The scoreboard operators were expected to be busy Friday night in York and eventually that materialized. After a scoreless first quarter between York and Nation Ford, the offenses got in gear and the Cougars pulled away from the Falcons for a 44-20 homecoming victory.
Nation Ford took the opening kickoff 76 yards in 12 plays before having to settle for a 31-yard field goal try. Sophomore Lexi Dressing’s attempt was wide right. Later in the quarter, York’s first scoring threat faded away when quarterback Deshaw Andrews fumbled on a sneak from the one after an 11-play drive. The Falcons recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
The Cougars’ first possession of the second quarter produced the first points of the game as Buddy Anderson booted a 22-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. On Nation Ford’s second play of the ensuing possession, senior Patch Edwards stepped in front of a Cole Martin pass and took it back 25 yards to make it 10-0.
After a three-and-out by the Falcons, it only took York three plays to go sixty yards. The final 33 yards were covered by a pass up the seam from Andrews to a completely uncovered Kyron Schrouder for the touchdown and 16-0 lead with 5:49 left in the half.
Nation Ford answered on their next drive. A defensive holding call on fourth-and-ten from the York 33 kept the drive alive. Four plays later, Martin hit Halen Burgess for a 25-yard touchdown on fourth-and-12. Burgess had 11 catches for 119 yards. The two-point conversion pass to Josh Shade cut the margin in half at 16-8.
The Cougars answered in just under two minutes on a five-play drive that covered 75 yards. Schrouder ran it in from five yards out on a jet sweep. The big play on the drive was a 56-yard catch-and-run from Andrews to Wally Wilmore that got the ball to the five. At one point, Andrews completed 17 straight passes. Wilmore hauled in five receptions for 101 yards.
York (8-1, 3-1) took the first possession of the second half 80 yards on seven plays in 1:36. Andrews hooked up with Shandon Cobb for the 27-yard scoring play to push their edge to 30-8. Andrews finished 22-for-28 for 250 yards.
After a Falcon punt, the Cougars went 72 yards with Brandon Garvin going the final 27 on a run straight up the gut for a 37-8 advantage.
The visitors did not lay down and Keshaun McClure’s four-yard scoring jaunt made it 37-14. McClure carried 18 times for 77 yards.
On the next play, Andrews was picked off by Colt Taylor at midfield after the 17 straight completions. It was only the second interception thrown all season by Andrews. Nation Ford pushed to the seven but turned it over on downs. On the next York possession, Andrews had his second straight pass intercepted, this time by Alex Stennett, again at midfield. The Falcons capitalized in three plays and two penalties. A personal foul, one of seven 15-yard penalties by York, and a pass interference put the ball at the fifteen. Martin then hit Jordan Helms for the score that cut the deficit to 37-20 with 1:58 left in the third. Helms had eight grabs for 105 yards.
The Cougars, however, put the game away on their next drive. They went 55 yards in 11 plays after a failed onsides kick. Garvin finished the drive and the scoring with his second touchdown, a three-yarder on fourth-and-one, for the final 44-20 margin. Garvin carried the ball fifteen times for 106 yards.
Standout receiver Hank Tuipulotu did not play for Nation Ford due to back stiffness.