By Steve Svetovich
Michael Dougherty of the Dunmore Bucks broke up a West Scranton two-point conversion attempt in the back of the end zone with no time left as the Bucks held on to a 27-25 win Friday, Sept. 18, at Scranton Memorial Stadium. It was Buck’s second straight win after losing their season opener to Scranton Prep, 21-0.
The fifth-ranked Bucks used a brutal running attack to score three second-half touchdowns on the Invaders.
West Scranton quarterback Matt Gaul, who completed 19-of-30 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns, led the Invaders on a 62-yard scoring drive in the final 1:28 only to have Dougherty break up the two-point conversion attempt.
Dougherty played a superb game defensively for the Bucks. He also had an interception and three pass breakups in the contest.
West took the first lead with 11:02 left in the second quarter when Gaul tossed a 27-yard score to Shyann Jackson who had to jump high in the air to snare the pigskin. The point after touchdown (PAT) made it 7-0.
Bucks back Garrett Murray scored on a one-yard plunge with 2:37 left in the second quarter. The PAT knotted the game, 7-7.
Dunmore drove the pigskin 53 yards on eight plays to move ahead, 13-7, with 6:50 left in the third quarter. Murray’s three yard burst capped the drive. The extra point failed. Then came the wild fourth quarter.
The Invaders came back with Tayon Brown’s 10-yard TD scamper, with 10:04 left in the game. A bad snap led to a failed extra point and the game was tied, 13-13.
The Bucks were ready for a showoff Murray had runs of 18 and 14 yards to set up a Colin Holmes 18-yard TD run, with 6:21 left to play. The PAT gave the Bucks a 20-13 lead.
With just over three minutes left, West receiver Sam Egan grabbed a high loft from Gaul to the Dunmore 22. Four plays later, Williams scored on a 10-yard pass from Gaul, with 2:24 left. Down 20-19, West opted for the two point attempt, but Dunmore’s Nick Shoemaker pressured Gaul who could not find an open receiver.
The Bucks seemed to seal the contest when Murray scampered into the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown run, with1:28 left in the fourth quarter. The PAT gave Dunmore a 27-19 lead. But Gaul came right back completing two passes to Jackson and one each to Donovan DePasquale and Egan.
That set up a superb catch by Williams from Gaul from 22 yards out as the clock expired. Williams made the catch in the end zone with three defenders around him.
The heroic Dougherty was then there to stop Gaul on the final two-point conversion attempt as Dunmore won, 27-25. Dunmore upped its record to 2-1 while West fell to 1-2.
Murray led Dunmore with 152 yards rushing and three scores on 15 carries. Holmes ran for 70 yards on 20 carries. Jackson caught nine passes for 107 yards for West. Egan caught five passes for 54 yards.
The Bucks rushed for 242 yards to West’s 61 in the contest and had no passing yards to West’s 192.