By Steve Svetovich
The Dunmore Bucks started the 2016 football season on a high note with a 21-17 win over West Scranton Friday, August 26, at Scranton’s Memorial Stadium.
In the meantime, the cross town Holy Cross Crusaders lost to Holy Redeemer, 34-6, in its opener Saturday, August 27, at Monsignor Crotti Field, Dunmore.
In the Bucks opening game win, Dunmore senior Colin Holmes put the Bucks ahead on a 10-yard touchdown run with 5:30 left in the fourth quarter.
Down by three points with less than seven minutes left in the contest, Dunmore defensive end Kyle Lasher forced an errant pitch out when he hit West quarterback Nick Gioia. Dunmore’s Luke Yanisko recovered on the West 10.
Three plays later, Holmes scrambled into the end zone from the 10 and the Bucks had a 21-17 lead. The extra point kick failed.
The Bucks started the contest with a 13-play drive, but Holmes fumbled and West Scranton senior Jude Wheeler recovered.
The tight Dunmore defense held West, but Holmes mishandled a punt. West’s Noah Worsnick pounced on the pigskin. That set up a Gioia 25-yard touchdown pass to Matt Williams.
Holmes, always resilient, brought the Bucks back with a 71-yard kickoff return before scoring a touchdown on a one-yard burst to tie the game with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
Dunmore drove 65 yards on its next possession. Holmes and Lasher handled the bulk of the running with quarterback Gavin Darcy scoring on a quarterback sneak with 6:19 left in the second quarter to make it 14-7.
West settled on a Shayne Merrifield 21-yard field goal on the Invaders next possession after Holmes batted a ball away from Williams in the end zone.
Gioia scored on a 47-yard jaunt with 2:26 left in the third quarter to lift West to a 17-14 lead after Merrifield’s extra point kick.
Holmes, late in the contest, saved the game for the Bucks when he knocked a long pass attempt loose from Gioia to Dashawn Minnick.
Holmes led the Dunmore running game with 102 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Lasher ran for 76 yards on 16 carries.
In the Holy Cross contest, J.D. Turosky of Holy Redeemer scored on two touchdown passes and had two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.
The Crusaders did get off to a good start in the contest when senior stalwart Cory Miller returned the opening kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown.
However, Holy Redeemer on its third play from scrimmage scored on a 63-yard touchdown pass from signal caller Tom Engle to Turosky who out jumped a Crusader defender.
The Crusaders kept the game close until late in the second quarter when Engle hit Turosky on a 22-yard touchdown after a bad snap on a Holy Cross punt attempt gave Holy Redeemer excellent field position.
Turosky intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown on the Crusaders next possession.
Holy Redeemer put together a 61-yard drive to open the second half. Jonathan Winters scored on a two-yard plunge to give Holy Redeemer a 27-6 lead.
The Crusaders drove inside the Holy Redeemer five on the next possession, but lost a fumble at the two.
The final tally for Holy Redeemer came when Winters ran 44 yards into the end zone after the snap on a punt attempt sailed over his head. The ball just bounced the right way and he grabbed it and raced in for the score.
But that’s the way things went for the Crusaders who are looking to regroup and bounce back from the loss.
UPDATE: In week two, the Dunmore Bucks defeated Lackawanna Trail 27-7, while the Holy Cross Crusaders fell to Lakeland 49-14.