Dragons See Season Come to End With 42-7 Loss to Red Bank In State Playoffs

The 2017 York Football Dragons saw their season come to an end on Friday, November 10 as they traveled to Chattanooga and came up on the short end of a 42-7 score against a very strong Red Bank team in the second round of the TSSAA Class 3-A State Playoffs.

Although the Dragons had more first downs than the Lions and had almost twice the time of possession, they could not stop Red Bank’s big-play offense, which scored on six straight possessions, including three touchdowns of over 50 yards.

The Dragons made a game out of it through the first period, only trailing 14-7 going into the second frame, but the Lions added two more scores in the second period to hold a commanding 28-7 halftime advantage, and never looked back, as they added a touchdown in both the third and fourth periods to pull away to the 35-point win.

York took the opening kickoff at their 46 after a 9-yard return by Johann West, but could not move the ball and punted on fourth down, with Red Bank taking possession at their 45.

After a Dragon penalty moved the ball to midfield, Madox Wilkey found David Cosby open for a 25-yard pass completion for a first down at the 25, and three plays later Zay Brown took it in from 13 yards out and Braulio Velazqu made good his first of what would be seven point-after kicks of the night.

York got good field position on the ensuing kickoff as Austin Johnson returned the kickoff back 18 yards, but this drive stalled at the 33 when Heath Rexroat was dropped for no gain on a 4th and 5 play.

This time it only took the Lions 3 plays to score, as Wilkey connected with Calvin Jackson for a 56-yard touchdown to put the Lions up 14-0 with 3:40 left in the first period.

The Dragons responded with a 7-play, 57-yard drive to score on a 23-yard pass from Landrick Leffew to Ethan Probst, and Johann West booted the conversion to close the gap to 14-7 with 25 seconds left in the opening period.

The Lions struck quickly on their next possession, moving 67 yards in four plays, with the score coming on a 55-yard pass from Wilkey to Cosby to give Red Bank a 21-7 advantage with 10:50 left in the second period.

On York’s next possession, they were moving the ball and had picked up two first downs, before they were flagged with a personal foul penalty, which pushed them back to the 35, and were forced to again punt.

Ethan Probst’s 43-yard punt put the Lions back deep into their own territory, but they were again able to move the ball, this time putting together a 7-play, 82-yard drive to score when Zay Brown took it in form 7 yards out with 3:19 left in the half.

Penalties hurt the Dragons all night, as they were flagged 9 times for 83 yards, while the Lions were only penalized 3 times for 25 yards.  On the final possession of the first half, York began play at their 43 on a 22-yard return by Thomas Miller, but were only able to move to the Lion 35 before the half ended, with the Lions leading 28-7.

After Red Bank opened the third period by putting together a 10-play drive to go up 35-7  with 8:21 left in the third period.

York then took possession at their 28 and began moving downfield, picking up two key first downs on a 19-yard run by Austin Johnson, and a pass completion from Landrick Leffew to Heath Rexroat good for 19 yards to the Lion 29, before Calvin Jackson intercepted a Leffew pass at the 5-yard line to stop the scoring threat.

The Dragons put up a good defensive stand on Red Bank’s next possession, forcing a punt, and getting possession back at their 44 with just over a minute to play in the third period, but this drive also stalled as Ethan Probst’s pass was picked off at the Lion 13 by David Cosby.

York’s defense again held the Lions and forced another punt, but this time,  the Dragons could not overcome two costly penalties and gave up possession on downs when a 4th down pass from Leffew to Johnson came up short at the Red Bank 24.

The Lions struck quickly again, as two plays later, Calvin Jackson broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run to put his team up 42-7 with 5:40 left in the game,

York’s final drive saw them move the ball from  their 30 to the Lion 21 as the clock expired.

Ethan Probst led York’s rushing attack with 79 yards on 13 carries, with Rexroat adding 38 and Leffew 29.

Leffew also completed 8 of 16 passes on the night for 80 yards and a touchdown.

The Lions were led by Jackson, a Class 3-A Mr. Basketball contender, rolled up 162 yards and scored 2 touchdowns.

Zay Brown had 62 net yards on 17 carries and also scored two touchdowns.

Lion quarterback Madox Wilkey completed 6 of 9 passes for 179 yards, including touchdowns to Jackson and David Cosby.

In a season that was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the Dragons finished the season with a 9-3 record, advancing to the second round of the playoffs.

This was one of the most prolific offensive teams which York has had in many years, as they scored 448 points, for an average of 37.3 points per game, while giving up 254 points, for an average of 21.2 points per game.

Heath Rexroat led the rushing attack with 1,248 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, for an average of 100.7 yards per game, and 10.2 yards per carry.

Ethan Probst was close behind with 1,175 yards, and 14 touchdowns, for a 97.5 yards per game average and an average of 8.3 yards per carry.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Josiah Heddings finished the season with 118 tackles, including 26 tackles for losses, 13 sacks for a loss of 87 yards, and a pass interception.

Landrick Leffew and Cole Cooper were close behind with 89 and 84 tackles, respectively.