SCRANTON – Dunmore's defense still has not given up a touchdown.
More importantly, it has not allowed a point.
After West Scranton turned to special teams to score the first points against Dunmore this season, the Bucks used a defensive stop by Austin Seamon on the two-point conversion attempt to hold on for a 7-6 victory in a meeting between unbeaten rivals in a Friday night high school football game at Memorial Stadium.
Joe Devine returned a punt 43 yards for West Scranton's only touchdown with 1:18 left, giving the Invaders a shot at the win.
"He has great speed," West Scranton coach Joe Gerek said of Devine. "He gives us everything he has.
"He's one of our captains and every week he comes up with some kind of big play."
Following a Dunmore timeout and a confusing sequence to sort out a penalty that would not be marked off until the kickoff, West Scranton went for the winning points.
Marquis Brownlee appeared to have a chance to get around the left end.
Seamon, Dunmore's top running back, had suffered an ankle injury on the game's first play. After carrying again on the second play, he left the game and did not return until he was needed on defense in the fourth quarter.
Seamon returned in time to help preserve the win. He fought off a block and, as the only Buck with a chance to stop the play, made the tackle before Brownlee could cross the line of scrimmage.
"The kid made a great play," Gerek said. "Seamon's a real tough kid to come back and make a game-winning play like that."
Dunmore turned away West Scranton drives that reached the Bucks 19 and 11 earlier in the fourth quarter.
"I'm just so proud of our kids," Dunmore coach Jack Henzes said. "They played their hearts out.
"It was a typical West Scranton-Dunmore game – very physical."
Neither team was able to manage as many as four yards per play in the defensive battle.
The first four possessions produced just nine total yards, but the Bucks began to move the ball late in the first quarter.
A 16-play Dunmore drive that carried into the second quarter was stopped when West Scranton stuffed a pair of plays from the 1 on third and fourth down.
The Bucks kept the Invaders pinned and needed to move only 26 yards for what proved to be the winning score. Mike Kolcharno took a counter play from his wingback position 23 yards for the touchdown on third-and-seven with 4:41 left in the half.
Mike Boland added the extra point.
The Bucks made it back to the 10 before the half ended, but Tyaire Quiller intercepted a pass with 11 seconds left.
Dunmore tackles Jake Korgeski and Boland made consecutive tackles for losses to shut down West Scranton early in the fourth quarter.
Matt Sawka's interception at the 2 ended the next threat.
"Earlier in the fourth quarter, when I thought we had a good drive going and were going to score, I told the guys I wanted to go for two and they all agreed," Gerek said. "If I thought, a high school extra point (kick) was automatic, it might be a different decision.
West Scranton (2-1) will try to bounce back Friday night in its first Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 game when it plays at North Pocono (0-3).
• Dunmore had slight statistical advantages of 9-8 in first downs, 136-124 in rushing yards and 181-145 in total offense.
• West Scranton had the game's top two rushers. Demetris Garcia had 49 yards and Brownlee had 47 with each carrying 12 times.
• Dunmore spread the carries around with Seamon out. Kolcharno carried seven times for 39 yards, Sawka carried six times for 34 yards and Sal Marchese carried 11 times for 33 yards.
• Kolcharno also had two catches for 24 yards.
• Boland, Korgeski, Shakal Blackwell and Sawka led the Dunmore defense.
• Boland had six tackles, including a sack, four assists and a batted-down pass. Korgeski had seven tackles, including one for a loss, and three assists. Blackwell had seven tackles and broke up a pass. Sawka had three tackles, two assists and an interception.
• Quiller, Collin Lipowich and Cullen Fanning led the West Scranton defense.
• Quiller had seven tackles, including one for a loss, five assists and an interception. Lipowich blocked a punt and had two tackles, including one for a loss, and five assists. Fanning had four tackles and six assists.