'Hogs' second-half surge sends Irish past Warriors
When they found themselves trailing at halftime, Liam Landis and the rest of the York Catholic linemen weren’t worried.
Landis, the large, looming leader of a sizeable group upfront for the Irish known as “The Hogs,” knew his team wasn’t in danger and would respond to the adversity appropriately.
“We’ve always been a second-half team, that’s just how it is,” Landis said. “We have so much more heart in the second half. We know what we have to do, we don’t get tired and we just play our game. I couldn’t ask for a better line, they’re my brothers, we’re ‘The Hogs,’ and that’s all we need.”
It was that important second-half surge from Landis and his crew that sent York Catholic (2-0) to a 27-17 home victory against Susquehannock (1-1) Friday night.
One large push: Landis, a senior, checks in at 6-feet, 5-inches and 360 pounds, and he’s not alone. His brother, sophomore Seamus is 6-4, 370 and Matt Knauer is listed at 6-4, 290.
They made the Warriors more than aware of their size during a punishing drive in the fourth quarter that put the game away. The Hogs helped the one-two punch of Andrew Snelbaker and Kyle Dormer pound their way down the field on an impressive 12-play, 99-yard drive that ate up a majority of the final frame.
Snelbaker would punch in his second touchdown of the night with 5:22 left to play, capping the dominant series that saw Snelbaker carry the ball five times for 47 yards. Four of those runs went for 10 yards or more.
Dormer did his damage on the drive by adding six carries of his own 37 yards.
“(Head coach Eric DePew) said he’s glad we were down in the second half,” Landis said. Because he wanted to see how we would respond and he wanted to see what kind of team we are.”
Tough on both sides: As daunting as the Irish were up front on offense, they made their presence felt on the defensive side of the ball, too. Constant pressure in the face of Warriors quarterback Kenny Rhyne saw him scrambling often, leading to a number of incompletions.
The Hogs were also present in the Warrior backfield, holding running back Kyle Orndorff to just 19 yards rushing a week after Orndorff had posted 182 yards against a tough Northern York team.
Riley Brennan helped put the Irish ahead in the third quarter with a well-executed screen pass from quarterback Wesley Burns.
Brennan caught the pass around midfield before slipping through the last line of Warrior defense and running down the middle of the field for the 55-yard score. The play gave the Irish the lead for good at 20-17 midway through the third quarter.
Big defensive stand: After Brennan busted loose to give the Irish the lead, the Warriors responded by driving the ball 69 yards using an 11-play drive of their own. The series eventually saw Susquehannock knocking on the door with a fourth-and-goal setup with one second remaining in the third quarter.
Rhyne faked a handoff before rolling to the right and thinking he had an open receiver in the end zone. However, Brennan made his second big play of the quarter by closing in late and diving to break up the pass.
The Irish were trailing 17-13 at the half thanks in large part to some opportunistic offense from the Warriors.
With the Irish ahead 13-10 in the second quarter, York Catholic forced a punt late in the frame. But when Kyle Dormer failed to signal for a fair catch, a Warrior defender promptly put a big hit on Dormer. The impact separated Dormer from the ball and the Susquehannock secured it at the Irish 19-yard line.
Three plays later, Daniel Clapp rumbled in from seven yards out to give the Warriors a 17-14 lead.
The Warriors had recovered an early fumble in the first quarter that led to them taking an early 3-0 lead on a Kyle Orndorff field goal.
Leaders: Snelbaker led the Irish with 101 yards rushing on 13 carries to along with a pair of touchdowns. Dormer posted 79 yards and a touchdown of his own on 15 carries.
“Those big guys up there, they lead the way every time for me and for Kyle,” Snelbaker said. “There’ just holes everywhere. Every play there’s just somewhere to run.”
Burns was 6 of 11 passing for 93 yards and a touchdown. Brennan was his leading receiver, catching a pair of passes for 64 yards and a score.
Rhyne was 11 of 20 for 126 yards. Alec Kramer caught four of those passes for 47 yards to lead Susquehannock. Clapp was the Warriors leading rusher with 42 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
The Irish will travel to Berks Catholic for their Week 3 contest. Up next for the Warriors is a home game against Biglerville.
“It’s huge, these games are definitely for playoff positioning, huge for your district chances,” DePew said of winning a second straight game against a larger school. “We know we’ve got a beast next week. It’s awesome to start 2-0 but we just have to keep getting better… We still have a lot of work to do.”
Susquehannock 10 – 7 – 0 – 0 = 17
York Catholic 0 – 13 – 7 – 7 = 27
Sus – Orndorff 29 field goal, 5:59
Sus – Orndorff 2 run (Orndorff kick), 1:24
YC – Snelbaker 15 run (McGraw kick), 9:52
YC – Dormer 19 run (kick failed), 6:49
Sus – Clapp 7 run (Orndorff kick), 2:14
YC- Brennan 55 pass from Burns (McGraw kick), 5:24
YC- Snelbaker 14 run (McGraw kick), 5:22
First Downs: YC, 15; Sus 14
Rushes-Yards: YC, 31-189; Sus, 31-122
Passing Yards: YC, 93; Sus, 126
Comp-Attempts-INTs: YC, 6-11-0; Sus, 11-20-0
Penalties-Yards: YC, 4-55; Sus, 5-40
Punts-Average: YC, 3-34.3; Sus, 2-12
Fumbles-Lost: YC, 3-2; Sus, 0-0
Individual Passing: YC, Burns 6-11-93-1TD; Sus, Rhyne 11-20-126-0TD.
Individual Rushing: YC, Snelbaker 14-101, Dormer 15-79, Burns 1-(-6), Massimo 1-15; Sus, Orndorff 4-19, Kramer 7-31, Trego 5-18, Clapp 12-42, Rhyne 3-12.
Individual Receiving: YC, Amalfitano 1-3, Brennan 2-64, Duncan 2-25, Sinclair 1-0; Sus, Trego 1-1, Norris 2-21, Kramer 4-47, Moroz 3-50, Myers 1-7.