Bucks Look to Bounce Back From Two Tough Losses

By Steve Svetovich

The Dunmore Bucks football team, coached by Kevin McHale, is looking to bounce back against Carbondale Area after two tough losses.

Dunmore lost its opener, 28-17, to Scranton Prep, Saturday, August 24, at Scranton’s Memorial Stadium. 

With the third ranked Cavaliers down to the Bucks in the final quarter, Prep senior Carter O’Dell scampered 92 yards for a touchdown on a kickoff return to put his team ahead.

Odell, a standout medal winner in the 100-yard dash in track, started the scoring when he raced 52 yards down the right sideline on a punt return. Following the extra point kick, Prep had a 7-0 lead with 5:37 left in the opening quarter.

Prep held Dunmore to no first downs in the first 21 minutes. 

In the mean time, Prep quarterback Paddy Grady has completions to Robert Rossi and Odell and added a 10-yard run before plunging into the end zone from one yard out and a 14-0 lead after the PAT with 4:18 left in the half.

Dunmore earned its first first down at 3:25 in the second quarter. 

On the third play of the second half, quarterback Dunmore Steve Borgia hit Cristian Buckley with a 43-yard completion. Three plays later, Borgia dove into the end zone for a touchdown from one yard out. Peyton Badyrka kicked the extra point for the Bucks.

A strong Dunmore defense, led by junior linebacker Karl Kincel, the team’s leading tackler, made a tough defensive stand inside its own 20-yard line.

A few plays later, Badyrka hit on a 25-yard field goal with 48 seconds left in the third quarter as Dunmore closed the deficit to 14-10. 

Defensive back Michael Burke had a key interception for Dunmore early in the fourth quarter. On the next play, Borgia broke free from a collision and raced 29 yards for a touchdown to put the Bucks ahead 17-14 after the Badyrka PAT with 11:48 left in the game.

However, O’Dell came back right away with his 92-yard kickoff return with 11:35 left in the game. The extra point gave Prep a 21-17 lead.

Prep freshman Logan Montgomery had a 36 yard carry and Grady hit O’Dell for a 14 yard touchdown strike with 8:26 left in the game. The extra point kick gave Prep a 28-17 lead which stood. 

Grady closed the game with an interception to secure the win.

Borgia ran for 75 yards on 14 carries in the loss. 

Dunmore lost its second game of the season, 30-17, to Mid Valley, Friday, August 30, at Spartan Stadium. It was Mid Valley’s first win against Dunmore since 2005. 

The Bucks entered the game with a 50-game winning streak against the Spartans.

Rayshaun Dawkins rushed for 80 yards on 11 carries and Kincel added 56 yards and a touchdown on nine carries in the loss to Mid Valley.

Just 20 seconds into the game, Mid Valley signal caller Patrick Ferke fired a 78-yard touchdown pass to Jeremiah Wolo. 

Ferke added a five-yard run and Sebastian Brudnicki tacked on a two point conversion and the Spartans had a 14-0 lead with 2:19 left in the first quarter.

Dunmore kicker Badyrka booted a 38-yard field goal with 8:53 left in the first half.

Dunmore cut the lead to 14-10 when Dawkins scored on a four-yard run followed by Badyrka’s extra point early in the third quarter.

However, the Spartans went up 22-10 with 4:45 left in the third quarter after a 60-yard Brudnicki touchdown run and two-point conversion.

Dunmore back Buckley scored on a nine-yard run and Badyrka hit the PAT to close the deficit to 22-17 late in the third quarter. Kincel ran for 41 of his 56 yards on that possession. 

However, a Brudnicki 39-yard TD run and two-point conversion gave the Spartans a 30-17 lead with 9:39 left in the contest.

Dunmore was unable to come back.

Brudnicki rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries for Mid Valley. 

Dunmore will now look for its first win of the season against Carbondale Area who is 0-2 and did not score in its first two games. 

Dunmore Bucks Football Team Starts New Era Under Kevin McHale

Coach McHale

Photo courtesy Rich Banick Photography ©

By Steve Svetovich

He has huge shoes to fill and he knows it, but the new Dunmore Bucks head football coach learned from the best.

Kevin McHale played football at Dunmore High School under legendary coach Jack Henzes. He then went on to serve for 17 years as an assistant football coach under the now retired football icon.

Coach Henzes retired recently for health reasons.  He finished second to George Curry in career high school football wins in the state. He was a constant at Dunmore since 1971 after spending a few years coaching at Wyoming Area. 

McHale is honored to be chosen to succeed his mentor. 

“It’s just a tremendous honor to succeed Jack Henzes,” he said. “This is a big loss to us. He was extremely knowledgable. We learned from him. We learned about football on and off the field from him. We will miss his presence and leadership. He was a great leader and an example to the kids.

“I am very fortunate to have played under coach Henzes and got to coach under him for 17 years. It is a great benefit while taking over this job.”

All of Dunmore’s assistant coaches either played and/or coached under coach Henzes. Dunmore assistant coaches under McHale include Mike Barrett, Mike DeSando, Jeff Mills, Miller Holmes, Justin Mitchell, Michael Perry, Michael Gardier, Nick Lawler, Mike Moracco, Colin Holmes and Sean Watson.

“We have a great staff of assistant coaches here at Dunmore,” said McHale. “These coaches really work hard to help the kids.”

Coach McHale with team

Photo courtesy Rich Banick Photography ©

McHale filled in for Henzes during his illness last season when the Bucks finished 9-4. Dunmore won the district title with a win over Susquehanna. The Bucks lost to West Catholic in the opening round of the state playoffs.

“Our goals this year are simple,” said coach McHale. “We want to reach our full potential as a team. After that, everything just takes care of itself.

“We obviously want to win the league title and the district title. And then we want to go on and win the state title. That is always the goal.”

Key returning players this season include senior quarterback Steve Borgia, senior offensive and defensive lineman Shamus Cadden, senior wide receiver/defensive back Charles Valvano, senior wide receiver/defensive back Tommy Lewis, senior defensive back/running back Rayshawn Dawkins, junior running back/defensive back Christian Buckley, senior offensive and defensive lineman Anthony Golden, senior offensive and defensive lineman Alec Yanisko, senior wide receiver/defensive back Nick Stanko and senior offensive and defensive lineman John Kalinowski.

Other key players will be junior tight end Nick Waters, junior punter/tight end Dominick Temparino, junior kicker Peyton Badyrka, junior tight end Michael Burke, junior fullback/linebacker Karl Kincel and junior tackle Dylan Aquino.

Coach McHale said the quarterback position is in strong hands with senior stalwart Borgia. “He is a great kid, smart, a great student. He’s a great leader on this team. We expect him to have an outstanding season. He has a nice arm.”

DHS Coach - Bucks football 3

Photo courtesy Rich Banick Photography ©

Coach McHale said he thinks the Bucks will have a strong running game. “These guys are really prepared and practice very hard. Buckley, Dawkins, Kincel and the rest have the right appetite and preparation to be successful.”

The new head coach expects Dunmore to be strong defensively. “The guys work hard on defense. As we get more into practice, we will evaluate the defense and see who fits in where. We should be very good.”

Coach McHale said he feels good about the kicking and punting game. Borgia, very athletic, serves as a backup punter. “We also have a lot of competition among a kickers.”

Coach McHale said Aquino played a few games last season and then got hurt. “We expect him to come back strong this year and play a key role at wide receiver. He showed some promise last year before he was injured.”

Coach McHale knows he is succeeding a Dunmore legend, but looks forward to the challenges. “Our senior class has prepared hard for the upcoming season. They invested their time to put the work in. We have a very reliable group.

“It is tough to see coach Henzes have to retire due to health issues. But we all learned from him. He is a part of all of us. That only helps us. It’s an asset. This is going to be a solid football team. Our goal is always to win.”

Bucks Roll 49-0 Over Riverside

dhs football

By Steve Svetovich

Dunmore junior quarterback Steve Borgia ran for two touchdowns and passed for another score as the Bucks rolled over Riverside, 49-0, Friday, September 21, at Veterans Memorial Stadium, Taylor.

Dunmore scored four touchdowns on its first five offensive plays in the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III contest.

Dunmore upped its record to 3-2 (3-0 in the division).

The Bucks rebounded from a loss to Lackawanna Trail, 21-15, Friday, September 14, at Lion’s Pride Stadium in Clinton Township.

bucksKevin McHale, Dunmore’s defensive coordinator, continues to run the team and serve as coach in the absence of legendary veteran Jack Henzes who is ill.

Taking the opening kickoff at its 42, Borgia completed a 6-yard pass to Thomas Lewis on first down. Rayshaun Dawkins then sprinted 52 yards for a Bucks touchdown. Peyton Badyrka kicked the extra point and Dunmore had a 7-0 lead just 51 seconds into the contest.

The Bucks then took over at their 49 after Riverside punted in fourth down. Borgia faked a handoff to Dawkins and kept the pigskin, rambling 51 yards for another Dunmore touchdown. Badyrka’s extra point kick gave Dunmore a 14-0 lead with 9:05 left in the first quarter.

Facing fourth-and-3 from their 22, Riverside coach Harry Armstrong and his Vikings surprisingly went for it. However, an incomplete pass turned the ball over to Dunmore on downs. On first down, Kyle Harrity burst up the middle for a 22-yard touchdown run. Badyrka’s extra point boot gave the Bucks a 21-0 lead with 6:35 left in the first quarter.

On the first play of Riverside’s next possession, the Vikings fumbled and Borgia pounced on the ball for Dunmore at the Riverside 48.

On first down, Borgia hit Cristian Buckley on a 48-yard touchdown strike. Another Badyrka extra point kick made it, 28-0, with 6:10 left in the first quarter.

The Vikings turned the ball over on downs at the Dunmore 39 on the first play of the second quarter.

scheduleDawkins then sprinted 28 yards on first down. Borgia then bolted 33 yards into the end zone for another Dunmore touchdown. The Badyrka extra point kick made it, 35-0, with 11:20 left in the second quarter.

Buckley busted loose from several would be tacklers for a 44-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 42-0 after Badyrka’s sixth extra point kick with still 6:02 left in the half.

Muhammad Moore’s 6-yard touchdown run on the opening plays of the final quarter turned out to be Dunmore’s final touchdown of the night. Emma Coar kicked the extra point to extend the lead to 49-0.

Borgia rushed for 84 yards on two carries and Dawkins for 84 yards on five carries to lead the Bucks running game. Buckley rushed for 52 yards on two carries.

Dawkins rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in the loss to Lsckawanna Trail. Dawkins scored on runs of 70 and three yards.

Buckley rushed for 74 yards in 14 carries in the loss to Trail. Harrity rushed for 65 yards on eight carries.

UPDATE: The Dunmore Bucks trounced Old Forge 41-21 in their September 28 match-up. The Bucks will travel to Montrose on Friday, Oct. 5, with game time at 7 p.m.