YORK — With a 56-24 conquest of Fort Mill behind them, the unbeaten and Top 10 ranked York Comprehensive High School football team travels to Lancaster Friday.
Kickoff time for the Region 3-AAAA clash is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Bruin Country.
“We’ve seen Lancaster on film,” Cougar head coach Bobby Carroll said. “They have a good quarterback and outstanding receiver on the offensive side of the ball.”
He said their coach, Bennie McMurray, “is legendary in North Carolina and South Carolina.”
Carroll said Lancaster played No. 1 ranked Northwestern High School a better game than the score indicated. “It’ll be a challenge for us Friday night,” Carroll said.
The Lancaster Bruins fell to Nation Ford 42-19 on Oct. 4 in a game that could have been closely-contested had it not been five first-half turnovers. With senior quarterback Dalton Helms leading the way, Nation Ford took advantage of the turnovers and won handily.
The Bruins came out in the third quarter clicking on all cylinders, converting four first downs. However, two costly penalties, one that resulted in a Jay Hood touchdown being called back, kept Lancaster out of the red zone.
The Bruins scored a touchdown to start the fourth quarter on a 48-yard aerial from quarterback Keedarius Truesdale to Hood.
Lancaster got on the board to start the second quarter with another TD toss from Truesdale to Hood, this one covering 28 yards.
The Cougars’ high-octane offense continued to roll in the homecoming win over cross-county rival Fort Mill.
Senior running back Ryan Moore, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, ran for two touchdowns and 66 yards in the first half and added a third touchdown to help seal the win.
Cougar quarterback DeShaw Andrews, who stands 6-4 and tips the scales at 230 pounds, had another productive night with 332 yards passing and four touchdowns.
Andrews distributed the ball to multiple receivers, with Daurice Simpson accounting for 118 receiving yards and Josh McCoy at 102. Markel Castle just missed the 100- yard club with 96 receiving yards.
The teams traded touchdowns in the early going, but York’s defense tightened up after the first quarter.
“Our defense was able to adjust to the option series after the first quarter,” said Carroll. “We got the right combination in there. It’s difficult to prepare for an option team. Our defense is geared for stopping the spread formation.”
While recognizing that there’s still work to be done, Carroll lauded the Cougars’ play on both sides of the ball.
A highlight of the game was Dario Brown’s fiercely-delivered crack block on a punt return late in the second quarter.
Brown’s Jadeveon Clowney impersonation worked several thousand Cougar fans into a frenzy.
I wasn’t trying to hurt the Fort Mill player, just making a play,” Brown said of the hit. “It picked us up. We played better after the crack block.”
Brown’s special teams gem got Carroll’s attention. “I haven’t seen a hit like that since a hit Clowney made when I coached at South Pointe,” said the YCHS coach.
Carroll commended the Cougar defense for responding to the challenge, in particular a fourth down stop in the second quarter when Ethan Whitesides got into Fort Mill’s backfield.
“The fourth down stop was big, holding Fort Mill on four downs,” Whitesides said. “I think it gave our offense a lift. We have a young defense that is improving. The key is to practice hard and give it all you’ve got.”
Carroll said the Cougars didn’t execute well in the third quarter, much like the previous game. “That happens sometimes when a team has a big lead at the half,” he said. “But our kids responded. I am proud of them. We’re happy to be 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the region.”
York got on the board on its first possession when Kyron Schrouder was on the receiving end of a 35-yard Andrews TD toss. Andrews also delivered touchdown passes of 42 yards to Castle, 85 yards to Simpson and a 16-yard TD toss to McCoy.
Moore scored three touchdowns on runs of 1, 3 and 4 yards. The Cougars closed out the scoring on a 22-yard TD aerial from senior quarterback Jerome Pettaway to Castle.