It was a game which left both defensive coordinators smiling after their respective units displaying dominating performances.
The offensive units of Chester and York combined for only 273 total yards, 14 first downs, and 14 punts in the regular season opener for both schools at the Chester High School Stadium on Friday night in York.
But it was the Cougars’ defense which forced two first-quarter fumbles, which York converted into short touchdown drives in a 14-6 victory.
York contained the Cyclones to 170 total yards — 76 rushing and 94 passing. However, the crowd left equally impressed with the Chester defense, which limited York to only five first downs and 103 total yards.
York, which moved up to Class-AAAA this season, gained 55 rushing yards, with highly touted tailback Lee Wright being contained to 15 yards on seven carries.
Cougars coach Bobby Carroll described the game as, “sloppy,” but credited his team for gutting out a tough road victory.
“We had too many mistakes; our kicking game was horrible,” Carroll said. “We had a ton of mental errors. We did come up with big defensive plays and I am happy for our kids. This is a typical first game with plenty of errors and we have plenty of work to do.”
Meanwhile, Chester coach Anthony Sterling sounded a bit more upbeat, encouraging this team to look up and move forward after hanging tough until the final minute.
“Our guys competed and played hard tonight,” said Sterling. “We could have easily hung our heads and got ourselves blown out of here after getting down 14-0 early.
“Defensively, we put ourselves in good pursuit angles and gave ourselves chances until the end. We used our speed to pursue their receivers and backs and did a good job with that.”
Chester hurt itself early with two fumbles on mishandled snaps and exchanges within the Cougars’ 20-yard line.
The first fumble was recovered at the 10, and York needed only three plays to cash in with Wright plunging 2 yards for the score. The second fumble was scooped up lineman Rominique Mobley, who ran from the 30 before being tackled at the 14.
That led to a three-play drive, which was capped by quarterback Spencer Carroll sneaking 1-yard into the end zone.
Chester, 0-1, will play Lewisville next week. York will have an open date.
York 14 Chester 6
Y — Lee Wright 2-yard run (Buddy Anderson kick)
Y — Spencer Carroll 1-yard run (Anderson kick)
Y — Quan Caldwell 20-yard pass to Melvin Jackson (run failed)
RUSHING — Chester: Tommy Sanders 18-(-10), Derrell Rambert 14-45, Jemarcus Moore 2-34, Quan Caldwell 11-(1), Lorenzo Wright 4-8, Broderick Roscoe 2-(-2). York: Lee Wright 7-15, Ryan Moore 12-34, Spencer Carroll 2-2, Tay Neeley 1-7.
PASSING — Chester: Tommy Sanders 3-8-1-24, Quan Caldwell 6-10-0-67. York: Spencer Carroll 14-27-2-55.
RECEIVING — Chester: Melvin Jackson 3-60, Malik McCullough 1-6, Jemarcus Moore 4-23, Quan Caldwell 1-5. York: Josh McCoy 6-33, Ryan Moore 3-6, Daurice Simpson 3-14, Qua Moore 1-(-1), Tay Neely 1-3.
RECORDS — Chester 0-1, York 1-0.