A Borgia interception on the final play of the first quarter set up the next Dunmore score — a 10-yard run by Dawkins that made it 27-0 with 10:19 left in the second.
On the ensuing kickoff, Ralph Tolley recovered a Susquehanna fumble at the Sabers 19. Six plays later, Dawkins scored on a 5-yard run to make it 34-0 with 8:30 left in the second.
One play after Mcdade’s second interception, Borgia hit Buckley for a 45-yard touchdown and a 41-0 lead with 7:07 left.
Tolley’s 5-yard touchdown run with 1:34 left before halftime expanded the margin to 47-0.
A 30-yard touchdown pass from Borgia to Charles Valvano in the third quarter and a 4-yard TD run by Abdul James in the fourth closed out the Dunmore scoring.
Susquehanna avoided the shutout in the fourth quarter. Sam Cosmello had touchdown runs of 16 and 22 yards and Peanut Wansley returned a kickoff 65 yards for a score.
Dunmore’s Ralph Tolley scores a touchdown after a fumble from a Susquehanna scrum attempt during the first half of play at Dunmore on Saturday.
Valley View’s Mason Kordish runs for a touchdown against West Scranton during Saturday’s semifinal.