FOOTBALL: Central York coach finds positives in loss to South Western
HANOVER — After absorbing a 42-0 pounding the week before, Central York's football team found itself in another hole on Monday night.
The Panthers trailed a strong South Western outfit, 21-0, with less than nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.
Unlike last week, though, Central had an answer this time.
The Panthers scored the next two touchdowns and were driving for a possible third score when South Western's Miles Francis intercepted a pass at his own 42-yard line and returned the ball to the Central 25. The Mustangs scored a touchdown four plays later to gain some breathing room.
South Western tacked on a another TD with 1:16 remaining in the game to secure a 35-14 victory and remain unbeaten in York-Adams Division I.
Central departed still looking for a division victory, but Panthers' head coach Brad Livingston saw enough positive things to be encouraged about the second half of the season.
"I feel good leaving here tonight," Livingston said. "We were physical, and I think we can build on this."
Central quarterback Nik Strine passed for 201 yards and a touchdown, and Panthers' tailback Shyheim Goff averaged more than four yards a carry (21 carries for 87 yards) and scored both of Central's touchdowns.
Goff gathered in a 7-yard scoring strike from Strine in the second quarter with a diving catch in the right corner of the end zone and then raced 25 yards for a TD in the third quarter. Goff appeared to be stopped on the play, but he bounced off a tackler, cut to the outside and went the distance.
"It was like a rugby scrum in there, but he bounced out," Livingston said. "Shyheim is a good, tough runner, and fortunately, we gave him some room."
Another running back, South Western's Robby Harbison, also delivered an outstanding performance.
Harbison, playing in his first game of the season, racked up 139 yards on 19 carries and barged into the end zone on two occasions.
The senior fullback, who was sidelined for the first four weeks with an ankle injury, wasn't sure at one point if he would be able to play this season.
"My doctor told me that I was done for the season, but I got another (doctor's) opinion," said Harbison, who was on crutches for 3 1/2 weeks. "It was an amazing feeling to get out and play."
Harbison scored the first and fourth touchdowns for the Mustangs.
South Western built its 21-point lead on Harbison's TD followed by touchdowns passes from quarterback Brock Geiman to Noah Staub and Jeff Green. Wes Sneeringer booted the conversion following all five South Western TDs on the night.
"We kind of got lulled a little bit when we went up 21-0, and they kind of took it to us," South Western coach Damian Poalucci said. "Give them credit."
Having played a rare Monday night game, both Poalucci's and Livingston's teams will have a short practice week to get ready for their next games on Friday. Central will be at home against New Oxford, and South Western will travel to Red Lion.
"It was weird," Livingston said when asked about the 5 p.m. Monday kickoff. "But, it was a beautiful night."
— Reach Dick VanO'Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org.