RED LION — Friday night’s contest between York-Adams Division I rivals Red Lion and Central York was believed to be, by many, as one of the local games of the year.
It was the division opener for both teams, but the contest still attracted coverage from television, radio and several news sources. The anticipation for a close, entertaining game excited the fans who attended the contest at Horn Field.
Unfortunately, the game failed to live up to the hype.
The Panthers scored at will all night. The Red Lion defense had few answers against Central’s potent attack.
Mental mistakes and turnovers didn’t help the home team’s cause either.
By the time the final buzzer finally sounded, the game everyone figured would come down to the final horn never materialized.
The scoreboard said it all: Central York 58, Red Lion 7.
“This was a big one,” Central coach Josh Oswalt said after his team improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the division. “And we needed to make sure that we took care of the small things and the guys did a nice job.”
Lions start well: The home team appeared to be in good shape after taking the opening kickoff. Following four plays and two first downs, the Lions (3-1, 0-1) were near midfield and driving.
A slew of mental mistakes, however, put an end to what was a promising start. Penalties on three consecutive plays moved the Lions back from their own 45 to their own 27. Those miscues doomed the drive, which ended with a punt.
The Central onslaught starts: Then, on Central’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Beau Pribula found Taylor Wright-Rawls for a big 54-yard pass play to move the Panthers deep into RL territory.
It only took three plays from there for the visitors to take the lead when Pribula found Mason Myers for a 16-yard touchdown.
More mistakes did the Lions in on their next drive. An unsportsmanlike penalty on second down pushed the home team back inside their own 15. Then after an incomplete pass on third down, Red Lion was forced to punt.
Nic Shultz, who is both Red Lion’s QB as well as its punter, took the snap and veered right for a rugby-style kick. Shultz, however, had an open receiver on the sideline and opted to throw the ball instead of kick it.
Unfortunately for the Lions, the pass was dropped, giving the ball to the Panthers at the RL 11.
It took just three plays for the Panthers to make it 14-0 when Pribula scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns on a keeper from the RL 1.
With the CY defense putting a stranglehold on the Red Lion offense, things got quickly out of hand. The visitors pushed the lead to 17-0 on a 23-yard field goal by Nick Basile early in the second quarter.
After a defensive stop and a poor punt that went just 21 yards, Pribula called his own name on CY’s first play. The standout sophomore raced around the left end for a 43-yard score pushing the advantage to 24-0.
The only real positive for the home team all night came late in the first half. Trailing 31-0, the Lions put together a 6-play, 65-yard drive right before the intermission. Shultz, who had trouble getting the passing attack in sync all night, was 4-for-4 on the drive with the capper coming on a 15-yard pass to Gerald Zapata.
Pribula sits out second half as a precaution: While Oswalt and his team probably couldn’t have dreamed of things going as well as they did, the night was not free from trouble. Pribula sat out the entire second half as a precaution after he was dinged up late in the first half.
“He’s fine,” Oswalt said. “I wouldn’t say he’s banged up. Just precautionary.”
Kyle Fontes played much of the second half for the Panthers. The junior backup helped lead the Panthers on four scoring drives, two of which came in the first three minutes of the second half.
“Kyle has been a solid guy for us for three years now,” Oswalt said. “He does a lot of stuff for us. He plays tight end and plays d-end. He’s just a smart athlete, smart kid and he did a nice job in the second half for us.”
New Oxford up next: Oswalt and company will hope that the pass defense, which limited Shultz to just 65 yards through the air, will be up for a big task next Friday as the Panthers take on New Oxford. The Colonials feature one of the area’s top passers in Brayden Long.
“These last couple of weeks all we’ve seen is run, run, run,” Oswalt said. “And now we’re going to see a lot of passes and we have to be ready for that.”
Central York 14 16 14 14 - 58
Red Lion 0 7 0 0 - 7
CY - Mason Myers 16 pass from Beau Pribula (Nick Basile kick), 6:34
CY - Pribula 1 run (Basile kick), 4:17
CY - Basile 25 FG, 11:39
CY - Pribula 43 run (Basile kick), 9:58
CY - Brendan Harris 10 run (kick failed), 2:31
RL - Gerald Zapata 15 pass from Nic Shultz (Throne kick), 42.2
CY - Kyle Fontes 3 run (Basile kick), 10:21
CY - Isaiah Sturgis 7 run (Basile kick), 9:35
CY - Imeire Manigault 64 run (Basile kick), 11:01
CY - Blocked punt recovered in endzone (Basile kick), 8:03
First downs 12 6
Rushing yards 37-251 27-43
Passing 5-9-0 5-20-2
Passing yards 112 65
Total yards 363 108
Fumbles 2-1 1-1
Rushing: CY – Imeire Manigualt 8-85, Isaiah Sturgis 8-42, Beau Pribula 6-60, Brenan Harris 6-32, Kyle Fontes 4-20, Mason Myers 3-6, Carter Glassmyer 2-6. RL – Nic Shultz 13-15, Devyn Gurreri 10-27, Ried Anderson 3-6, Team 1-(-5).
Passing: CY – Pribula 5-8-0 112, Fontes 0-1-0 0. RL – Shultz 5-19-2 65, Randy Fizer 0-1-0 0.
Receiving: CY – Taylor Wright-Rawls 2-88, Mason Myers 1-16, Kyle Fontes 1-6, George Drivas 1-2. RL – Gerald Zapata 2-21, Fizer 1-27, Gurreri 2-17.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.