Following a pair of loss, the York High School football team needed a win.
They got it Friday night at Nation Ford.
The Cougars used a 21-point outburst to start the second half, rolling to a 42-28 win over their Region III league rival.
“I’m just proud of these kids. We’ve had a rough two weeks,” York coach Bobby Carroll said. “This team could have folded up, and we could have lost three in a row. But they didn’t. They came over here and played a really good Nation Ford team.”
Nation Fort had beaten Gaffney, which beat York 51-20 last week. But Friday’s 35-14 deficit early in the second half was too much for Nation Ford to overcome.
“That’s always going to be tough for anybody,” Nation Ford coach Michael Allen said. “You get a little complacent on the field, don’t execute, and then all of sudden you’re down three touchdowns.
“We’ll bounce back. You just keep fighting, come out next week and execute.”
York quarterback Wally Wilmore, who fumbled in the first half, opened the second half with a 49-yard touchdown to break a 14-14 tie. On what was supposed to be a pass, Wilmore scrambled to his left and darted up the sideline before cutting back across the field. The Cougars blocked beautifully downfield, especially receiver Javione Matthews, who escorted Wilmore into the end zone.
Wilmore’s scramble sparked the Cougars, who got a 51-yard Brandon Garvin touchdown on their next possession. On the ensuing Nation Ford possession, Zion McClinton picked off Falcons quarterback Cole Martin and returned it 50 yards to the 1. Three plays later, Wilmore had his second rushing touchdown of the quarter.
McClinton’s interception came at a point when the Falcons, who had won five straight, were hoping to answer the consecutive York scores. “McClinton’s interception was huge,” Carroll said The Cougars pestered Martin the entire night, with sacks from Deivonne Chalk, Kyle Ersek and Joe Gill, who had two sacks. Martin completed just 22 of his 44 pass attempts for 359 yards.
Nation Ford tight end Hank Tuipulotu committed to BYU over the summer, so it was only appropriate the 6-foot-3 senior went off against the Cougars Friday night.
Tuipulotu had seven catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. He finished with 10 receptions for 194 yards and aw his brother, Ben, intercept a pass in the first half.
“He’s a tremendous person, a tremendous football player and it means a lot to this program,” Allen said. “He’s a great athlete and he performed very well.”
Carroll said senior defensive back Nick Sturgill, who was placed onto a gurney following a collision with McClinton, will be fine.
“That was all precautionary,” Carroll said. “He kind of got his head whipped, but he knew who he was, moving all of his extremities. He knew who we played last week, knew the score. He wanted to get back up and play, but you just don’t mess with any kind of deal like that.”
York 42, Nation Ford 28
NFHS – Hank Tuipulotu 58 pass from Cole Martin (Lexi Dressing kick) 2:25
YHS – Javione Matthews 57 pass from Wally Wilmore (Myles Prosser kick)7:25
NFHS – Tuipulotu 19 pass from Martin (Dressing kick) 3:39
YHS – Wilmore 1 run (Prosser kick) 0:14.3
YHS – Wilmore 49 run (Prosser kick) 10:11
YHS – Brandon Garvin 51 run (Prosser kick) 7:28
YHS – Wilmore 1 run (Prosser kick) 5:06
NFHS – Josh Shade 9 pass from Martin (Dressing kick) 3:01
YHS – Jordan Gaines 41 run (Prosser kick) 11:17
NFHS – Colby Ridge 21 pass from Martin (Dressing kick) 5:54
RUSHING: York: Tyquan McCray 19-123; Brandon Garvin 19-116; Wally Wilmore 13-102; Paul Moore 3-12; Shandon Cobb 2-4; Kamian McClain 1-(minus) 1. Nation Ford: Cole Martin 10-31; Tyree Chaplin 7-16; Rayquwan Taylor 5-4; Jordan Helms 1-(minus) 5.
PASSING: York: Wilmore 9-13-1-1, 121 yards. Nation Ford: Martin 22-44-1-4, 359 yards. .
RECEIVING: York: Javione Matthews 4-87; Moore 2-26; Garvin 1-13; Antonio Hardy 1-5; Cobb 1-0. Nation Ford: Hank Tuipulotu 10-194; Josh Shade 6-80; Colby Ridge 3-44; Taylor 2-18; Alex Stennett 1-23.
RECORDS: York: 5-3, 1-2 Region III League; Nation Ford: 5-2, 2-0 Region III.
On Deck: York plays host to Ford Mill. Nation Ford travels to Northwestern.