By Steve Svetovich
A potent running attack led by Cristian Buckley and Karl Kincel powered Dunmore to a 57-15 win over Riverside, Friday, October 30, at home.
The win gave the Bucks a final 3-2 regular season record under second year head football coach Kevin McHale. A district title and trip to the state playoffs was secured the following day.
Lackawanna Trail’s 34-19 loss to Old Forge, Saturday, October 31, elevated Dunmore to District 2 Class 2A champion and a state playoff game for the Bucks.
Buckley, quick, explosive and shifty, rambled for 208 yards on 18 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown burst with 29 seconds left in the first half to break a 15-15 tie. It was the talented senior’s third game over 200 yards rushing and moved his season total to over 1,000 yards on the ground in only five games. Buckley, hoping to play college football on the Division I level, has over 3,000 career rushing yards at Dunmore.
Fullback Kincel added to the brutal running attack with 101 yards rushing, including two touchdowns. He scored a touchdown on a 68-yard sprint in the second quarter and added another tally on a four-yard burst in the third quarter.
“Riverside is a good football team with an excellent quarterback,” said Dunmore head coach McHale. “We got off to a slow start, but gained some momentum in the second quarter.
“From that point on we played well in all three phases, offense, defense, special teams.
“We are very proud that our kids have been able to capture our seventh straight District 2 championship.”
The Bucks totaled 338 yards on the ground behind a dominant offensive line.
Dunmore rallied from an early 15-0 deficit to score 57 unanswered points.
Riverside senior quarterback Johnny Gilchrist hit freshman Reese Gaughan with a 12-yard touchdown pass with 8:08 left in the first quarter. The extra point kick gave Riverside an early 7-0 lead over Dunmore.
A two-yard Gilchrist touchdown plunge followed by a two-point conversion on a pass play gave Riverside a 15-0 lead with 10:11 left in the second quarter.
Gilchrist completed 20-of-37 passes for 350 yards, 263 in the first half, for Riverside.
Trailing 15-0, Dunmore scored its first touchdown with 9:08 left in the second quarter on a Thomas Bowen one-yard plunge. Peyton Badyrka booted the extra point.
With the Vikings up 15-7, Riverside was about to force a Dunmore punt with just over four minutes left in the half. However, a roughing the punter penalty against the Vikings, gave Dunmore a break and a first down.
Kincel took advantage by breaking a tackle and scampering to the left sideline for a 68-yard touchdown run. Buckley then ran into the end zone for the two-point conversion and the game was tied, 15-15, with 4:05 left in the first half.
Senior standout Buckley bolted for his 66-yard go-ahead touchdown run with 29 seconds left in the first half. The two-point conversion run failed, but the Bucks had a 21-15 lead at the half.
A Bowen one-yard run followed by Buckley’s two-point conversion run gave Dunmore a 29-15 lead with 10:33 left in the third quarter.
Danny Pigga’s 14-yard bolt followed by Badyrka’s extra point kick gave the Bucks a 36-15 lead with 5:59 left in the third quarter.
Kincel’s four-yard burst followed by Badyrka’s PAT gave Dunmore a 43-15 lead with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
A David Reilly 65-yard interception return followed by Badyrka’s extra point kick gave Dunmore a 50-15 lead with 11:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Liam Crolly’s 22-yard gallop followed by the always reiiable Badyrka’s extra point kick gave the Bucks a 57-15 advantage with 2:46 left in the contest.
The Bucks defense tightened up in the second half against Riverside stalwart signal caller Gilchrist. Bucks senior Dom Temperino, always clutch, sacked Gilchrist twice and Kincel added another forcing a desperation throw leading to Reilly’s 65-yard touchdown dash on his interception return.
Kincel, a tough two-way performer, showed no effects from a hand injury he suffered early in the season.