A relentless second quarter from the Nation Ford Falcons put them over the top of the York Cougars 28-16 as they took advantage of several Cougar mistakes.
Nation Ford returned Friday night to the scene of one of their biggest wins in program history, last year’s playoff victory over York on the road. And again felt at home as they got rolling in the second quarter.
Nation Ford head coach Michael Allen said their defensive play was key.
“Defensively, we played our hearts out,” Allen said. “And offensively we took advantage. We are growing and I feel like we are in a good spot.”
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York started sophomore Ethan Mitchell at quarterback, taking place of senior Shandon Cobb, who had played quarterback, but was dealing with an injury. Mitchell tried to make something happen on York’s first series, but the Cougars were forced to punt after just three plays.
With good starting field position, York was able to put together a drive turning to senior Paul Moore to move the ball on the ground. The Cougars were able to move the ball well and got in field-goal range. Facing a fourth down, they turned to senior Myles Prosser, who booted a 38-yard field goal to give them an early lead.
Nation Ford finally put something together on a first-quarter drive as senior quarterback Kirk Rygol connected with sophomore Dewuan McCullum for 68 yards to put the Falcons at the 1-yard line where senior Corbin Tesimale would score to put the visiting team ahead.
With about two minutes left in the half, York was able to get to the 1-yard line, but facing a fourth down, they were not able to score just a few feet from the end zone.
In the second half, York was able to score after Mitchell hit Cobb for a 31-yard touchdown after the Cougars intercepted the ball from Nation Ford on the Falcons’ first series in the third quarter.
The Falcons were able to score three touchdowns in 3:07 in the second quarter with the help of a couple turnovers and some long passes from Rygol to McCullum to open the game for Nation Ford. With the three touchdowns, Nation Ford went up from 7-3 to 28-3 as Rygol and McCullum connected four times for 117 yards in the first half.
For the second straight week, York fell behind in the first half, this time in a big 25-point hole in the second quarter, and wasn’t able to dig out. Turnovers also hurt both teams, but especially the Cougars as Nation Ford was able to take advantage.
In the second quarter, the Falcons were able to recover a fumbled punt from York and start at the Cougars 34-yard line. Five plays later, Rygol hit senior Trey Morris for a 24-yard touchdown to extend the Nation Ford lead. On the start of the next series for York, another fumble from the Cougars gave the Falcons even better field position, where they again would score.
Nation Ford also had issues with turnovers as their second fumble in the game, coming in the third quarter, resulted in a 26-yard touchdown return by York’s Dondre Douglas.
York head coach Bobby Carroll admitted the second quarter was an obstacle they couldn’t overcome.
“We played some bad football in the first half,” Carroll said. “We looked like a JV team. I am proud of our fight in the second half.”
Nation Ford 28, York 16
Y - Myles Prosser 38-yard field goal, 4:03
NF - Corbin Tesimale 1-yard run (Skyler DeLong kick), 2:43
NF - Trey Morris 24-yard pass from Kirk Rygol (DeLong kick), 7:09
NF - Harry Goodwin 5-yard run (DeLong kick), 4:46
NF - Alex Stennett 10-yard pass from Rygol (DeLong kick), 4:02
Y - Shandon Cobb 31-yard pass from Ethan Mitchell (Prosser kick), 9:24
Y - Dondre Douglas 26-yard fumble return (Prosser kick), 5:19
Records: Nation Ford 2-1, York 0-3.