The big-play potential of Fairfield Central caused tremendous concern for York coach Mike Propst.
"Looking on film, they do not have many third downs," Propst said with a grin. "And do you know what that means; it means that they make plenty of big plays."
Sure enough, Propst's biggest fear became reality. The Griffins faced only four third downs in the first half, and used three big-plays to seize a 20-point halftime lead. The state's second-ranked Class AAA team left York Comprehensive High School Stadium with a 39-22 victory.
Fairfield Central quarterback Danny Miller went deep to receiver Shaquille Young for a 41-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.
But York answered, with Spencer Carroll connecting with Azievelle Smith for 19 yards later in the first quarter.
However, the Griffins reeled off 19 unanswered points. NaJahwan McKinstry ran 25 yards into the end zone on a fake field goal. Jimmy Walker ran 26 yards for another score, and Damien Bell polished off a lengthy drive with a 14-yard scamper.
"We have been making big plays all season," Fairfield Central coach Reggie Kennedy said. "We knew it was going to be their homecoming game, so we expected a good effort from them tonight."
York, 1-6 overall and 0-2 in region play, gave a solid effort. Despite the 20-point halftime deficit, the Cougars provided plenty of excitement during the final two quarters.
\Following an 85-yard kick-off return from Griffin playmaker Devontre Parnell to open the third quarter, the Cougars posted a 12-play, 55-yard drive that ended with Cor'Tavious Heath's 2-yard run.
Then, Lee Wright took a late kick off and outran the Griffin coverage for an 85-yard touchdown.
Wright, who gained 91 rushing yards, said that his teammates were not about to quit.
"I told the boys that we are going down swinging," Wright, a sophomore, said.
"If we lose, we still are going to play hard. Everyone knows that we are a young team who is expected to do better next year, and really do well our senior year.
"So we always want to keep playing hard and getting better with each game."
Carroll, also a sophomore, passed for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Fairfield Central, 6-0, will play South Pointe next week in a key Region 4-AAA matchup.
FAIRFIELD CENTRAL 39
FC - Danny Miller 41 pass to Shaquille Young (NayJahwan McKinstry kick)
Y - Spencer Carroll 19 pass to Azievelle Smith (run failed)
FC - McKinstry 25 run (McKinstry kick)
FC - Jimmy Walker 26 run (run failed)
FC - Damien Bell 14 run (pass failed)
FC - Devontre Parnell 85 kickoff return (kick failed)
Y-Cor'Tavious Heath 2 run (Carroll pass to Corey Dover)
FC-Parnell 87 interception return (DeAndre Belton kick)
Y-Lee Wright 85 kickoff return (Carroll pass to Garet Smith)
RUSHING - York: Lee Wright 18-91, Spencer Carroll 7-18, Cor'Tavious Heath 6-2. Fairfield Central: Jimmy Walker 17-92, Damien Bell 6-43, Danny Miller 6-(-3), NaJahuan McKinstry 1-25, Dana Macklin 1-23.
PASSING - York: Carroll 13-23-2-116. Fairfield Central: Miller 11-17-1-175.
RECEIVING - York: Tony Thomasson 2-9, Azievelle Smith 4-37, Cor'Tavious Heath 3-37, Lee Wright 2-21, Garet Smith 3-13. Fairfield Central: Shaquille Young 5-99, Chris Alston 2-31, McKinstry 1-27, Macklin 3-18.
Records: York 1-6, 0-2 Region 4-AAA, Fairfield Central 7-0, 2-0