YORK — In a dogfight for Region 4-AAA playoff positioning, the battle between Nation Ford and York went to the cats, as the Cougars won 38-8.
Both show a lot of promise. While the Cougars were battling for a top billing in the region, the Falcons were working on their best season ever in their short, five-year history.
The Falcons are looking for their first winning season and York is well on the way to its first winning season since 2006.
York was sitting at second in the region standings and the Falcons were third coming in. York will take on South Pointe High next week for the region championship.
"We got a chance to do something York hasn't done in a long time and that is win a region championship," said Cougars coach Bobby Carroll. "We are looking forward to it."
The Cougars were led by junior quarterback Spencer Carroll, who passed for two touchdowns and ran for one. Junior Lamin Yanseneh caught Carroll's touchdown passes.
York opened the fourth quarter by blocking its second punt of the game as senior Corey Dover recovered the ball in the end zone to extend the Cougars lead, which was 24-0 at that point.
The Cougars got the ball back after a failed Falcons drive and put together a long, 13-play drive which was capped by Carroll hitting Yanseneh for their second touchdown connection of the game.
Nation Ford scored with about four minutes left as backup quarterback Dalton Helms ran in from 8 yards to give the Falcons a highlight in the blowout. Starting quarterback Cameron Wells was removed in the fourth quarter.
Nation Ford moved the ball on its first attempt in the third quarter. However penalties stalled the drive on three offside calls. Nation Ford did get a pass-interference call against York, but the Falcons couldn't take advantage. The drive took up nearly eight minutes.
The Falcons defense was able to contain York in the third quarter and keep the Cougars out of the end zone.
On York's first drive in the second quarter, Nation Ford's Jordan Causey picked off Carroll in the end zone and returned it 48 yards to kill the drive and give the Falcons the best momentum they had in the half. Causey picked off two of Carroll's passes in the game.
The Cougars defense continuously blitzed Wells and had him in trouble most of the first half. Any momentum the Falcons seemed to get, York quickly contained.
With under two minutes left in the first half, York put together a 12-play drive going 78 yards before running back Lee Wright scored from 3 yards. Nation Ford aided York on the drive with a couple of penalties. Carroll had a big pass play of 25 yards to Dover to set up the touchdown.
Nation Ford fumbled the kick and gave the ball back to York at the 26. Four plays later, Carroll hit Yanseneh on a screen pass and he went 11 yards to score with 21 seconds left in the half.
Carroll completed passes to nine players during the first half.
In the first quarter, a blitz on a Nation Ford punt allowed a Cougars block and gave the ball to York at the 14 of the Falcons. York didn't waste any time using a hurry-up offense but didn't score on its first three plays and had to settle on a Matt Bostic field goal.
On York's next drive, the Cougars didn't waste any time getting into the end zone as Carroll orchestrated a seven-play drive that took only 90 seconds. Carroll capped the drive by scoring on a 9-yard run.
YORK 38, NATION FORD 8
Y - Matt Bostic 30-yard field goal
Y - Spencer Carroll nine-yard run (kick failed)
Y - Lee Wright three-yard run (2-point conversion)
Y - Carroll to Lamin Yanseneh 11-yard pass (Bostic kick)
Y - Corey Dover blocked punt (Bostic kick)
Y - Carroll to Yanseneh six-yard pass (Bostic kick)
NF - Dalton Helms eight-yard run (2-point conversion)
Rushes - yards
Comp. - Att. - Int.
Fumbles - lost
Penalties - yards
Rushing - Nation Ford: Cameron Wells 6-(-1), Daniel Jackson 20-63, Dalton Helms 1-8.
York: Lee Wright 31-131, Spencer Carroll 5-24, CJ Pendergrass 6-23, Mark Mobley 5-26, Lamin Yanseneh 1-(-5).
Passing - Nation Ford: Cameron Wells 12-23-0 73, Dalton Helms 2-9-0 8.
York: Spencer Carroll 18-27-2 167.
Receiving - Nation Ford: AK McCoy 1-3, Brandon Sturdivant 2-11, Andrew Komornik 2-11, Dijuan Ussery 7-43, J.J. McCullough 1-6, Riley Hilton 1-7.
York: Matt Bostic1-3, Josh McCoy 3-34, Reggie McClain 5-58, Hunter Nunn 1-10, Tay Neely 2-6, Qua Moore 1-2, Lamin Yanseneh 3-23, Corey Dover 1-25, Lee Wright 1-6.
Records: Nation Ford 5-4, 2-2 Region IV-AAA; York 7-2, 4-0 Region IV-AAA