Rebounding from its first loss of the season by defeating Gaffney 38-13, the York Comprehensive High School football team now shifts its focus to its homecoming game Oct. 17 against Nation Ford.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. for the Region 3-AAAA contest at the 6,500-seat YCHS stadium.
The Cougars, ranked No. 6 in the state in the South Carolina Writers Poll with a chance to move up this week, will be riding the momentum of last week’s win against the Indians.
Nation Ford fell to Fort Mill 67-38 last week, but York head football coach Bobby Carroll said he knows the Cougars need to be ready for the Falcons.
Carroll said Nation Ford has been a playoff regular under head coach Michael Allen.
“Nation Ford has one of the best receivers in the state,” Carroll said. “They have a win over us at their place. I’m sure they are confident they can have success against us this season.”
The Falcons lost more than 20 seniors from last year’s offense-minded group, as coaches continue to shift personnel on both sides of the ball; but they aren’t without weapons.
Quarterback Cole Martin completed 30 of 50 passes for 492 yards and four touchdowns against Fort Mill.
Martin completed touchdown tosses of 54 yards to Keshaun McClure, 18 yards to Ervin Lassiter, 27 yards to Jordan Helms and a 63-yard scoring bomb to Tyree Chaplin.
Carroll said he understands the significance of Friday’s homecoming to the York students and fans.
“We know homecoming means a lot to the ladies and gentlemen involved in the activities,” he said. “We will have a 20-minute half so the band can perform. We want homecoming to be for the school and for the community.”
The Cougars scored early in dismantling the Gaffney Indians. “I am proud of the kids,” Carroll said after the game. “They rebounded from last week’s loss.”
“It’s difficult to shut a team out,” he said.
Carroll credited the Cougars’ defense, spearheaded by senior Luc Greene’s fumble recovery and two interceptions.
“Coach Prince has been working with the defensive ends, and Luc came up with the two interceptions,” he said. “He’s been doing that at practice.”
Greene was elated with his own performance, he said, which also included a fumble recovery and tackles for loss.
“I am coached to react when the ball is in the air,” said Greene. “It has to do with timing and keeping up with the flight of the ball.”
The Cougars performance was no fluke, according to Carrroll: “Their front four was as good as I’ve seen in some time,” he said.
“Beating Gaffney three years in a row says a lot about our program,” said Carroll. “York had never beaten Gaffney. Our JV team beat Gaffney and we are proud of them.”
Junior center Caleb Clayton said York’s center-quarterback exchange is vital to the success of the spread offense.
“With so many reps during the season, the center snap becomes routine in the spread formation,” he said. “I also have to do good on the snap count when Deshaw lines up over center near the goal line. We have perfected that, too.”
“The key to success in our remaining region games is to continue to practice hard and to execute,” he said.
The Cougars scored two first-quarter touchdowns against Gaffney, the first on Shandon Cobb’s 16-yard touchdown reception following Greene’s fumble recovery, and the second on a five-yard Kyron Schrouder touchdown run set up by Greene’s interception.
Other scoring for the Cougars included Andrews’ touchdown passes to Schrouder of 22 yards and 27 yards, the Cougars quarterback’s two-yard run and Buddy “Morten” Anderson’s 29-yard field goal.
Andrews finished a banner performance with 26-of-39 passing, three for touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown.