HS FOOTBALL: No. 2 Scranton Prep At No. 5 Dunmore

August 25, 2018

DUNMORE — The defense posted a zero. Running back Ryan Cosgrove ran for 150 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Leo O’Boyle ran for one score and threw for two more. And Scranton Prep converted three Dunmore turnovers into touchdowns in Friday’s 31-0 season-opening win. A pretty good start for the second-ranked Cavaliers, but head coach Terry Gallagher is looking for better. “I thought our kids played hard — they always do — but I didn’t think we played very smart or efficiently at all in the first half, specifically. We left points off the board, too many penalties. Silly stuff, like moving early. We talked about it for three months. You can’t do it. “High snap, low snap, stuff like that just can’t happen. We’re fortunate that we were still able to hold them off defensively.” Linebacker Tucker Johnson helped lead that effort with nine tackles as the Cavs held Dunmore to just four first downs. “We were getting to the ball, hats to the ball, swarming like a defense should be,” Johnson said. “Once we all start clicking and everyone does their job, we’ll be very hard to score on.” No argument from Gallagher. “The kids did a good job defensively,” Gallagher said. “I thought we communicated really well. We’ve gotten better each week in terms of talking, trusting each other. That’s the most important thing. Guys are getting better at playing technique.” Fifth-ranked Dunmore had a shot early as Prep fumbled the opening kickoff, but the Cavs recovered and Prep eventually scored on O’Boyle’s 16-yard scamper after a sure interception was dropped. “Our kids played hard. We’re proud of their effort,” said defensive coordinator Kevin McHale, who spoke after the game as head coach Jack Henzes recuperates at home after heart valve replacement surgery earlier this month. “I think coach Henzes would be extremely proud of their effort, but when we had opportunities to capitalize on their mistakes, we didn’t take advantage of those. “The first play of the game, we ripped the ball out and they recovered. We had an interception in the red zone that we dropped. You’re not going to beat a good team if you don’t capitalize on those mistakes.” They couldn’t, and eventually Prep found its footing after Mitchell Simon recovered a fumble at the Dunmore 29, and O’Boyle scored on his first carry three plays later. “I just have to read the defense,” O’Boyle said. “As soon as I snapped it, I saw (the end) was coming off the edge real hard so I pulled it out and kept it, and my receivers did a great job blocking out there and they gave me a hole and I scored.” But three bad snaps in the first quarter cost Prep chances deep in Dunmore territory, and only Carter Odell’s terrific catch and placement allowed Alec Buttner to get just enough of the ball for a 30-yard field goal that sneaked over the crossbar and inside the left upright. Prep’s 10-0 halftime lead ballooned in the third. Cosgrove carried for 15 and 14 yards on consecutive carries to set up O’Boyle’s 10 yard pas in the flat to Simon, who was wide open with 7:55 left in the third. “We really picked it up in the second half,” Cosgrove said. “We were able to run and pass the ball and that’s what it’s going to be like all season. “We were a little nervous at first. A lot of us haven’t played before. We just came out the second half and we were ready.” Odell’s interception on the next play set up O’Boyle’s 23-yard touchdown dart to Michael Greco, who tiptoed the last few yards to the end zone. “It was a difficult throw, but (Greco) got a great break off the ball and just made a great move for that touchdown,” O’Boyle said. Cosgrove capped the scoring with a 3-yard run after T.J. Holmes recovered a fumble near midfield. Dunmore struggled on both sides of the ball after Jake Sawka left the game with a strained medial collateral ligament. “As coach would say, we have to correct our mistakes and get back to work on Monday and most importantly we have school coming up,” McHale said. “We have to get them ready for that, too.” Contact the writer: mmyers@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100, ext. 5437; @mmyersTT on Twitter

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