WEST YORK — There are a lot of different ways a team can dominate an opponent in a football game.
Blocking, tackling and turnovers are just a few.
Friday night at West York High School, the key to the game for Central York was something much simpler — field position.
The Panthers were able to take advantage of short fields all night against the Bulldogs. And while the final statistics weren't overly dominating on the offensive side, the CY defense aided its big-play offense time and time again.
The final result was an unsightly one for the home team. Central cruised to a 60-0 triumph to open the 2019 season.
“Overall it was just a great team win,” CY quarterback Beau Pribula said.
Panthers start fast: Indeed it was, if you were a Panther player, coach or fan. After it appeared that the WY defense was about to get a great stop on CY’s first possession of the contest, Pribula somehow eluded a heavy pass rush to get a key first-down with a 10-yard run on third down.
If the Bulldogs had been able to sack Pribula right there, who knows how different the result could have been. Instead, things spiraled out of control quickly.
After Pribula’s first-down run, the visitors took the lead for good on the next play when Imeire Manigault broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ‘Dogs compounded things when the kickoff returner stepped on the sideline at the 1-yard line. That led immediately to a CY safety when WY back Joey DeJesus was tackled in the end zone before he could even take a step, making it 9-0.
Taking advantage of another short field on the ensuing drive, starting at the WY 40, the Panthers needed just one play. Pribula called his own number for a 40-yard touchdown run to make it a 16-0 game before two minutes had even expired from the clock.
Balanced offense for Central: The Panthers were able to mix the rushing of Pribula (59 yards, two TDs) , Manigault (53 yards, one TD), Brendan Harris (41 yards, two TDs) and Isaiah Sturgis (75 yards, one TD) effectively. The Bulldogs were hard-pressed to find ways to get stops.
Central picked up 10 first downs before the West York offense was able to get its first one of the night midway through the second quarter.
“The amount of depth that we have this year is just unbelievable,” said Pribula, a sophomore who was 6 of 10 passing for 81 yards and two TDs in his first varsity start. “We have guys that are just stepping in and out. We have a lot of guys and they’re all really good.”
Panthers' defense strong: The CY defense was dominant both on the field as well as in the box score. The Panthers held the Bulldogs to minus-3 yards rushing on 25 attempts.
Even more impressive was keeping West York’s 2018 Division II all-star quarterback Corey Wise under wraps too. Wise connected on 8 of 14 attempts for 66 yards.
Tough debut for Quinones: All in all, it was certainly not the type of debut that first-year coach Ivan Quinones imagined when he took over the West York program.
“The message to my guys is that we can’t allow this one game to beat you more than once,” Quinones said. “One game does not define your season or the team that we are. I told them that adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it so we’re going to find what this team is about.”
While the Panthers were both bigger and faster in a lot of ways on both the offensive and defensive lines, Quinones pointed out that field position had everything to do with his team’s struggles.
“We have some big and fast guys as well,” he said. “But we didn’t execute the way that I know that we’re capable of executing and the way I’ve seen us execute in the past. We definitely didn’t do our defense any favors tonight.”
Tough challenges ahead: Both teams won’t be able to let Friday’s result soak in for too long. Next week presents big challenges. The Bulldogs will need to get ready for a Shippensburg side that rolled over Dover on Friday and figures to contend for a District 3 title later this fall.
The Panthers will travel to Cumberland Valley in what could be one of the most exciting games of the season. After defeating the Eagles for the first time in a long time last year, the CY boys know that repeating that feat won’t be easy. Especially since CV opened with an upset win over Bishop McDevitt on Friday night.
“We have to get ready for a really tough Cumberland Valley team,” Pribula said. “But I think that this was a good win to give us some confidence heading into next week.”
Central York 31 14 15 0 - 60
West York 0 0 0 0 -- 0
CY - Manigault 38 run (Basile kick), 10:16
CY - DeJesus tackled in endzone for safety, 10:07
CY - Pribula 40 run (Basile kick), 9:50
CY - Harris 1 run (Basile kick), 3:31
CY - Harris 2 run (Pribula run), 10.4
CY - Tomb 10 pass from Pribula (Basile kick), 7:19
CY - Pribula 5 run (Basile kick), 14.4
CY - Wright-Rawls 34 pass from Pribula (pass failed), 8:06
CY - Snapped out of endzone for safety, 4;57
CY - Sturgis 3 run (Basile kick), 3:14