Dragons Clinch Third Place In Region 4-3A With 42-10 win over Cannon Co. Will Face Signal Mountain in First Round of Playoffs November 2

The York Football Dragons clinched third place in Region 4-3A last week with an impressive 42-10 win over Cannon County on Senior Night at the Dragon Pit.

On the strength of a solid rushing attack, led by senior Cole Cooper, who had 138 net yards rushing and a touchdown on 13 carries, plus another touchdown on a fumble recovery, the Dragons saw five different players get into the scoring column.

Landrick Leffew finished the game with 83 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries, and Thomas Miller had 75 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.

As the score indicates, the Dragons controlled every aspect of the game, rolling up 20 first downs and 407 yards rushing while holding the Lions to 7 first downs and only 158 yards for the entire game.

The game started off slow for both teams.

York kicked off to the Lions and held them for a minus 1-yard on their first possession, forcing a punt.

Wade Love’s 70-yard punt put the Dragons back at their own 3-yard line, where they also went three-and-out and punted, with Cannon County taking possession on a short punt by Lathan Drake which went out of bounds at the Dragon 31.

A 15-yard run by Brady Cunningham gave the Lions a first down at the Dragon 16, but this drive stalled, as York stopped them a yard short after 4 running plays, and took possession at the 7.

This was the start of a 13-play, 93-yard scoring drive by the Dragons which was capped by Thomas Miller’s 7-yard touchdown, with Johann West booting the conversion to put York up 7-0 with 37 seconds left on the clock in the first period.

Cannon County’s next possession was stopped when Cole Cooper picked up a Tyler Bundy fumble at the Lion 40 and returned it for the touchdown to give the Dragons a 13-0 lead after the conversion kick by West failed.

On the ensuing kickoff, Cannon County’s Jamal Barrett took the kick at the 22 and returned it to the York end zone, but an unsportsmanlike penalty for taunting was called at the 10-yard line, erasing the touchdown and taking the Lions back to their 25.

From that point, the Dragons held the Lions to only 4 yards in 4 plays and took over on downs at the 20, to begin another long scoring drive, this time covering 80 yards in 12 plays, with the score coming on a 10-yard run up the middle by Ben Cooper, with quarterback Landrick Leffew connecting with Thomas Miller for the 2-point conversion to put the Dragons up 21-0 with just over 2 minutes left on the clock before halftime.

York would add two more scores in the third period, including a 64-yard scamper by Landrick Leffew to put the Dragons up 27-0, and another long run of 60 yards by Cole Cooper.

The Dragons added a final touchdown on a 5-yard run  by Lathan Drake in the final period.

Cannon County managed to get on the scoreboard in the third period when Hayden Sanders booted a 28-yard field goal to cap a 6-play, 55-yard drive, and added a late touchdown with just over two minutes remaining in the game when Tyler Bundy took it in from 9 yards out and Hayden Sanders booted the conversion to make the final score 42-10.

Tyler Bundy led the Cannon Co. offense with 14 carries for 78 yards and their only touchdown.  The Lion defense was led by Lucas Clark with 13 tackles and 4 assists.

Following the game, a very happy Coach Derwin Wright commented:

“We look back at the Sequatchie County game and what could have been if we had been able to take that win and finish at first or second, but our kids responded well and came out with two big wins to finish the season.  They came out here tonight on senior night and took care of business.  I’m so proud of all 15 seniors, and glad that we were able to get them all some playing time in their last game on the home field.

“It was just a great atmosphere here tonight, Coach Wright added.  “I’m  so proud of our kids and what they’ve accomploished this year to finish the regular season with an 8-2 record.  That’s a pretty danged good record.  We start a new season next week on Friday, and it looks like we’ll be traveling to Signal Mountain.  They came up here last year, so we’re returning the trip this year.

“Cannon County is a physical team, and it was a very physical game tonight,” Coach Wright continued.  “They were physical, but they didn’t play too smart for a few key plays.  We’ve had a few times like that ourselves this year.  They turned the ball over, which is something you can’t do in a big game.  We had some younger players in who don’t get a lot of reps and they had a couple of fumbles, but the varsity did a good job of executing and taking care of the football tonight.  We have a few players banged up, but by playing tonight, it will give us an extra day to get over the injuries, and hopefully we’ll be at 100% next week.  We made a few mistakes tonight, but we also got a few breaks, like the penalty that erased their first touchdown.”

When asked what he was expecting from Signal Mountain this week, Coach Wright said:  “Signal Mountain started the year with a 4-game losing streak, but they haven’t lost one since.  They’ve been rolling, and they have a very potent passing game as well as a strong running game.  They’re a lot like Upperman, so we know we have our work cut out for us.

“I feel good about our defense.  We made a few changes tonight which I think that helped us put more pressure on the quarterback, and we’re going to need that again next week.  Signal Mountain is a solid team that has gotten better as the year progressed, and I think they’re better than they were last year, and have a lot of players back from last year’s team.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier.