DUNMORE — Lake-Lehman made eight straight trips into Dunmore territory Friday night, but only one reached the red zone.
None made it to the end zone.
The only time the Black Knights made it there was on defense, to fall on Dunmore quarterback Thomas Bowen after he had already covered up a fumble for the safety that produced the only Black Knights points.
Dunmore found its offense late, scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter of a 21-2, non-league football victory.
Both teams came out of the game with uncharacteristic 1-2 marks and plenty of offensive question marks.
Dunmore coach Kevin McHale, however, could take pride in the defensive effort that allowed the defending District 2 Class 2A champions to keep the Lake-Lehman offense off the board while the Bucks were producing their first win of the season.
“They played tough,” McHale said. “That was the one thing even with our 0-2 start, our defense has played well in some spots. They were on the field a long time, but that was the lone bright spot.”
Now, the Bucks have another.
After managing just three first downs and 82 yards total offense through three quarters, Dunmore got 101 yards and two touchdowns rushing from Nico Ruggiero in the fourth quarter when he had all six of his carries.
Ruggiero had intercepted a pass at the 8 to end Lake-Lehman’s biggest threat of the first half. After standing on the sideline for almost the entire first half offensively, he took over the game late.
More than half of Dunmore’s offense going into the fourth quarter had come on one play.
Liam Crolly blocked a punt and Zaaki Rosario recovered it at the Lake-Lehman 45 with 2:08 left in the first half of a scoreless game.
Lorenzo Mitchell got behind the Lake-Lehman defense and Thomas Bowen found him deep down the middle off of play action for a touchdown on the next play.
That connection gave Dunmore a 6-0 halftime lead.
Lake-Lehman’s biggest threat reached the Dunmore 8 after Cole Morio caught an 11-yard pass on third-and-eight, then ran 17 yards on the first play after a Black Knights fourth-down conversion.
The drive, which took the first 7:15 off the clock in the third quarter, stalled after a third-and-five option play from the 8 was thrown for a six-yard loss.
Lake-Lehman cut the deficit to 6-2 when it kept Dunmore pinned and took advantage when Bowen fumbled the ball on a rollout and had to cover the ball in the end zone for a safety.
Ruggiero scored on runs of 35 and 44 yards 2:33 apart in the fourth quarter.