Dragons Beat “Hogeye” 21-8

yai-ajn_0060The York Football Dragons broke a 7-year drought Friday night as they came from behind to post an impressive 21-8 win over arch-rival Livingston at the Dragon Pit.

Paced by a 144-yard, 2-touchdown effort by Ethan Probst, the Dragons took an early 7-3 lead, but saw the Wildcats come back and began chipping at the lead to go ahead 8-7 in the third period on a safety before York settled down with a dominating fourth period to post the 13-point win.

Livingston got an early break when they recovered a fumble on York’s third play of their opening possession at the Dragon 25, and scored on a field goal by Lucas Walker from 26 yards out six plays later to take a 3-0 advantage with 8:43 left on the clock in the first period.

The Dragons came roaring back, with Josh Molands returning the Kickoff 32 yards to the Dragon 39.  Ethan Probst then picked up 4 yards to the 43, but a holding penalty put the Dragons back to their 33.

Mason Cravens then picked up 9 yards to set up a 3rd and 7 situation, and found Heath Rexroat streaking down the left sideline, and threw him a strike for a 58 yard touchdown, and Probst booted the conversion to give the Dragons a 7-3 advantage  with just over 7 minutes remaining in the opening period.

The game then turned into a defensive battle, with the Dragons holdingyai-ajn_9501 the Wildcats to a minus 5 yards on their next possession, then the Wildcats only allowing York 4 yards on their next possession.

On next to the last play of the first period, York’s senior quarterback Mason Cravens was forced to leave the game with an injury, and sophomore Lathan Drake came in to direct the Dragon offense.

The defensive duel continued through the second period, with neither team threatening, and the first half ended with the Dragons holding the 7-3 lead.

Although they only had a four-point lead at the half, the Dragon defense had dominated the first half, holding the Wildcats to only 26 total yards in the first period and only 3 yards in the second period.

yai-ajn_9585The Wildcats got new life to open the second half, as Aubrey Hollars returned the opening kickoff 80 yards to the York 19 before being taken down by kicker Ethan Probst.

The Wildcats then sustainted two successive penalties, the first for having 12 men on the field, and the second for holding, setting up a second and 23 situation.

York’s Josh Molands picked off a Will McDonald pass at the Dragon 2 to stop this drive, but on the first play of this possession, Drake was caught in the end zone for a safety to close the score to 7-5.

On the ensuing kickoff by the Dragons, they successfully executed an onside kick, as they recovered the kick at the 35, but were only able to move out to the 48 before having to punt, with the Wildcats beginning play at their 14.

This time, the Wildcats put together their only sustained scoring drive of the evening, moving the ball 77 yards in 18 plays, as quarterback Will yai-ajn_9513McDonald completed 7 passes in this drive, and the Dragons were assessed a 15-yard pass interference penalty to give LA a first down at the 26.

After McDonald had completed a pass to Aubrey Hollars for 11 yards to the 14, the Dragon defense came alive to force three incomplete passes, including two breakups by Jacob McBride, to force the Wildcats to go for a field goal, which Lucas Walker drilled from 26 yards out to give Livingston an 8-7 lead with 10:44 left to play.

yai-ajn_9938The Dragon offense, which had been held to only 15 yards in the third period, then came alive to put together an 11 play, 57-yard drive to take the lead back.  On this drive, senior Ethan Probst carried the ball 7 times for 54 yards, including the final 5 yards for the score, and Lathan Drake completed a pass to Heath Rexroat for a 2-point conversion to give York a 15-8 lead with 5:34 left in the contest.  During this drive, the Dragons also had to overcome four penalties for 37 yards, including a 10-yard penalty on the extra point attempt.

After holding the Wildcats to 26 yards on their next possession and forcing a fumble, which the Dragons recovered at the 36, York drove the final nail in the Wildcats’ coffin by putting together  a 5-play, 64-yard drive, sparked by a 23-yard pickup by Cole Cooper, and three carries by Probst, including the final run of 18 yards for paydirt to give the Dragons a 21-8 lead and the win.

In addition to Probst’s game-high 144-yard performance, Cole Cooper picked up 49 yards on 8 carries, Mason Cravens had five carries for 27 yards, and Lathan Drake had 17 yards on 8 carries.

Defensively, the Dragons held Livingston to only 27 rushing yards and 78 passing yards for only 105 total offense in the contest.

The sophomore duo of Landrick Leffew and Cole Cooper again led the defense, with Leffew chalking up 7 solo tackles and 1 assist, while Cooper had 3 solo tackles and 4 assists.yai-ajn_9922

Will McDonald completed 14 of 22 passses for the Wildcats for 78 yards, while Briley Rick and Michael Ayers led the LA rushing attack with 18 yards each.

Jake Craig led the Livingston defense with 11 tackles and 3 assists.

It was a hard-fought game by two teams that came into the game with only one win between them (York at 1-4 and the Wildcats 0-5), but both teams exhibited sportsmanship and  joined together at the end of the contest for a group prayer.

This week, the Dragons (2-4 overall and 1-1 in region play) will be preparing to travel to Baxter on Friday night to take on Upperman, who defeated Cannon County 20-7 Friday night.  Upperman comes into the contest at 3-3 overall and 2-0 in the region, with wins over Cannon County and Grundy Co.).

Read this weeks Fentress Courier for all the Statistics.