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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:29 07:05:27

DAVE SCHERBENCO/CITIZENS VOICE Dallas Jacob Esposito intercepts a pass in front of Abington Heights Jacob Scott.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2020:01:29 06:57:27

DAVE SCHERBENCO/CITIZENS VOICE Dallas Lenny Kelley looks for yards as Abington Heights Shaine Hughes holds on.

With a late surge, Abington Heights turned its season around to reach the District 2 Class 4A playoffs for a second straight year.

However, No. 8 seed Comets fell to unbeaten No. 1 seed Dallas in last Friday’s quarterfinal, 56-14.

Dallas reached the end zone eight times in the first half — four coming on consecutive plays —

Dallas’ Danny Meuser, a 6-foot, 200-pound back scored four times, reaching the end zone on runs of 58, 6, 5 and 22 yards — before finishing his night with 119 yards on seven carries.

Lenny Kelley’s 111-yard, two-touchdown half, and the Mountaineers and their big, bruising offensive line rushed for 237 yards in the opening 24 minutes.

Abington Heights (3-8) was held to just eight yards rushing in the first half as Dallas forced four fumbles and an interception.

Dallas scored 21 points off Abington Heights turnovers, and held the Comets to just 99 yards in the opening half.

Abington Heights got on the board when Corey Perkins found Dante DeRiggi wide-open across the middle for the 15-yard score, but Dallas responded with 28 unanswered points for a 56-7 lead at halftime.

Late-season surge

Abington Heights, which had won three of its last five games, got things moving in the right direction with a hard-fought win over Honesdale. In that game, senior fullback/linebacker Michael Pusateri moved from guard to fullback and that gave the offense a boost.

The Comets closed out the regular season with wins over West Scranton and Wallenpaupack, yielding only seven points in each game.

In Week 10, Abington Heights limited Wallenpaupack to 166 total yards to clinch a spot in the playoffs.

In addition to the boost Pusateri provided on offense, Julian Blanco contributed 43 yards rushing and a touchdown against West Scranton and 165 yards and a touchdown against Wallenpaupack.

Mike Malone had seven tackles, Shaine Hughes had six, while Will Stevens had four and an interception against the Buckhorns.