VIDEO: York Catholic head coach Eric Depew discusses his team's 24-3 win over Susquehannock and QB West Burns. JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
GLEN ROCK — Wes Burns was York Catholic’s backup quarterback to start the season.
As the starter against Susquehannock, however, Burns played nothing like a backup. In a game that was suspended at halftime last Friday because of lightning, the senior completed 10 of 13 pass attempts for 165 yards and two touchdowns Monday in York Catholic’s 24-3 nonleague win over the Warriors.
“We were confident with him and knew he could handle it,” said York Catholic head coach Eric Depew. “He knows the system. There’s an understanding of what’s going on there. We feel confident that we can throw guys in and that we won’t miss a beat.”
Burns was York Catholic’s starter at times last season, when the Fighting Irish went 8-3 and were York-Adams Division III co-champions. Sophomore Mitchell Galentine, who started at Eastern York as a freshman, enrolled at York Catholic (3-0) and started the first two games under center in 2018 for the Fighting Irish. Galentine, along with starting running back Cole Witman, didn’t play against Suquehannock. Depew wouldn’t comment on the status of Galentine or Witman.
“We knew the pressure was on us,” Burns said. “We knew we had to step up and fill in places. We stepped up and we did our best. We knew we could do it. Both of us are confident in the way we can play.”
Steady rushing attack: Joining Burns as a new starter was Massimo Antolick, who ran for 73 yards and a touchdown.
“We had great blocking,” Antolick said. “I had a big hole every time.”
“He’s a tough young man,” Depew said. “(Antolick) is a hard-nosed kid. He runs well, and he did a nice job with his jump cuts. I like how we’re falling forward to get positive yards.”
Time-consuming first drive: Susquehannock (1-2), the Y-A D-II defending champion, started off the game almost as well as the Warriors could've hoped.
Susquehannock used almost the entire first quarter — 10 minutes, 41 seconds to be exact — on their first drive. The Warriors and their Wing-T offense methodically drove 61 yards on 18 plays to wear down the Irish defense, but couldn't capitalize in the red zone and settled for a 26-yard field goal. Dustin Shipley's low kick narrowly made it over the crossbar to give the Warriors a 3-0 lead.
"I was happy to get (three) points out of it," Susquehannock head coach Steve Wiles said, contrasting it with his team's 28-7 loss to Littlestown last week. "We talked about it last week when we couldn't get points out of drives. It would've been nice to have a touchdown, but at least we got points out of it."
Irish play copycat: After both teams traded punts on three-and-out drives, Catholic took a page out of Susquehannock's book.
The Irish scored a TD after driving 72 yards in 7:33. The drive was capped off by a 15-yard scoring pass from Burns to Benjamin Moir. Burns hit Moir on a screen and the senior wide receiver weaved his way into the end zone.
Irish dominate second half: After Catholic was forced to punt to start the second half, Susquehannock’s Harry Pecunes shot life into the Warriors with a 22-yard run on the first play of their drive. After that, it was all downhill for Susquehannock.
The Warriors gained only 28 more yards on offense, while the Irish scored 17 more points to win convincingly.
Antolick ran for a 5-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put the Irish up 14-3. The TD was set up by a 28-yard pass from Burns to Moir.
Catholic’s next TD was its most impressive of the game. Around midfield, Burns rolled out to his left and the right-hander threw a perfect pass on the run to Manuel Montes for the 47-yard score.
“We knew what they were going to do coverage-wise,” Burns said. “We knew that we could get them deep and push them vertically. We have faith in our line and our receivers.”
Nicholas DeMarco tacked on a field goal halfway through the fourth quarter to put the Irish up 24-3.
On defense, the Irish allowed only 91 total yards and sacked Susquehannock quarterback Kenny Rhyne three times.
VIDEO: Susquehannock head coach Steve Wiles discusses his team's suspended game against York Catholic, which the Fighting Irish lead 7-3 at halftime. JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
Suspended game preparation: This match-up was the only Y-A game that was suspended or postponed this past weekend, as opposed to the six games postponed the weekend before. Burns said staying focused after a nearly-72-hour layoff was challenging, but crucial to the team’s successful second half.
“Coming in, we were ready all weekend and had to stay focused and get in that mindset,” he said. “We had to prepare for it and come out firing.”
York Catholic and Susquehannock will start league play Friday on short rest. Susquehannock travels to Dover (1-2), while York Catholic hosts defending D-III co-champ Littlestown (3-0). Both games start at 7 p.m.
York Catholic 0 7 7 10 — 24
Susquehannock 3 0 0 0 — 0
Susquehannock: Dustin Shipley 26-yard field goal, 1:19 (Susky 3, YC 0)
York Catholic: Benjamin Moir 15-yard pass from Wesley Burns (Nicholas Andrasi kick), 2:56 (YC 7, Susky 3)
York Catholic: Massimo Antolick 5-yard run (Nicholas Andrasi kick), 4:36 (YC 14, Susky 3)
York Catholic: Manuel Montes 47-yard pass from Burns (Nicholas Andrasi kick), 11:50 (YC 21, Susky 3)
York Catholic: Nicholas DeMarco 34-yard field goal, 6:53 (YC 24, Susky 3)
Total offense: 329 yards
Sacks: 3 for 16 yards
Total offense: 91 yards
Sacks: 2 for 8 yards
Wesley Burns: 10-12 passing, 165 yards, 2 TDs; 11 carries, 28 yards (sacked 2 times for -8 yards)
Massimo Antolick: 16 carries, 73 yards, TD
Cormac Sterling: 5 carries, 31 yards; 2 reception, 13 yards
Jabbar Sease: 5 carries, 28 yards
Manuel Montes: 4 receptions, 61 yards, TD
Benjamin Moir: 3 reception, 82 yards, TD
Noah Kiel: 1 reception, 10 yards
Muaaz Byard: 1 carry, 4 yards
Kenny Rhyne: 1-5 passing, 7 yards; 10 carries, 6 yards (sacked 3 times for -16 yards)
Daniel Clapp: 13 carries, 36 yards
Allen Clapp: 6 carries, 26 yards
Harry Pecunes: 4 rush, 21 yards
Conner Kernan: 2 reception, 14 yards
Matt Allen: 1-2 passing, 7 yards
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org