Lackawanna Trail remained within striking distance with a goal-line stand late in the third quarter.
Then, the Lions struck early in the fourth.
Kody Cresswell’s 50-yard touchdown run up the middle lifted Lackawanna Trail over visiting Dunmore, 14-10, in the District 2 Class 2A football championship game.
The Lions ended a streak of seven straight district titles by the Bucks.
Lackawanna Trail (8-3) advances to play at District 11 champion Northern Lehigh (9-3) Friday at 7 in a Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association first-round state Class 2A playoff game.
The Lions stopped the Bucks on third and fourth downs at the 1 while trailing, 10-7.
Hunter Patterson made the third-down stop and was one of several Lions in the middle of the pile stopping a quarterback sneak short on fourth down.
Lackawanna Trail, already inside the 1, went closer to its own goal-line with a first-down penalty, then moved 99-plus yards for the winning score.
Cresswell carried for 3 yards on the first play, then 10 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter. Three plays later, he took an inside reverse 50 yards for the score.
Dunmore picked up one first down, then Lackawanna Trail forced a punt and ran out the clock.
The Lions ran 15 offensive plays in the fourth quarter to 6 by the Bucks, who they outgained, 108-16, over those final 12 minutes. Up to the point of the goal-line stop on fourth down, Dunmore had outgained Lackawanna Trail, 200-131.
Patterson ran for two first downs and quarterback Owen Lisk one in the drive to kill the rest of the clock.
Lukas Gumble, who carried 10 times, and Cresswell, who carried 9 times, each had 97 rushing yards.
Patterson ran for 52 yards on 13 carries and took Lackawanna Trail’s only pass completion 4 yards for the only touchdown until Cresswell’s game-winner.
Kolbee Soltis made six tackles and broke up a pass while Miles Edwards had four tackles, including one for a loss, and two assists for the Lackawanna Trail defense.
Nico Ruggiero (13-for-46), Thomas Bowen (11-for-45) and Danny Pigga (5-for-40) led a balanced rushing attack for the Lions.
Dunmore scored on its second possession, moving 65 yards in 9 plays.
Bowen hit Domenick DeSando for 18 yards on fourth-and-seven, then scored on a 15-yard run two plays later for a 7-0 lead in the last minute of the first quarter.
Gumble’s 52-yard run helped set up Owen Lisk’s 4-yard, tying touchdown pass to Patterson with 1:53 left in the half.
When Lackawanna Trail fumbled a punt in the closing seconds of the half, Dunmore capitalized.
Bowen passed to Pigga for 23 yards to the 14 and Max Hunt kicked a 31-yard field goal as time expired for a 10-7 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out by Lackawanna Trail to open the second half, Dunmore moved 66 yards in 14 plays only to be stopped at the 1.
MORE FRIDAY FOOTBALL
Delaware Valley-Hazleton Area: https://nepasportsnation.com/machado-kizis-team-for-clincher-as-delaware-valley-continues-surge/.
Old Forge-Belmont Charter: https://nepasportsnation.com/sobol-leads-devils-into-state-playoffs/.
Scranton Prep-Mid Valley: https://nepasportsnation.com/scranton-prep-shuts-out-mid-valley/.
Valley View-Berwick: https://nepasportsnation.com/valley-view-shuts-out-berwick/.
Wyoming Area-Lakeland: https://nepasportsnation.com/wyoming-area-holds-off-lakeland/.
Wyoming Area-Lakeland Photo Gallery: https://nepasportsnation.com/lakeland-wyoming-area-football-photo-gallery/.