District 2 Champion Dunmore Stomps Over Riverside

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.

Athlete of the Month: Cristian Buckley

Athlete of the Month - Cristian BuckleyBy Steve Svetovich

Dunmore junior tailback-defensive back Cristian Buckley always knew he had big shoes to fill, and he is more than seizing the opportunity.

Son of Connie Buckley, Cristian’s two older brothers, Michael Perry, 28, now working for Signa Insurance, and Daiqwon Buckley, 22, now a Dunmore police officer, were both All-State backs for Dunmore.

With one year of high school football left, Cristian has already earned All League Athlete of the Year for football the past two consecutive seasons. He was also an All League defensive back last season. 

A member of the Health Careers Club at Dunmore, he plans on running track for the first time this year. He has an impressive 3.7 academic average. His best subject is chemistry. 

Cristian, 17, scored three touchdowns, two on passes and one on a run, in Dunmore’s 42-7  District 2, Class 2A win over Mid Valley. 

He rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in Dunmore’s 28-13 District 2, Class 2A, PIAA first round loss to Bishop McDevitt. He also intercepted a pass. 

“We really stepped in up after a slow start this season,” Cristian said. “We can attribute the success we had to the seniors stepping up and then the younger players coming through. It came through hard work and practice.”

Humble and hard working in nature, the junior stalwart said he has learned a lot from Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale. “I have learned so much from coach McHale,” he said. “He teaches us not only about football, but about life lessons too. I can’t say enough about him.”

Cristian said former Dunmore football coach Jack Henzes is still around the locker room before and after games. “It is a great feeling that he is still there.”

Cristian talked about what it takes to be the third brother to excel at running back at Dunmore. 

JVfootball“There is a lot of pressure and expectations, but that helps me become a better football player. I have to work that much harder to live up to the expectations. It makes me better.”

Cristian said his mom serves as an example to him. “I have learned a lot from my mom. She is my inspiration. She teaches me if you want something, you can’t sit back. You have to work hard and go after it.”

Cristian talked about his future goals. “I want our football team to win a state title next year. And I know we can do it. And then I want to play football in college and graduate with a degree in Math or Science. I want to get a good job after college.”

The scholar-athlete enjoys listening to music in his spare time and would like to see Lil’ Wayne in concert.

Cristian, a multiple threat, rushed for over 700 yards and totalled over 400 yards receiving while also excelling at his defensive back position this past season. 

Cristian said he loves Dunmore High School and living in Dunmore.

“I love it in this town,” he said. “I love going to school here. Everybody knows each other. The kids, coaches and teachers are great. It’s the best place to be.” 

Two-Time Super Bowl Champion Chris Snee Honored by Sports Hall of Fame

chris sneeBy Steve Svetovich

Former New York Giants two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Snee, Montrose, was among 11 selected to the Northeastern Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Prior to the annual Induction Ceremony held October 27 at the University of Scranton DeNaples Center, he spoke to The Dunmorean.

“This is an honor and a privledge to be here,” he said. “First, I received honors from Boston College as part of its Varsity Club Athletic Hall of Fame just last week and now this. I am very humbled by it all.

“It is a very emotional time for me, but a very good time to be a part of it all. I grew up in Montrose playing football. It is a game I love. And then this happens. It is a great honor. It feels good.”

Snee, during the exclusive interview, was asked his thoughts on the early season New York Giants quarterback situation when 19-year veteran, former teammate and fellow two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning was benched after two games in favor of rookie Daniel Jones.

“It was a tough decision and a busy camp for the Giants early on,” the 2000 Montrose High School graduate said. “The new quarterback Daniel Jones has a lot of talent. He looks like a keeper. I noticed early on the decision was undecided as to who to start, but they eventually went with the younger guy. I did not get the decision to bench Eli for that one game two years ago though. I did not get that at all.

“Eli is a tireless worker. I cannot say enough about Eli as both a football player and a man. He does so much preparation behind the scenes that people do not know about or see. Playing with Eli Manning, was an absolute pleasure. I do not know one person in the NFL who has a bad word to say about him. That is the ultimate tribute to a player.

Chris Snee

New York Giants two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Snee meets with Dunmorean sports editor Steve Svetovich.

“He is not the kind of guy who cares about cameras being in front of him. It was always a grind with him. His endless work would go unnoticed. His leadership and a lot of the work he did was never noticed because it was not in front of a camera.”

Son of Ed and Diane Snee, Montrose, the four-time NFL Pro Bowl selection is married to the former Kate Coughlin, the daughter of former New York Giants head football coach Tom Coughlin who Snee won two Super Bowls with. Snee and his wife have four children. 

Snee left Boston College before his senior year and was drafted by the New York Giants in the second round of the 2004 NFL draft. The right guard helped coach Coughlin, quarterback Manning and the Giants win two Super Bowls over coach Bill Belicheck, quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. 

“If it were not for coach Tom Coughlin,” he said, “I would not be where I am today. I would not have accomplished what I did. Coach Coughlin made my transition from Boston College into the NFL a lot smoother. He was a very disciplined coach. I really learned how to be a disciplined, tough player under him. And we won some big games.”

Snee was two-time All-Regional, two-time All-State and three-time All-Conference as a defensive lineman at Montrose High School. He is the first NFL player to grow up in Susquehanna County. 

He was Regional Defensive Player of the Year in 1999. He recorded 47 quarterback sacks in his three years as a starter at Montrose. He recorded 101 tackles as a senior and led Montrose to district titles in 1997 and 1998.

At Boston College, he was a second team All America selection and All Big East Conference first-team selection in his final year.

Snee had hip surgery after playing in the 2013 Pro Bowl. He was placed on injured reserve in October 2013 and missed the rest of the season due to the injured hip. He retired from the NFL as a player in June 2014.

In May 2017, Snee was hired by Jacksonville Jaguars executive Vice President Tom Coughlin, his father-in law and former coach with the Giants, to be a scout and coaching assistant for the offensive line. 

“It keeps me very busy, ” he said. “There is a lot of travel.” 

Snee coaches Pee Wee football back home. 

“I loved growing up in this area,” he said. “I loved the small town atmosphere and all the friendships I made.”

Significantly down from his 305-pound playing weight, Snee helped Boston College win 25 games, including three bowl wins. It was there where he switched from the defensive to offensive line.

A three-time All Pro selection in the NFL, he said his mantra was “always work harder than the next guy.” Snee said he learned that work ethic from his parents while growing up in Susquehanna County.

“I learned about hard work from my parents. We are a family of few words. I watched them work and grind. 

“The best teams are motivated by the fear of letting each other down. I always played not only for my teammates, but for my family and friends back home.”