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Dunmore drowns Bellwood-Antis title hopes

Written by: on Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The rain just never stopped at Don Malinak Stadium.  Nor did the Dunmore running game.   Daiqwon Buckley and Austin Seamon combined for nearly 400 yards of offense and 6 touchdowns leading the  Dunmore Bucks to a 40-19 victory and the chance to play one more time, this time in Hershey for the state title.

“They leaned on us like nobody has this year. They’re big up front, real big, and they did their thing” said Blue Devil leader John Hayes.  “Hats off to them, they’re a great program”.

It didn’t start out good for Dunmore.  Bellwood won the coin toss and deferred.  On the second play of the game Seamon lost the handle on the wet ball and Bellwood qb/s Seth Worthing recovered at the 44.  Worthing’s first snap would affect the rest of the game for the Blue Devils as he dropped the snap from center and was pummeled trying to make something happen.  During the play he injured his hip and would never have the speed he had all season.   “I couldn’t really get down in a stance, so me playing defense was out. I didn’t want to take any hits. I tried to get out of bounds more than I usually do to avoid getting hurt,”  Worthing said.

The Bucks scored first on a 9 yard run by Buckley, who also had a nice 31 yard run during the drive.  Mike Boland nailed the extra point and Dunmore led 7-0.

Bellwood struck right back.  Ownen Worthing, filling in at qb for his injured brother, scampered 10 yards into the end zone.  The Blue Devils faked the kick after but a pass from Tyler Campbell sailed away and the score was 7-6 with 1:20 left in the first period.  “We hung with them in the first half, but with the injury to Seth and not having (Hayden) Degennaro (who broke his leg in last weeks win)  we just didn’t have the speed and thats been our game plan all year.  It doesn’t help that we kept putting the ball on the ground”  said Hayes.

Following the Blue Devil score Dunmore struck back, fast.  Buckley tucked in behind one of his mammoth linemen, then dashed away going 55 yards for six.  “Sometimes I like to just lay back and see which way they block, it’s great to have such a big line to run behind” said Buckley.  The 4 play drive used less than 1 minute. The point after failed, and with 11:30 to play in the second quarter Dunmore held a 13-6 lead.

Bellwood held their head above water for 90% of the first half.  “Our defense came up big a couple times in the first half” said defensive end Nick Torsell.  Torsell had a big tackle for loss on Bucks fullback Dan Beech forcing Dunmore into punting situation.

The Blue Devils then drove 80 yards on the legs of Gray who finished the drive on a 1 yard run. Campbell tied it at 13 with the kick and just under four minutes remaining in the half.  Dunmore scored just before the half  on a 1 yard Buckley run to take a 19-13 lead into halftime.

The second half saw the water just get too deep for the Blue Devils.  Driving from their own 28 on the legs of Gray, who managed 132 yard rushing on 29 carries, the Blue Devils reached the Dunmore 31. But on 1st down Gray lost the handle on the ball and Dunmore recovered. The Bucks then took the ball 70 yards on 12 running plays to make it 25-13.  “That was big. I thought we were on our way to tie it up, and then you don’t know,” Bellwood coach John Hayes said. “It’s easy to project things. Obviously, it didn’t help. I’ve always said turnovers are the things that usually spell the difference in games like this. Momentum definitely shifted, because they took it down and scored. That made it a two-touchdown game, and at that point we were kind of grasping at things to do with guys in and out.”

Bellwood found itself with a 4th and short on the next drive.  Down 2 scores they went for the first down but Gray was stopped just short of the mark needed. Dunmore’s size then became a factor.  Seamon scored from 24 yards out to make it 31-13 and the momentum was all on Dunmore’s side.  “They’re huge, they just wore us down” said Ian O’Shea.  After a somewhat slow start Buckley was able to get a head of steam going and finished with 223 yards and touchdown runs of 9, 45, 15 and 2 yards on just 22 carries, scoring Dunmore’s last touchdown on a 2 yard run following some great power running and several very shifty runs.  “I knew if the line was blocking great, we were going to be able to run the ball. And the line blocked phenomenal,” Buckley said.  “Our line has always been smaller,” tackle Keith Shawley said. “I’m pretty sure we wanted it more. We just drove our feet. That’s the secret. We have a lot of really good linemen. Not the biggest, but we’ve got a lot of talented kids. We just figured we’d go out and work as hard as we can and make something happen.” Bellwood managed to score with 10 seconds to go on a 5 yard Gray run, but it just wasn’t enough.

Dunmore coach Jack Henzes was concerned with Bellwood’s quickness.

“This team is very good, and they have a lot of speed. I think we wore them down in the second half, and I think that was the difference in the game,” Henzes said.

“We’re disappointed not to be in the final two, but the other team did their thing tonight,” Bellwood coach John Hayes said. “Unfortunately, we suffered for that.”

Dunmore will face Clairton next Friday, December 14 at 1 p.m  in Hershey for the single A state championship.

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