YORK — Weaknesses in special teams flared up at just the wrong time for Clover High interim football coach John Barrett and his Blue Eagles in their rivalry game Friday night against York. The Cougars (9-2, 5-2 4-AAAA), spurred by a capacity home crowd, scored four of their seven touchdowns off punting errors en route to a 54-0 rout of their cross-town foe.
Following Yorks surprise win against previously unbeaten South Pointe last week, Clover (0-10, 0-7) had a lot to do to be a threat in the 100th meeting between the schools.
York senior linebacker Ty Currence made that point clear within six minutes of the first quarter when his diving effort blocked an early Clover punt before running it into the end zone himself. Three minutes later, his Shrine Bowl-bound teammate and running back Lee Wright took a looping punt 45 yards back for a score.
Clovers Evan Edmunds mishandled a punt just before halftime, which allowed Yorks Rainey Moore to recover on the 4 before Ryan scored on the next rushing play to put York ahead 40-0.
I feel sorry for Clover, said York coach Bobby Carroll. Any team who goes down 0-10 like that and fights as hard as they did deserve a lot of credit.
Clover might have had a shot of redemption during the waning moments of the game when running back Ladarius Adams moved the Blue Eagles down the field. Jackson Scott was aiming for receiver Kevis Adams when Yorks Daurice Simpson picked the ball from midair to ensure their guests came away with nothing.
With the win, York must wait for Saturday to learn its first-round playoff foe, meaning it is time to refocus for Carrolls Cougars.
Its a new season now, he told his team in the postgame huddle. Everyones 0-0 and we need to win four games. We need to use the momentum from this game to propel us as far as it can through the playoffs.
York 54, Clover 0
YHS- Ty Currence punt return from 6 yards, TOUCHDOWN (PAT GOOD), 7-0 YORK
YHS- Lee Wright punt return from 45 yards, TOUCHDOWN (PAT no good) 13-0
YHS- 2 yard run from Jesse Maturo TOUCHDOWN (2 point conversion fails, 19-0 York
YHS- 2 yard run from Ryan Moore, TOUCHDOWN (PAT GOOD), 26-0 York
YHS- 11 yard reception by Kyron Schrouder TOUCHDOWN (PAT good), 33-0 York
YHS- 4 yard run from Ryan Moore, TOUCHDOWN (PAT GOOD), 40-0 York
YHS- 18 yard reception for Tay Neeley, TOUCHDOWN (PAT GOOD), 47-0
YHS- Rainey Moore returns blocked punt from 37 yards, TOUCHDOWN (PAT GOOD), 54-0