VIDEO: York High head coach Russ Stoner talks after the Bearcats claim a share of the D-I title with a 54-14 win over Central York JACOB CALVIN MEYER, 717-505-5406/@jcalvinmeyer
York High’s dominating win over Central York last Friday to claim a share of the York-Adams Division I title illustrated why the Bearcats have earned a home game in the District 3 playoffs.
Senior quarterback Seth Bernstein led an offense that scored 54 points, and the defense allowed only seven points to the Cade Pribula-less Panther offense, with the other seven coming on a kickoff return.
What was most evident, though, was that running back Dayjure Stewart and wide receiver Rob Rideout are next-level players.
“I rank them No. 1 and 1A,” said head coach Russ Stoner about where he’d rank Stewart and Rideout among the York-Adams League’s top players. “The only other guy I would put in that category is Cade (Pribula).”
Both Stewart and Rideout showcased the different facets of their games: Stewart’s elegant combination of strength and speed, and Rideout’s physicality, paired with his underdog mentality.
Stewart’s running style: The senior running back, who leads the York-Adams League with 2,240 yards and 32 touchdowns, totaled 309 scrimmage yards and four scores on 29 touches in the 54-14 victory.
Stewart’s field vision and agility lead him to take any cutback he sees, and Stoner said Stewart is usually aware of the game’s situation, which determines the type of runner he is. For example, Stewart tried to hit home runs early in the game, while he immediately hit the holes with the Bearcats ahead in the fourth quarter.
“You don’t second guess a kid like Dayjure when he has the ball in his hands,” Stoner said. “It’s like anything in life. You have to take the good with the bad.”
Stewart’s strength: About four minutes into the second half last Friday, Stewart ran for his second touchdown of the game.
The 6-foot, 200-pound back took an inside handoff from Bernstein, lowered his helmet and leveled a Panthers defender before running into the end zone for the 9-yard score.
“The thing that people don’t realize about Dayjure is how dense he is and how strong he is,” Stoner said. "He’s no little boy. He’s a D-I athlete who will light you up.”
Stewart’s speed: With just less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, Stewart capped the game’s scoring with a rushing touchdown he will likely put in his highlight tape to send to college recruiters.
Stewart took an inside handoff and didn’t hesitate with the open hole his offensive line created. He hit it and demonstrated his breakaway speed for a 63-yard dash.
Stoner said college coaches often ask about Stewart’s speed, and Stoner responds with the same answer every time: “He’s fast enough.”
“When him and Rob race with Khalid Dorsey, they’re all within one step of him, and Khalid runs a 4.40 40-yard dash,” Stoner said, comparing Stewart and Rideout to the former Bearcat and current Howard University player. “He worked hard in the weight room this offseason – lots of power cleans, dead lifts, squatting. The more he continues to work and grow as an athlete, the faster he’ll get.”
Rideout’s offense: Rideout, who Stoner said would be the main focal point on most other teams, is leading the Y-A League in yards per carry and yards per reception. He’s rushed for 468 yards on 30 carries, good for a 15.6 average. He also ranks in the top six in receiving yards with 752 on 23 receptions for a 32.7 average.
“Rob has taken a backseat his whole career to Khalid and Dayjure, and he’s done a good job of handling that,” Stoner said. “His numbers are ridiculous. There isn’t a better wide receiver in the county.”
Rideout, who has totaled 19 touchdowns this season, caught a score and ran for another last Friday, but his most impressive play on offense was a 50-yard catch in double coverage at the end of the first quarter. He beat his corner and caught Bernstein’s high-arching throw over his shoulder with two defenders behind him.
“He’s been doing it his entire career,” Stoner said. “We’re going to take at least two or three shots to him every game. We’re going to give him a chance to go make plays.”
Rideout’s defense: While Rideout is putting up excellent numbers on offense on only a handful of touches a game, his biggest contribution to the Bearcats, Stoner said, comes on defense.
Late in the third quarter, Rideout high-pointed a deep ball intended for Taylor Wright-Rawls and intercepted the pass. Rideout held Wright-Rawls, a top three wideout in the league, to zero catches in the game, with freshman Beau Pribula taking over for his older brother at QB.
Some cornerbacks shy away from contact, but Rideout is the opposite. In the fourth quarter against Central, Rideout laid a big hit to a Central running back, who outweighs the 5-foot, 11-inch, 170-pound senior by more than 30 pounds.
“He’s 170 pounds, but it’s all muscle,” Stoner said. “After he hit that kid, I said that’s the difference between an (NCAA) D-I and D-II football player. The way you hit people is the difference from what level you can play at.”
Unofficial District 3 pairings set: The unofficial District 3 football pairings are out.
Eleven York-Adams teams have unofficially made the field. Official sites, times and pairings will be announced Monday.
The unofficial first-round pairings for the local teams are as follows:
No. 5 seed Red Lion (8-2) at No. 4 seed Wilson (7-3).
No. 6 seed Central York (8-2) at No. 3 seed Central Dauphin (7-3).
No. 11 seed Northern York (7-3) at No. 6 seed York High (9-1).
No. 14 seed Northeastern (5-5) at No. 3 seed Shippensburg (9-1).
No. 5 seed Gettysburg, bye.
No.. 9 seed West York (5-5) at No. 8 seed West Perry (7-3).
No. 5 seed Bermudian Springs (7-3) at No. 4 seed Annville-Cleona (7-3).
No. 6 seed Littlestown (7-3) at No. 3 seed Wyomissing (8-2).
No. 4 seed Steel-High (4-6) at No. 1 seed York Catholic (10-0).
No. 3 seed Upper Dauphin (9-1) at No. 2 seed Delone Catholic (9-1).
No. 2 seed Fairfield (2-7) at No. 1 seed Halifax (9-1).
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com.