DALLAS – Logan Bullock got a lineman's dream Saturday afternoon. Lineman Buddy Shutlock just missed on one.
The duo, though, was on the field for another task – to be a nightmare for Lake-Lehman's running game.
The two defensive tackles led a defense that held Lehman to minus-17 yards on 31 carries as Dallas posted a 51-6 victory to clinch the final District 2 Class 3A playoff spot.
The Mountaineers (7-3), who also took home the Old Shoe Trophy awarded annually to the winner of the rivalry, will play at Berwick (9-1) in the D2-3A semifinals tentatively at 1 p.m. next Saturday. Lehman (6-4) will be the fourth seed in the D2-2A playoffs and play at top-seeded Wyoming Area (8-2) at 7 p.m. Friday.
We're here, right. We made it, said Dallas coach Bob Zaruta, whose team won its seventh in a row and was kept alive for a district spot when Coughlin defeated Crestwood on Friday.
Dallas let Bullock, a 6-foot, 260-pound senior, cap the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter. He finished with two carries for 5 yards, leaving running back Kris Roccograndi (117 yards, 2 TDs) firmly entrenched in the starter's role.
My seventh grade year, Bullock said of the last time he scored a touchdown. I played fullback, but I was actually at tight end.
As for Shutlock, he came oh-so-close to an interception in the second quarter when Jason Simonovich tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage. The 6-4, 260-pound senior finished about a step short of hauling in the deflection.
I'm going to be made fun of in film all week for that, Shutlock said. I looked like Frankenstein out there. I know I did. Oh, it was embarrassing.
So was what Bullock and Shutlock did to Lehman runners on first-down plays on the Black Knights' first three possessions. Bullock hammered Lehman 1,000-yard running back Dustin Jones for a 1-yard gain the first time Lehman had the ball. On Lehman's next two possessions, Shutlock started them with tackles for minus-2 yards and no gain.
They really kicked the (heck) out of us up front, Lehman coach Jerry Gilsky said. The best front four in the league in my opinion from what I saw.
With the running game stymied, Lehman went to the pass. Quarterback Bill Hillman threw a season-high 23 passes and had some middling success with screens. Otherwise, the offense did little other than an 80-yard scoring drive in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 23-6.
We stop (the run) and then they had to work on the pass, Shutlock said.
Surprisingly, Dallas quarterback Ryan Zapoticky, who had over 1,300 passing yards entering the game, threw only seven times. His only TD pass – a 6-yarder to Simonovich to make the score 36-6 midway through the third – was an incredible display of athletic ability.
Zapoticky was wrapped up by a defender at the 20-yard line, but spun out of the tackle. He rolled right, stiff-armed another Lehman player to the ground and threw a dart to Simonovich in the back right corner of the end zone.
Dallas was locked into a postseason berth entering the weekend, but a bunch of Mountaineers headed to Crestwood on Friday night to see whether Saturday's game would be for the final D2-3A spot or for seeding purposes in the Eastern Conference tournament.
We were cheering on Coughlin to beat Crestwood, Bullock said. We were there to the end to congratulate all the Coughlin kids on their big win and on helping us out.
Dallas 51, Lake-Lehman 7
DAL – Kris Roccograndi 20 run (Ryan Kozloski kick), 11:21
DAL – Roccograndi 3 run (Kozloski kick), 7:17
DAL – Ryan Zapoticky 2 run (pass failed), 4:17
DAL – Kozloski 31 FG, 0:05
LL – Dustin Jones 10 pass from Bill Hillman (run failed), 8:18
DAL – Zapoticky 25 run (Kozloski kick), 7:50
DAL – Jason Simonovich 6 pass from Zapoticky (Kozloski kick), 6:18
DAL – Bill Gately 2 run (Kozloski kick), 2:27
DAL – Logan Bullock 1 run (Kozloski kick), 3:54
RUSHING – Lehman, Jones 8-17, Brady Butler 5-(minus-7), Hillman 13-(minus-13), Tom Donovan 1-0, Bobby Wright 2-(minus-6), Zachary Jayne 1-(minus-1), team 1-(minus-7). Dallas, Roccograndi 14-117, Zapoticky 10-85, Gately 3-7, Justin Mucha 7-79, Logan Brace 3-10, Logan Bullock 2-5, Nate Vario 1-0, Mike Olenginski 1-4, team 2-(minus-2).
PASSING – Lehman, Hillman 10-28-1-111. Dallas, Zapoticky 6-7-0-58, Mucha 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING – Lehman, Zach Chabala 2-27, Jones 3-35, Butler 3-9, Donovan 1-28, Jacob Yaple 1-12.
INTS – Dallas, Zach Macosky.
MISSED FGS – none.
NOTE: Schedule is subject to change.
Scranton (10-0) and Delaware Valley (9-1) will be the District 2/4 representatives in the D2/4-11 subregional tournament. Both will have home games, but their opponents won't be determined until postponed games in District 11 are completed.
No. 4 Dallas (7-3) at No. 1 Berwick, 1 p.m. Saturday
No. 3 Valley View (7-3) at No. 2 Abington Heights (8-2), 1 p.m. Saturday
No. 4 Lake-Lehman (6-4) at No. 1 Wyoming Area (8-2), 7 p.m. Friday
No. 3 GAR (7-3) at No. 2 Lakeland (7-3), 7 p.m. Friday
No. 4 Riverside (6-4) at No. 1 Old Forge (10-0), 7 p.m. Friday
No. 3 Lackawanna Trail (8-2) at No. 2 Dunmore (9-1), 7 p.m. Friday
(Dates, times TBA)
Emmaus (5-5) at Wyo. Valley West (7-3)
Scranton Prep (6-4) at Crestwood (7-3)
Muhlenberg (6-4) at Coughlin (6-4)
Meyers (5-5) at North Schuylkill (7-3)
Northwest (5-5) at Muncy (7-3)