By Jon Gerardi
The Daily Item
It was the type of drive Dunmore tried to put together all game.
After numerous punts, the Bucks’ offense finally clicked on a nine play, 66-yard drive capped by Josh Zilla’s great catch of a tipped pass in the back of the end zone.
The score gave Dunmore the lead late in the third quarter Friday, and Southern Columbia was hoping to quickly respond with a score to shift the momentum back.
The momentum shifted on the ensuing kickoff — but not in the Tigers’ favor.
Southern Columbia’s Bryce Parry fielded the kickoff and attempted to make some moves behind his defenders to break it. The Bucks swarmed to Parry, stripped the ball and recovered it.
Three plays later, Dunmore scored.
Despite a late rally by Southern Columbia, the Bucks left John Henzes Memorial Stadium with a 35-29 win in the first round of the PIAA Class A state playoffs.
“It was nice to see us come back there and make a push at the end. Just too big of a hole against a team like this that we’re having enough trouble stopping; you get down by that many points, it’s just going to be difficult,” Southern Columbia coach Jim Roth said.
Southern Columbia (12-1) scored 14 straight points through the second and third quarters thanks to quarterback Taylor Young’s legs; he ran in touchdowns from 13 and 14 yards out, the first score on a huge third-down conversion. The senior accounted for 48 rushing yards and added 64 through the air.
“We were just trying to give them some misdirection because, number one, they were lining up to strength, over-shifting their defensive strength and they were flowing to the action,” Roth said of Southern Columbia’s play-action offense. “It was just one of those things. It was a regular part of our offense and it was effective.”
The lost fumble on the kickoff return — one of two lost fumbles for the Tigers — was part of 29 consecutive Dunmore points to effectively put the game away.