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Turnovers doom York Catholic in PIAA loss to Dunmore

The York Catholic Irish suffered from turnover issues and couldn't recover in a 48-35 loss to Dunmore in the opening round of the PIAA Class 2A state football tournament Friday night.

The game was played at Harman-Geist Memorial Field in Hazleton.

York Catholic was in control of the game early, taking a 19-7 lead in the second quarter and forcing a turnover on downs at their own 24-yard line. But moments later running back Jakkar Kinard fumbled at midfield and Dunmore recovered — Kinard gained about 10 yards on the play while making a couple defenders missed, but lost the ball at the end of the run.

The Bucks would cash in, scoring on a touchdown pass from quarterback Gavin Darcy to tight end George Cole to cut the York Catholic lead to 19-14 with 2:53 to go in the second quarter.

The next Catholic possession saw a fumble on a handoff exchange from quarterback Dan Yokemick to Kinard. Shortly thereafter, Bucks running back Kyle Lasher scored on 12-yard touchdown run as Dunmore took a 20-19 lead into halftime.

Catholic turned the ball over two more times in the second half and Dunmore ran the ball well down the stretch as the Irish couldn't get off the field.

"Going into halftime down just 20-19, we were still in a good situation," said York Catholic head coach Eric Depew. "But when you come out, turn the football over the way we did, you're just not going to win against a quality team like that."

The Irish actually forced a turnover immediately coming out of intermission but a Yokemick fumble gave the ball back to Dunmore.

Lasher would follow with back-to-back touchdowns as Dunmore took control of the game.

Kinard wrapped up his standout high school career with 118 yards on a ground and a touchdown Friday. Ditto for Yokemick, who ran for 51 yards and a touchdown and threw for 143 and two TDs. His scoring tosses went to Riley Brennan and Ryan Sewell.

"The kids fought. They fought until the very end," Depew said. "We put 35 quality points on the board tonight."

York Catholic finished the season with a 10-2 record. The lone regular season loss for the Irish came to a Berks Catholic team that is playing for a District 3 Class 4A championship next week. Dunmore is now 13-0 on the year and will face Ligonier Valley next week in the PIAA quarterfinals.

"We can now celebrate our district and division titles," Depew said. "It was a tremendous year for these guys, and to fight until the end like this was just incredible."