After winning 35-9 against Sumter to open the season, the York Comprehensive High School football team shifts its focus to Irmo this week.
The Cougars will host the Columbia-based Yellow Jackets at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the YCHS stadium in a nonregion game.
Cougar head football coach Bobby Carroll said the Irmo football program is on the rise.
“They have a good nucleus of players back this year,” he said. “Their offensive line honestly is unbelievable at 305, 285, 315, 340 and 320.”
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Carroll said the Irmo quarterback throws the ball well and is an electrifying runner. “We’ll have to play flawless football again offensively and defensively,” he said.
Irmo did not play in week zero, and Carroll said he would prefer opening the season the following week.
“It was extremely muggy at Sumter,” he said. “It had rained and there was a lot of humidity down in that hole. We had several players cramp up. Playing in week zero is not conducive to the way we do things around here.”
Against Sumter, York took a 14-0 first-quarter lead.
After forcing the Gamecocks to punt in the initial offensive series, the Cougars set sail on a 72-yard scoring drive, highlighted by senior quarterback Cameron McKinney’s 35-yard touchdown toss to junior wide receiver Wally Wilmore.
Junior placekicker/punter Myles Prosser, who was true on all of his point after attempts, split the uprights, stakingYork to a 7-0 lead with 8:16 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Cougar defense forced another three-and-out, a bad snap left the Cougars at the Sumter 25. Moments later, senior running Brandon Garvin penetrated the end zone from the 18, breaking tackles along the way.
The Cougars dotted the scoreboard again in the second quarter on a 9-yard McKinney run following a Javione Matthews interception.
“It was my first interception as a varsity player,” said Matthews, a junior defensive back. “I do what my coaches tell me to do. I play my zone.”
A bad center snap resulted in a safety for the Gamecocks with 4:31 left in the half. Russell Jenkins scored Sumter’s lone touchdown from 5 yards out.
The Cougars added two more scores in the third quarter to seal the win on 1-yard plunges by McKinney and Garvin.
“The kids really played well,” Carroll said. “We’re proud of them. I’d really like to thank the York fans. That was a huge crowd down there. Our kids kind of thrive off that.”
Carroll said there was marked improvement from previous scrimmages. “Not turning the football over and not blowing coverage is a huge part of winning, and our kids did that,” he said.
The YCHS coach saw improved quarterback play in the win over Sumter.
“Cameron played several varsity football games last year before transferring from Rock Hill,” he said. “We’re proud of him and proud of the whole team.”
Carroll lauded the play of the offensive line.
Carroll said York coaches Timmy Boyd John Moorefield “worked all week getting those guys ready to play. We’re missing Danny Warren and hope to get him back in a couple weeks.”
McKinney was all smiles after the game. “It feels good to get that first win out of the way,” he said. “We were a more cohesive offensive unit than last Friday.”