Dragons Hang Tough In 42-21 Loss To Strong White County Warriors

Yai IMG_6187Although they came out on the short end of a 42-21 score Friday night against White County, the York Dragons showed a lot of determination and grit against the Class 5-A Warriors.

The game was much closer than the score indicated, as White County only had two more first downs than the Dragons (18 to 16), and only 34 more total yards offense (430 to 396).

The big difference was in the Warriors’ running game, which rolled up all their yards on the ground.

Chris Richmond led the strong Warrior ground game, rushing for 209 yards and 5 touchdowns on 25 carries.

YAI IMG_6214The Dragons had a more balanced offense, picking up 286 yards on the ground and another 110 passing.

Ethan Probst led York’s rushing attack with 201 yards on 20 carries, while quarterback Mason Cravens added 65 yards on a dozen carries with one touchdown.

Heath Rexroat had two carries for 20 yards and one touchdown.

Cravens was also 13 of 23 in the passing department for 110 yards, including a 41-yard scoring strike to Ethan Probst.

The Dragons, who put up a strong showing against Stone Memorial in the opening game a week earlier, lost little time in getting on the scoreboard, as they took the opening kickoff and moved downfield to cap a 62-yard, 6 play drive when Ethan Probst took it in from 18 yards out and then booted the converison to put the Dragons up 7-0 with only 1:45 gone off the clock.

A key play in that drive was a 3rd down 18-yard pass completion from Mason Cravens to Heath Rexroat to keep the drive alive.

White County’s first possession of the game was stopped short when Cole Cooper recovered a Jason Isom fumble at the Dragon 45, but  a penalty moved York back to the 29, and three plays later the Warriors got the ball back when Trey Brewington recovered a Heath Rexroat fumble at the Dragon 34, and Chris Richmond carried the ball six times of the 7-play scoring drive when he took it in form 4 yards out and Andrew Cantrell booted the conversion to knot the score at 7-7 with 4:43 left in the opening period.

York went 3 and out on their next series, with the Warriors then putting together another scoring drive of 60 yards, this time mixing up the rushing of Richmond with Jake Shockey, Kendrick Leftwich, with the big play coming on a 40-yard run by Jeremiah McCurry who was run down by Adam Knepp at the one setting up Richmond’s 1-yard dive into the end zone for the score, with Cantrell’s PAT boot giving White County a 14-7 advantage with 13 seconds left in the opening period.YAI IMG_6331

York then took the ball on their own 20, with Ethan Probst getting loose for a 45-yard power run up the middle for a first down at the White Co. 35.  After two incomplete passes, Cravens connected on a 4th down pass to Josh Molands for a first down at the Warrior 20, and Probst took it the rest of the way on rushes of 10, 4, and a 6-yard touchdown run, and again booted the conversion to tie the score at 14-14.

The Warriors covered an attempted on-side kick at the York 48, and only took one play to get back on the scoreboard, as Richmond took it home for a 52-yard run and then ran the 2-point conversion to give Sparta a 22-14 advantage with 9:02 remaining in the first half.

The Dragons were also plagued with penalties in the second period, getting four penalties called for 37 yards and twice stopping potential scoring drives.

The third period turned into a defensive duel, with the Dragons defense having to stay on the field for more than 9 minutes of the 12-minute period, as York only had one possession in the period.

White County would score three more times in the final frame, the first coming on a 7-yard run by Jake Shockey to cap a 94-yard, 16-play drive with 11:42 to go in the game, and less than two minutes later, adding another score as Richmond scored his fourth TD of the night from 48 yards out to go up 36-14.

York then struck quickly, as Cravens connected on a 41-yard pass play to Ethan Probst to close the gap to 36-21, but that would be as close as they would come, as the strong Warroir offense put the game away minutes later when Richmond took it in from a yard out for his fifth score of the night to cap a 6-play, 49 yard drive and give the Warriors the 42-21 victory.

On the defensive side of the ball, Jacob McBride led the Dragons with 9 solo tackles and 6 assists, while Cole Cooper had 11 solo and 3 assists.

Justin Farris led the Warriors in defense with 11 tackles and 7 assists.

This week, the Dragons will see their first Region 4-3A action when they travel to Smithville to take on the DeKalb County Tigers, the pre-season pick to take the Region title.

Read this weeks paper to get all the statistics.