Dragons Crush Cumberland Co. 46-0 In Season Opener

York’s Johann West (22) puts a stop to a Jets ball carrier’s advance as Josiah Heddings (46) and Landrick Leffew (11) come to assist.

Total domination.

That’s the best way to describe York’s 46-0 win over Cumberland County in the opening game of the 2017 football season Friday, August 18 at the Dragon Pit in Jamestown.

The Dragons, utilizing a balanced offense, jumped out to a 21-0 first period lead and held a 33-0 halftime lead in the contest, which saw six different players score touchdowns.

The York offense rolled up 285 yards rushing and 92 yards passing for a 9.2 yard per play average in the contest, while the defense held the Jets to 36 total yards in the game.

With one of the largest crowds in recent times for an season-opening game in attendance, the Dragons won the toss and elected to go on defense first, and kicked off, with the Jets taking possession at their

York’s Thomas Miller (16) gets the touchdown after receiving the ball.

35.

On a 3rd and 9 play, the Dragons were penalized for holding, which gave the Jets a first down at the 46, but York held and forced a punt, taking possession at their 29 after a personal foul penalty on the punt.

On the first play, Ethan Probst broke loose for a 31-yard gain to the Jet 40, and got 9 more on his second carry of the game.  Heath Rexroat then picked up 13 to the Cumberland County 18, Probst carried again for a gain to the 9, and Heath Rexroat took it in for the first score of the night, with Probst booting the conversion to give the Dragons a 7-0 lead with 6:14 left in the opening period.

After holding the Jets to a minus 3 yards on their next possession and forcing a punt, York got great field position at the Jet 14 as Heath Rexroat returned the punt 46 yards, as Probst took it to the 14, and sophomore Thomas Miller scored his first of two touchdowns, with Johann West booting the conversion to put the Dragons up 14-0 with 3:22 left in the opening period.

York’s Ethan Probst (36) gains a few yards after receiving the ball.

York’s defensive unit again rose to the occasion, holding the Jets to negative yards on two plays before Thomas Miller intercepted a pass at the Jet 41.

Another penalty against the Dragons forced them to start at their 44, but again, York had little trouble moving the ball, scoring in only four plays.  The big play in this drive was a 29-yard pass from junior quarterback Landrick Leffew to Probst for a first down at the 12, and Probst took it in on the next play, and West booted his second conversion of the night to put the Dragons up 21-0.

“It all starts on the line,” Coach Derwin Wright said following the game,  “And the group I’m most proud of tonight is our offensive line, who stepped up tonight and did a great job.  We’re young on the line, with only one senior–Jarrett Reed, who did what a senior is supposed to do and lead the team, and sophomores Edward Stockton at right tackle  and Zach Strong at center, juniors Thomas Cooper and Braden Wheeler, all stepped up and did a great job.”

We also had an outstanding night from our backfield.  Seniors Ethan Probst and Heath Rexroat both had outstanding nights, and AJ Johnson, another senior who we moved to wingback did a good job and sophomore Thomas Miller had an explosive night.”

The Dragons added two more scores in the second period, as Thomas Miller scored on a 10-yard run and Austin Johnson broke loose for a 30-yard score, as the York team pulled out to a 33-0 halftime advantage.

The Dragons would add two more scores in the third period, the first coming on a 1-yard run to cap a 9-play, 72-yard drive, and the second on a 29-yard pass from Leffew to Probst with 2:02 left in the period.

There was no score in the fourth period, with York backup players getting a lot of action.

Other than the large number of penalties that the Dragons were flagged for, Coach Wright was very pleased with his team’s pefrormance.

“Both the lines were awesome,” he said.  “It was a great first game.  Josiah Heddings did a great job at linebacker.  This is Josiah’s first year of football, and he’s improving by the day.  All three linebackers — Josiah, Landrick Leffew, and Cole Cooper, are players to be reconed with.

“Offensively, we’re rolling four wingbacks, with Probst our power runner, who’s going to get three or four yeards after contact.  Thomas Miller has that explosive speed, and it’s the same way with Heath Rexroat and AJ Johnson on the other side with great speed.  I thought that Heath and AJ showed great patience, especially on the outside plays, letting their blocking set up and getting behind the offensive guards.  They did a great job of understanding what they needed to do.  We also did a good job of not turning the ball over tonight, controlling the tempo and the clock, and were able to put some points on the board.”

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