Crusaders’ football season ends with loss to Lackawanna Trail

By Steve Svetovich

The Holy Cross Crusaders football season ended Friday, Nov. 13, with a 45-6 loss to Lackawanna Trail in the District 2 Class A semifinal.

Holy Cross only drove once into Lackawanna Trail territory in the game. Josh Mies scored a touchdown on a 7-yard sprint with 6:09 left in the contest. The run capped a 65-yard scoring drive.

Lackawanna Trail running back Thomas Huffsmith rushed for 69 yards on just five carries and scored two touchdowns. He also snared a pass for 21 yards, forced a fumble from his linebacker position, kicked a field goal and was 4-for-4 on extra point kicks.

Lackawanna Trail quarterback Nathan Rolka fired two touchdown passes to lead his team to the win.

Holy Cross finished the season 2-9.

The Crusaders took home its second win of the season with a 20-0 shutout over the Columbia Montour Vo-Tech Rams Saturday, Oct. 10, at Monsignor Crotti Field at St. Anthony’s Playground, Dunmore.

Holy Cross struck early in the first quarter by scoring 12 points. With a strong defense prevailing the entire game, the Crusaders never looked back.

Cory Miller, a junior, fired a 30-yard touchdown toss and Josh Mies came back with a 4-yard touchdown burst. on the team’s next possession as Holy Cross built a 12-0 lead with 29 seconds left in the first quarter.

The extra point kick attempt failed after the first touchdown. A pass attempt on a two-point conversion attempt failed after the second touchdown. The tough Holy Cross defense forced four turnovers in the contest.

Mies was outstanding in the backfield. He finished with 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. He also excelled in defense. He snatched a key interception in Holy Cross territory late in the second quarter.

After a punt on the opening possession, Mies rushed for 33 yards on four runs. Miller tacked on three more yards on a run to set up a first down at the 30 in enemy territory. Rolling out right, Miller then hit tight end Baily Simrell for the clutch 30-yard touchdown pass.

Holy Cross got the pigskin back after another punt. Miller, who improved every week, led the Crusaders on a nine-play, 69-yard drive. The drive was capped by the Mies 4-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds left in the first half.

Columbia Montour Vo-Tech had the ball on the Holy Cross five following a 35-yard pass completion early in the second quarter. However, the Rams fumbled on the next play and the Crusaders pounced on the football. The Rams were able to drive into Holy Cross territory late in the second quarter, but a big play Mies interception put an end to it with 1;29 left in the half.

Mies continued his heroics early in the fourth quarter when he broke a tackle and rambled 14 yards into the end zone for a score, with 9:18 left in the game. Miller then completed a pass to Mies for the two-point conversion and a 20-0 Holy Cross lead.

The Holy Cross tight defense held Columbia Montour Vo-Tech the rest of the way and head coach Josh Watters and the Crusaders earned a second win, doubling last season’s total. The team totaled 230 rushing yards and 59 passing yards in the win.


Garrett Murray leads Dunmore to second straight district title

Garrett Murphy pic

Garrett Murray of Dunmore High School’s football team was recently named Offensive Player of the Year. Murray has rushed for 1425 yards on 143 carries and scored 26 touchdowns through last Friday’s playoff game with Notre Dame-Green Pond.

By Steve Svetovich

Running back-linebacker Garrett Murray was a one-man wrecking crew in leading the Dunmore Bucks to the team’s second straight Lackawanna Football Conference District 2 Class AA title, 28-13, over Lake Lehman Friday, Nov. 20, at Gatto Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Dunmore.

The talented back rushed for 217 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 carries. On the defensive side at linebacker, he was equally ferocious making 12 tackles, including four solo. He also defended a pass. Many of the tackles came in key situations.

Murray opened the scoring with a 94-yard scamper for a touchdown with 8:12 left in the second  quarter.

His 28-yard gallop for a touchdown came with 4:12 left in the contest. That score iced the game for Dunmore as the Bucks had a 28-7 lead following the extra point kick.

Dunmore sophomore back Colin Holmes added to the running attack with 78 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He scored on a 25-yard jaunt with 2:31 left in the first half giving Dunmore a 14-0 lead following the extra point kick.

The shifty Holmes scored again on a 15-yard bolt into the end zone with 10:47 left in the fourth quarter giving Dunmore (11-1) a commanding 21-0 lead following the extra point kick.

Dunmore’s brutal running game totaled 315 yards on 28 carries against Lake Lehman (10-2).

Murray’s 94 yard touchdown run came two snaps after he stifled Lake Lehman running back Nick Eury for a two yard loss on fourth and two from the Dunmore 6-yard line. He certainly has a flair for the dramatic.

Murray and Holmes credited the Dunmore offensive line for the strong running attack.

Nate O’Donnell’s one yard quarterback sneak cut Lake Lehman’s deficit to 21-7 following the extra point kick with 6:53 left in the game, but Murray came through with his 28-yard touchdown run putting the game out if reach.

The win sent Dunmore into the state playoffs once again in a matchup against Notre Dame Green Pond.

Dunmore defeated Northwest Area, 41-20, Friday, Nov. 13, at Dunmore, in the District 2, Class AA semifinal game.

Hard-nosed running back Pat Reese scored on runs from 78 and 39 yards out in the win. He rushed for 123 yards on three carries.

Holmes scored on runs from 26 and two yards out. He rushed for 56 yards on seven carries.

Kyle Lasher, another key Dunmore back known for his quickness, scored on a 58-yard run and rushed for 130 yards on seven carries in the contest.

Murray added 56 yards on seven carries.

The Bucks, led by veteran coach Jack Henzes, romped for a highly impressive 423 rushing yards on 39 carries in the win over Northwest Area.

Dunmore held a 34-0 lead with 10:36 left in the third quarter following Lasher’s touchdown run.

LATE UPDATE: Dunmore beat Notre Dame-Green Pond on Friday, Nov. 27, with Garrett Murray once again leading the team to a 51-29 victory in the PIAA Class AA first-round game at Northern Lehigh High School, Slatington. Murray scored 5 touchdowns and rushed for 177 yards on 28 carries.


Dunmore’s Kyle Lasher Beats Barriers

By Steve Svetovich


Dunmore High School student Kyle Lasher doesn’t let his lack of hearing impair his performance on and off the field. (Photo credit: Rich Banick Photography)

Kyle Lasher was born profoundly deaf, but he doesn’t look at himself as having any type of disability. He just has to work longer and harder to succeed, and that he does.

Son of Tony and Rose Lasher, Kyle is entering his third season as a member of  the Dunmore High School football team. He is a tailback on offense and nose guard on defense. He also plays basketball and runs track for the Bucks. He is an honor student who loves science.

In his earlier childhood years, he played for the Dunmore Little League, Dunmore Biddy Basketball League and the Dunmore Oilers Midget Football team. He never worried about being deaf. He just wanted to play and succeed.

And he has done both.

The 17-year-old  is a member of the Health Careers Club at Dunmore High School and  plans on attending college upon his graduation. He wants to go to Gallaudet University, a college for deaf students in Washington, D.C., where he would like to play football there and study education. His goal is to become a teacher and coach.

Kyle is part of a Dunmore backfield that include stalwarts Colin Holmes, Garrett Murray and Pat Reese. Kyle rushed for 500 yards last season while averaging over seven yards per carry. He expects to see more action this season at both the tailback and nose guard positions.

Modest but with a quiet confidence, Kyle’s answers to questions are well thought out. He said his parents taught him to never give up. Kyle said Dunmore’s head football coach Jack Henzes has also been a very positive influence in his life.

“Coach Henzes teaches us so much more than just football. You have to be a good student, well behaved, a good person,” Kyle said. “Coach Henzes tells us how important it is to work hard in the off season to prepare for the season.”

Hard working in nature, Kyle said he never thinks of his handicap when it comes to sports. He never looked at it as an issue and never thought it would stop him. The Dunmore junior is looking forward to the upcoming football season.

“We need to do our best and improve every day. We need to forget about our loss in the state championship game and move on,” said Kyle. “It was a tough loss, but we have to move on from it.”

Kyle has no problem communicating with the Dunmore coaching staff. He has a certified sign language interpreter with him at all times while playing and practicing with the football team and other sports. Nora Foley is his sign language interpreter for sports. David Posner is his educational interpreter for academic subjects.

“He has to work very hard for both sports and academics. He has to work a lot harder than most kids. He has to put in extra time and effort,” said his mom, Rose. “He is very much in tune with what he wants to accomplish in sports and in school. His football coaches go above and beyond every day for Kyle. He would not be able to do it without their help. The coaching staff is great to him. We are so very proud of Kyle and all his accomplishments.”