Mike Marabell admitted it was a whirlwind week. And one that ended with one of the biggest stunners of the high school football season.
Tunkhannock quarterback Jack Chilson was nearly unstoppable, accounting for four touchdowns in the first half as the one-win Tigers jumped out to a 20-point lead and pulled the upset of the state-ranked Dunmore Bucks, 30-17, Friday night in a game that lasted almost three hours
“It’s one of the best wins in a long time,” Marabell said. “We are super proud, and are heading in the right direction. We found a groove last week, and we are starting to play a little defense. It’s all clicking right now.”
Chilson was untouchable in the first half, running for two scores and passing for two others as Tunkhannock never trailed in the game.
The quarterback finished with 245 yards passing on 21 of 34, connecting with five different receivers.
“Dunmore has a rich tradition, and no one picked us to win this one,” Chilson said. “We knew this would be a dogfight. We just wanted to finish this season strong. We stuck together for the entire game.”
Tunkhannock wasn’t even supposed to be in Dunmore Friday. The Tigers were supposed to play Holy Redeemer, but the Royals were forced to cancel because of COVID. Dunmore was also in need of a game after Lackawanna Trail was shut down last week.
Once it started, it was all Tunkhannock in the opening 24 minutes.
The Tigers drove early 80 yards on the opening drive, capped off by Chilson’s first rushing TD of the night.
Dunmore responded five minutes later. After Nico Ruggerio picked off Chilson in the end zone, which would have put Tunkhannock up two touchdowns, Cristian Buckley took the hand-off on the very next play and went 80 yards untouched, knotting it at 7-7.
But second-quarter TD’s by Nathan Lord and Michael Sickler, and two straight two-point conversions, gave the upset-minded Tigers a 30-10 lead at halftime.
From there, it was all about the Tigers’ defense, which sacked Dunmore quarterback Thomas Bowen five times – four of them in the second half, and held Buckley to just 125 yards on the ground.
Dunmore got it back to two scores early in the third quarter when Bowen hit Buckley on a screen pass that went 79 yards to the end zone.
But it was the last time the Bucks reached pay dirt, held scoreless in the final quarter.
The Tigers are on the road again Friday, at Lake-Lehman.
Tunkhannock 30, Dunmore 17
Tunkhannock 14 16 0 0 30
Dunmore 7 3 7 0 17
TUN — Chilson 1 run (Montross kick), 8:41
DUN — Buckley 80 run (Badyrka kick), 3:37
TUN — Chilson 20 run (Montross kick), 1:43
TUN — Lord 12 pass from Chilson (Sickler pass from Chilson), 5:49
DUN — Badyrka 34 FG, 1:45
TUN — Sickler 17 pass from Chilson (Konen pass from Chilson), 1:01
DUN — Buckley 79 pass from Bowen (Badyrka kick), 9:33
First Downs 27 11
Rush-Att-Yards 36-199 31-91
Comp-Att-Int 21-34-1 11-26-0
Passing Yards 245 201
Total Yards 444 292
Punts-Average 2-28.0 5-34.0
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 9-66 5-28
Rushing: Tunk – T.Konen 17-96; J.Chilson 8-40, 2 TDs; B.Schultz 9-39; R.Jones 2-24. DUN – C.Buckley 19-124, 1 TD; D.Aquino 3-14; M.DelVecchio 2-1; N.Ruggerio 1-1; T.Bowen 6-(-49).
Passing: Tunk – J.Chilson 21-34-1, 245,2 TDs. DUN – T.Bowen 11-26-0, 201, 1 TD.
Receiving: Tunk – N.Lord 7-77, 1 TD;M.Sickler 4-43, 1 TD; B.Chilson 4-46; R.Jones 3-36; J.Zacharias 3-43. DUN –C.Buckley 3-125, 1 TD; D.Aquino 3-40; M.Burke 1-7; D.Temperino 1-17; K.Reyes 1-7; K.Reyes 1-4; N.Ruggerio 1-1.