By Steve Svetovich
Dunmore sophomore Steve Borgia scored touchdowns on an 86-yard kickoff return to open the game and on an eight-yard pass from quarterback Gavin Darcy as the Bucks defeated rival West Scranton, 28-18, in the opener, Friday, August 25, at Gatto Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Dunmore back Cristian Buckley led the potent ground attack with 112 yards on 22 carries.
Dunmore quarterback Darcy scored touchdowns on two runs and passed for another.
West Scranton speedy back Kevin Williams rushed for 117 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in the loss.
Dunmore linemen Anthony Kashmer and Anthony Santarsiero, both juniors, played key roles in the win filling in for two linemen who were hurt. Dunmore lineman Rocco LaCapra is out with an injury while Nick Shoemaker missed a good part of the action with cramps. The Dunmore ground game, featuring three backs, was brutal, totaling 248 yards on 49 carries eating up much of the clock.
Borgia took the opening kickoff after the ball bounced and sprinted 86 yards for a touchdown as the Bucks started on a positive note right away. Rinaldi’s extra point kick gave Dunmore a 7-0 lead.
Then the ground game and punishing offensive line took over in the ball control offense.
West Scranton came back with 5:36 left in the first quarter. Invaders quarterback Nick Gioia recovered his own fumble and scored on a 10-yard run. The extra point kick attempt was blocked and Dunmore held a 7-6 lead. That lead held to the half.
The Invaders had an opportunity to go ahead after Jake Ciullo recovered a Dunmore fumble in the second quarter. The Invaders drove to the Dunmore 10, but could not score.
The Bucks, led by the offensive line, put together long scoring drives in the second half that ate up a good part of the clock.
Following one of those drives, Darcy scored a touchdown on a one-yard plunge with 5:56 left in the third quarter. Rinaldi’s extra point kick upped the Bucks lead to 14-6.
West came back strong with a Williams six-yard touchdown run with 2:55 left in the third quarter. The Invaders had a chance to tie the game, but a pass failed on a two-point conversion attempt and Dunmore held a 14-12 lead.
The Bucks came right back with Darcy scoring his second touchdown on a two-run burst with 38 seconds left in the third quarter. Rinaldi’s extra point kick gave a Dunmore a 21-12 lead.
The Bucks upped the lead to 28-12 after Borgia snared an eight-yard TD pass from Darcy and Rinaldi booted the extra point with 5:44 left in the game.
West would not give up. Gioia came right back and fired a 67-yard touchdown pass to Merrifield, who had four catches for 105 yards in the contest, with 5:26 left in the game. A pass failed on the two-point conversion attempt and Dunmore had a 28-18 lead.
Gioia completed 5-of-8 passes for one touchdown and 110 yards in the loss. He left the game in the closing seconds with an injury.
Darcy completed 4-of-5 passes for 51 yards and a touchdown for Dunmore.
And Dunmore veteran head coach Jack Henzes has his team off and running again.
UPDATE: On Friday, Sept. 1, the Dunmore Bucks added their second win of the season, defeating Lackawanna Trail 34-7. The Bucks brought their throwing game as quarterback Gavin Darcy threw three touchdown passes, and scores were made by fullback Frank Damiano, and receivers Nate Fangio and Steve Borgia, who also returned a punt 68 yards for a touchtown).
The Bucks managed to intercept three Trail passes during the game. Starring on defense were Nick Shoemaker (nine tackles and two sacks), Sean Jones, Owen Hivner and Jacob Brim.