Dragons Fall 34-20 to Strong Coalfield Team

York’s Landrick Leffew (11) halts a Coalfield ball carrier as Heath Rexroat (1) and Austin Johnson (17) come to assist.

After both teams came off impressive wins in their first outing on August 18, the York football Dragons and the Coalfield Yellow Jackets met on Friday, August 25 at the Dragon Pit for a battle between two solid teams.

The Yellow Jackets came into the contest ranked in the top ten Class A teams in the state, coming off a 70-0 curshing of Wartburg in their opening season game a week earlier, and York had opened their season with a 46-0 thrashing of Class 5-A Cumberland County.

The Yellow Jackets were  led by senior quarterback Parker McKinney

York’s Heath Rexroat (1) gets a few yards after recieving the ball.

, one of the premier quarterbacks in the state, who is being highly recruited by several Division 1 colleges, and looked the part of a Top-10 team, as they consistantly moved the ball throughout the contest.

McKinney threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more as the senior-laden Yellow Jackets controlled the tempo of the game for the most part, although the York defense did an admirable job of slowing Coalfield’s talented offense.

The Dragon defense held them out of the end zone twice in the first period before they managed to get on the scoreboard in their third possession on a 16-yard pass play from McKinney to fellow senior Drake Miklas to take a 7-0 advantage.

Coalfield went up 14-0 with 2:29 left in the second period when McKinney took it in from 13 yards out,  and held the 14-0 advantage at the half.

The Dragons took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together their first scoring drive of the night as Ethan Probst took it in from 6 yards out with 7:17 left to close the gap to 14-7.

Coalfield regained their two-touchdown lead with 17 seconds to play in the third period when McKinney scored on a 6-yard run to go up 21-6.

York pulled back to within a touchdown with 9:11 left in the game when Josiah Heddings intercepted a pass  and returned it 64 yards for the score and Probst ran the conversion to cut the lead back to 21-14.

York’s Cole Cooper (24) gets the ball on the kick off and gains a few yards.

Coalfield regained their 2-touchdown margin less than four minutes later when McKinney connected with senior wide receiver Michael Lowe for a 26-yard score to give the visitors a 28-14 advantage.

The Dragons again fought back and put together another scoring drive, capped by Ethan Probst’s second touchdown of the night, this one coming on a 6-yard run to close the gap to 28-20 with 3:05 to go, but the ensuing on-side kick was unsuccessful and  the Yellow Jackets got excellent field position, and were able to punch in another score late in the contest as Logan Kelly took it in from 12 yards out to give Coalfield a 34-20 lead.

A.J. Johnson returned the kickoff to the Coalfield 34, and Landrick Leffew hit Lathan Drake for a first down and then ran for another first down deep into Yellow Jacket territory before an interception by Coalfield’s Peyton McKinney in the closing seconds sealed the victory for the Yellow Jackets.

Quarterback Chad Leffew led the Dragons by completing 8 of 13 passes for 90 yards, with Lathan Drake hauling in 5 catches for 55 yards.

Heath Rexroat led the York rushing attack with 55 yards on 9 carries, with Ethan Probst adding 50 yards on 10 carries and a catch for 20 yards.

Josiah Headings led the York defense with 11 tackles, with Heath Rexroat and Thomas Cooper with 10 tackles each, Landrick Leffew with 7 tackles and Ethan Probst with 6 tackles and a sack.

Following the contest, Coach Derwin Wright said he was proud of the team despite the loss, commenting: ”We got ourselves behind in a 7-0 game — we were driving and ran a counter and just mishandled the handoff.  I felt that we were on a drive to go in and make it a 7-7 game, but we knew this quarterback was good, and he is an excellent football player.

“Honestly, I felt that I messed up trying to do too much, and I’ll take that one.  I think if we’d have just simplified the game plan a little bit, we’d have been better off.”

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