By Steve Svetovich
Junior stalwart Cristian Buckley scored three rushing touchdowns, all in the second half, to lead Dunmore to a 28-13 win over Lakeland to clinch a tie for the division title Friday, October 25, at home.
With the win, the Bucks (6-4 overall and 3-1 in Division III), tied Lakeland for the divisional title.
Buckley, held to only four yards in the first half, rushed for 70 yards and three touchdowns on 10 carries in the contest.
The Bucks were coming off a loss the week before to Western Wayne. It was the first time ever the Wildcats defeated Dunmore.
After a scoreless first quarter, Dunmore quarterback Steve Borgia scored on a one-yard burst with 4:38 left in the second quarter to finish off an efficient 10-play drive. Peyton Badyrka kicked the extra point.
The Chiefs (5-5, 3-1 in Division III), came right back when Dominico Spataro hit C.J. Dippre with an 18-yard touchdown pass just before halftime. The extra point kick knotted the score, 7-7, at the half.
An errant Lakeland punt attempt gave the Bucks good field position early in the third quarter. Two plays later, Buckley scored the first of his three touchdowns on a five-yard burst. Badyrka booted the extra point and Dunmore had a 14-7 lead with 9:20 left in the third quarter.,
Buckley scored his second touchdown on an 11-yard run after Tommy Lewis recovered a Lakeland fumble for the Bucks. Badyrka hit the extra point and Dunmore had a 21-7 lead with 9:20 left in the third quarter.
The Chiefs came storming back with a short drive in the fourth quarter, but the clutch Charles Valvano intercepted a pass at the goal line to stop the drive.
The quick and shifty Buckley scored his third touchdown on a 26-yard scamper with 40 seconds left in the game. The consistent Badyrka kicked the PAT and Dunmore had a 28-7 lead.
Dunmore football coach Kevin McHale praised Buckley. “He is a dynamic player and makes the big play.”
Lakeland scored with one second left in the contest when Billy Good grabbed a 45-yard touchdown pass from Shane Barrett, off a defection. A two-point conversion attempt failed.
Dunmore’s Dom Temperino played a nice defensive game and was credited with a sack and pass deflection in the big win.
Bucks signal caller Borgia rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown on five carries in the victory. Borgia also passed for 63 yards.
Dippre led the Chiefs with 51 rushing yards on 18 carries. Dippre also passed for 124 yards and one touchdown.
The Dunmore stingy defense held Lakeland to only 53 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
Now the Bucks will get busy preparing for playoff action.
UPDATE: Dunmore defeated Susquehanna, 48-20, in the Class 2A semifinal playoff game Friday, Nov. 1, at Dunmore. Dunmore back Rayshaun Dawkins rushed for 173 yards and 6 touchdowns on 9 carries in the win.