NEFFSVILLE — It’s not very often that you’ll see anything but a smile on the face of Dallastown head football coach Ron Miller.
Nearly a month ago, during York-Adams League Media Day, Miller and the two seniors he brought along with him were clearly excited for what they envisioned would be a season that could end with some hardware.
In fact, many of Miller's fellow York-Adams League Division I coaches pegged Dallastown as one of the favorites to capture this year’s division title.
Now, just two weeks into the 10-game regular season, Miller and his players are anything but happy.
After a heart-breaking loss in the season opener against a Hempfield team that has now defeated Dallastown three times over the last two seasons, Miller and the Wildcats were looking to make a statement against defending District 3 6-A champion Manheim Township Monday evening.
That mission was certainly not accomplished. The Blue Streaks cruised to a 38-0 triumph in a contest that was moved back three days because of the heavy rains in the Lancaster area Friday.
“Our passing game was terrible,” Miller said. “Our running game was terrible. Our defense was terrible. Our special teams, minus the punter, was terrible. That’s pretty much all I can say about that.”
The Wildcats clearly hurt their own cause several times throughout the night. Quarterback Jordan Cook was picked off three times by the Township defense, two of which ended drives that appeared to be headed toward points.
The defense did its job on the opening drive by forcing a 28-yard field goal. The offense then drove 36 yards on 12 plays, two of which were fourth-down conversions, to the MT 44 before Cook was picked off on a pass that was under thrown.
The Wildcat defense held for the next two MT possessions, but the offense did it no favors with back-to-back three-and-outs.
After that, the Blue Streak offense found its groove behind quarterback Harrison Kirk, who threw a pair of touchdown passes late in the first half to help the home team take a 24-0 lead into the break.
Things didn’t get much better from there. With Cook struggling — he was just 5 of 21 for 44 yards to go with the three interceptions — there was less room for running back Nyzair Smith to exploit. Smith did his best by generating 89 yards of rushing on 19 carries, but the rest of the offense tallied just four yards on the ground.
The only positive that Miller gleaned from the contest was his punter, Mitch Groh, who punted eight times with an average of more than 42 yards per kick. Two of Groh’s kicks went for 50 or more yards.
The Dallastown coach, however, didn't mince words when talking about the rest of his team.
“We didn’t give great effort,” Miller said. “We’re not a mentally tough team and we’re not a focused team. We have to find guys that are ready to be part of a championship team.”
Dallastown will take on Penn Manor Friday in their final non-league contest before beginning Division I play the following week.
Dover falls to Elizabethtown: Dover also struggled in its trip across the Susquehanna River on Monday, falling at Elizabethtown in a high-scoring affair, 61-40.
Dover's game was also pushed back because of Friday's rain. Dover also fell to 0-2, while E-Town improved to 2-0.
Dover hung tough with E-Town for a while in the first half, trailing 26-14 behind Brandon Lawyer's fumble recovery in the end zone for a TD and Justin Johnson's 60-yard TD pass to Shane Klinedinst.
The Bears, however, scored the next three TDs to take an insurmountable 47-14 edge in the third quarter.
The two teams combined for more than 1,000 yards offense. Dover had 496 total yards, while E-Town had 552.
Cameron Fetrow (18 rushes, 120 yards, two TDs) and Bryce Miller (eight rushes, 119 yards, two TDs) each ran for more than 100 yards for Dover, which finished with 289 rushing yards. Johnson finished the game 11 for 21 for 192 yards with one TD and one interception.
E-Town quarterback Cole Patrick was nearly unstoppable, going 15 for 22 for 416 yards with six TDs and zero interceptions.
Dover's next game is Friday at home against Red Land.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.