Riding the momentum of a 48-7 victory against South Pointe, York Comprehensive High School football players have shifted their focus to Chester on Friday night.
The Cougars were ranked No. 3 in the State Writers 4A poll before steamrolling South Pointe, ranked No. 2 in the state 3A poll.
While ecstatic with the Cougars’ dismantling of the visiting Stallions, York head coach Bobby Carroll said there’s work to be done before Friday’s 7:30 p.m. game.
The Chester quarterback, Tommy Sanders, “ran over us last year,” Carroll said. “Chester has great athletes and will be ready to play at their stadium. They played us a tough game last year, and we expect more of the same Friday.”
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Carroll also said that Chester has the only natural-grass turf the Cougars will play on this season.
“We’ll practice on natural grass to prepare for the game at Chester,” he said after the South Pointe game. “They have talented players. We’ll have to be ready to play like we were tonight.”
The Cyclones, a 3A team competing in a restructured region that includes Lancaster, South Pointe, Broome, Clinton and Union County, fell to Rock Hill High School’s air attack last week. The Bearcats used three quarterbacks to amass 273 passing yards en route to a 40-10 win against the Cyclones.
The Bearcats took advantage of great field position and Chester miscues throughout the game.
After falling behind 7-0, the Cyclones made it 7-3 on freshman John Erby’s 25-yard field goal.
Chester moved the ball successfully on the ground during that scoring drive, with running backs Javarious Gregory and Jalyn Reid making big gains.
The Cyclones gave the Bearcats a battle, but turnovers were too much for coach Anthony Sterling’s team to overcome.
York’s defeat of highly regarded South Pointe left smiles on the faces of Cougars fans, Carroll included.
“Our defense gave up a touchdown on the first drive and it was lights out after that,” Carroll said after the game.
“We played well in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and kicking,” said Carroll. “I am very proud of our kids.”
Carroll labeled the victory a “great win over a talented South Pointe team.”
“It was a great win for our program,” he said. “Our kids were ready to play against a top-five opponent.
“We know we still have a lot of work to do.”
The Stallions took the opening kickoff and marched down the field in eight plays, scoring on quarterback Greg Ruff’s 15-yard touchdown toss to Josh Wilkes.
After a three-and-out on their first possession, the Cougars put together a game-changing 91-yard scoring drive, with junior running back Brandon Garvin getting into the end zone to tie the score with 2:03 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars wasted little time expanding the lead, with quarterback Deshaw Andrews completing a touchdown throw to Wally Wilmore 36 seconds into the second quarter.
Garvin scored from three yards out later in the quarter, staking the Cougars to a 21-7 lead.
The first half ended in dramatic fashion, with placekicker Buddy “Morten” Anderson booting a 39-yard field goal with two seconds left.
The Cougars struck again in the third quarter following senior defensive back Mitchell Trotter’s second interception of the game. Andrews scored on a keeper and the Cougars were up 31-7 midway through the third quarter.
A touchdown pass from Andrews to Daurice Simpson and a safety pushed the Cougars ahead 40-7.
The Cougars kept the ball on the ground in the fourth quarter, content to consume the clock.
Wilmore scored a late touchdown, making several would-be tacklers miss down the sideline. After a bad snap on the point after attempt, Jordan Webster was the recipient of an improvised pass play for two points.
“Everybody was moving after the bad snap and I moved the opposite way and caught the pass,” the senior transfer from Rock Hill High said after the game. “I’ve attempted to provide senior leadership my first year with the Cougars. I talk to my teammates.”
Senior offensive lineman Travis White said the Cougars’ offensive front understands their responsibilities.
“We take pride carrying out our assignments,” said White. “It’s our job to push the defense back to make the offense go.”
“Tonight was a big win with so many players contributing.”