Lakeland’s quest for a District 2 Class AA football title became a deja vu experience against the Dunmore. Like a year ago, the Chiefs (8-4) missed an early scoring opportunity while the Bucks (12-0) struck quickly in their playoff meeting.


Lakeland’s quest for a District 2 Class AA football title became a deja vu experience against the Dunmore. Like a year ago, the Chiefs (8-4) missed an early scoring opportunity while the Bucks (12-0) struck quickly in their playoff meeting. A year ago, that game became a 34-13 Dunmore playoff win. Friday night, Nov. 20, the Bucks claimed a 35-8 district title victory.
The Bucks face West Catholic in the opening round of the state playoffs this weekend.
Like a year ago, the Chiefs kept the ball away from the Bucks for most of the first half but when the Bucks had the ball, they scored.
Mike Ehnot sent Lakeland reeling on the game’s first possession when he intercepted a Lakeland toss on the fifth snap of the game and returned the pick 35 yards to paydirt for a 7-0 Dunmore lead.
Lakeland came back with a 12 play march highlighted by Al Tuzze’s 13 yard run and Brett Kuwik’s 22 yards on five runs. Kuwik’s four yard run gave the Chiefs a first down at the Bucks 11 but three plays netted zero yards before the Dunmore defense sacked QB, Ryan Kiehart for a nine yard loss to end the drive.
A year ago, the Chiefs were stopped on two possessions inside the 10 in the first half.
After halting the Chiefs’ threat, Dunmore motored 80 yards in seven plays as Frank Santasiero burst through the heart of the Lakeland defense on 16 and 38 yard runs to set up his one yard TD pop for a 14-0 lead with :12 left in the first period quarter.
The Chiefs put together a 10 play drive before a Morgan Holmes interception and 44 yard return to the Lakeland one set up Michael Perry’s third-try-is-the-charm TD from two yards out for a 21-0 margin with 6:58 left in the half.
The Bucks took their next possession on a 52 yard, six play scoring series highlighted by a Dave Olivetti to Ehnot 25 yard completion. Perry’s five yard TD pushed the lead to 28-0 with 1:23 left in the half.
The Bucks almost tacked on another TD when the final play of the half was intercepted by Holmes and returned 54 yards to the Lakeland 5.
A year ago, the Chiefs had a 44-11 offensive plays advantage and 18:20-5:40 time of possession cushion but trailed 20-0. The Bucks scored three times on 11 plays and gained 191 yards
This time, Lakeland held a 38-16 offensive plays cushion but the Bucks were in command at 28-0 on 16 offensive snaps for 133 yards.
Each team scored in the second half. Olivetti darted into the endzone from 11 yards out with 11:52 to play while Kuiwk put Lakeland on the board with 6:27 remaining on a five yard run. He added the conversion run for the 35-8 final.
Chalk talk... Lakeland compiled 242 yards on 48 runs while the Bucks consumed 195 yards on 28 snaps. Kuwik led Lakeland with 115 yards on 21 carries while Tuzze added 73 yards on 13 attempts. Kiehart went 6-14-3 for 51 yards. Dunmore head coach, Jack Henzes collapsed on the sidelines when his increased heart rate caused his defibrillator to stabilize it in the second quarter. Henzes was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital for overnight observation. Resportedly he will be at the game with his team on Friday night against West Catholic.