Raw Sports

Lenny Kelley scores 5 touchdowns in a 56-28 win and leads Dallas to the 4A State Championship by: Tyler Harden

DANVILLE— Dallas has, so far, had the perfect season, and a lot of that is because of running back, Lenny Kelley. But the state semifinal game is most likely the best Kelley has played all season. The Mountaineers were coming off arguably the biggest win in program history, knocking off Imhotep Charter in the final seconds of the game. But they were set to take on District 4 Champion, Jersey Shore, who escaped Pottsville last week in 3 overtimes, and the Bulldogs wanted to keep their playoff run alive.

Lenny Kelley fumbled the ball on Dallas’s first offensive play on an 8 yard gain. But Kelley intercepted the ball back on Jersey Shore’s 3rd offensive play. On Dallas’s second offensive play, Danny Meuser fumbled after an 18 yard catch. Jersey Shore took advantage from Dallas’s 2nd turnover of the game, as quarterback, Tanner Lorson, completed a 29 yard pass to Cayden Hess to put the Bulldogs at the Dallas 11 yard line. This set up running back, Josh Malicky, to run 11 yards into the end zone to give Jersey Shore a 7-0 lead (Allison PAT). When Dallas got the ball back, Michael Starbuck tied the game up as he found Luke Delgaudio for a 44 yard touchdown (Fisher PAT). Their next drive, Starbuck found Danny Meuser for 19 yards to give the Mountaineers a 14-7 lead (Fisher PAT). But Jersey Shore wanted to put a stop to Dallas’s momentum, as they put together a 12 play, 79 yard drive, which finished with a Tanner Lorson 8 yard pass to Cayden Hess to tie the game at 14 (Allison PAT).

After the first quarter came to an end, it was Lenny Kelley’s time to shine, as he managed to score 3 touchdowns alone. His first gave the Mountaineers the lead back, as he ran a 12 yard touchdown (Fisher PAT). Dallas didn’t look back from there, and neither did Kelly, as his next two touchdowns were for 42 yards and a 1 yard (Fisher PATs). Dallas went into halftime with a 35-14 lead.

But Jersey Shore was not going away just yet, as Tanner Lorson hit Cayden Hess for a 9 yard touchdown (Allison PAT), putting the Bulldogs within 2 scores of tying the game. But Lenny Kelly just kept doing what he had been doing all night, as he scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter. The Mountaineers put together a solid drive as Luke Delgaudio caught a 29 yard pass from Michael Starbuck, and Kelly ran for 18 yards. Kelly ran the ball again on the next play, this time for a 19 yard touchdown to make it 42-21 (Fisher PAT). Jacob Esposito picked off a pass from Tanner Lorson on Jersey Shore’s next drive to give the Mountaineers the ball back at their own 22 yard line. The next play, Lenny Kelly ran right through the middle of the line for a 78 yard touchdown (Fisher PAT).

The mercy rule was brought into play after Michael Starbuck found Danny Meuser for a 5 yard touchdown to make it 56-21 off of an interception by Jack Farrell (Fisher PAT). Tanner Lorson ran 12 yards to give Jersey Shore their last touchdown of the game (Allison PAT). After Dallas’s last touchdown, their starters came out of the game, and they knew they were playing for the 4A State Championship in Hershey. 

Lenny Kelly finished the night with 288 yards and 5 touchdowns, and Michael Starbuck threw for 189 yards and 3 touchdowns. Luke Delgaudio caught for 117 yards and a touchdown. For Jersey Shore, Tanner Lorson threw for 315 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Dallas is headed to the PIAA 4A State Championship in Hershey, and they stay undefeated at 15-0. They get set to take on undefeated Thomas Jefferson in the state title game on Thursday, December 5th at 7 P.M. at Hersheypark Stadium. Jersey Shore ends their season at 11-4.