EMIGSVILLE – For the second time this season, a highly-touted York-Adams League Division I showdown involving Central York failed to live up to the hype.
Friday’s clash between the Panthers and the Bobcats from Northeastern was decided well before the first half was over. The Central offense was able to dial up big plays, while the top-ranked Panther defense smothered the league’s No. 1 offense.
Led by a big night from sophomore quarterback Beau Pribula, as well as two big scores by the defense, Central cruised to a decisive 57-7 triumph.
The Panthers improved to 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the division, while the Bobcats fell to 6-2 and 3-2. Central has now outscored its five D-I foes, 254-28.
Just a month ago, Central dominated Red Lion, 58-7, in a game that also received a lot of pregame hype.
“There’s been an emphasis this offseason on improving the defense,” Central coach Josh Oswalt said. “We put a lot of our best players on that side of the ball and we put some guys in position to do well.”
George Drivas returned an interception 23 yards for a score midway through the first quarter to put the home team ahead 15-0. Kairyn Brown added another score for the CY defense with a 25-yard fumble return that made it 29-0 just over a minute into the second period.
“There were some flashes of some really good football going on out there,” Oswalt said.
Shutting down the Bobcats: The Bobcats, who came into the night leading the league in offensive yards per game at 391.7, were limited to just 170 total yards of offense.
“They’re a good defense,” Northeastern coach Jon Scepanski said. “But we hurt ourselves at times, and when you play a really good football team like that, you can’t make those kinds of mistakes.”
The most costly of those miscues came early in the second quarter for the Bobcats. Quarterback Zech Sanderson found Jordan Lagana for what would have been a 67-yard touchdown pass only to have it called back because of a holding penalty.
Two plays later, Brown was able to strip the ball from Capo at the NE 25 and race into the end zone untouched to make it 29-0.
“Penalties certainly didn’t help us tonight,” Scepanski said.
The yellow flags did no favors for the home team on Homecoming night. The Panthers were flagged for eight penalties that cost them 107 yards, a fact that really frustrates a coach such as Oswalt.
“It was just undisciplined play on our part,” Oswalt said. “We were out of alignment on some plays. So we’ll have a lot of things to look at on film tomorrow and for practice. Fortunately we have a lot of good talent.”
Big night for Pribula: That talent has been on display throughout the season. Pribula missed some time because of a shoulder injury he suffered in the blowout win over Red Lion earlier in the year. Without their starting signal caller, however, the Panthers suffered no drop-off.
“Beau got hurt and we didn’t miss a beat,” Oswalt said. “Beau is one of our captains and arguably one of our best players, but not having him we just continued to generate momentum on the offensive side of the ball.”
Pribula completed 10 of 13 throws for 187 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball four times for 59 yards and a score.
The Panthers, who will visit Dallastown (2-6, 1-4) next week, racked up 242 yards on the ground. Isaiah Sturgis led the team with 88 yards rushing, while Jahmar Simpson added 64 yards and two TDs in the victory.
Northeastern standout Manny Capo managed to break 100 yards of rushing for the contest with a strong second half that included a 29-yard TD run for Northeastern’s only score. Sanderson, who was fifth in the league in passing entering the night, managed just 65 yards through the air. The senior was 9 of 17 throwing, including one interception.
Friday’s disappointment is something that Scepanski is hoping his team will quickly shake off heading into a big game next week against York High (6-2, 5-0).
“After we lost to Red Lion, we did a nice job of coming back against South Western,” Scepanski said. “And we have another tough opponent next week in York High and they’re a good football team so we’ll have to try to rebound again.”
Northeastern 0 0 7 0 - 7
Central York 22 21 7 7 - 57
CY - Beau Pribula 28 run (Mason Myers pass from Pribula), 8:08
CY - George Drivas 23 interception return (Nick Basile kick), 5:24
CY - Judah Tomb 93 pass from Pribula (Basile kick), 1:02
CY - Kairyn Brown 25 fumble return (Basile kick), 10:48
CY - Tomb 45 pass from Pribula (Basile kick), 6:17
CY - Mason Myers 57 punt return (Basile kick), 5:43
CY - Jahmar Simpson 14 run (Basile kick), 9:12
Ne - Manny Capo 29 run (Alex Afata kick), 6:08
CY - Simpson 40 run (Basile kick), 9:05
First downs 10 21
Rushing yards 25-99 32-242
Passing 10-21-1 12-15-0
Passing yards 71 195
Total yards 170 437
Fumbles 3-1 1-0
Rushing: Ne - Manny Capo 16-109, Zech Sanderson 6-(-9), Dashon Brown 1-1, Isaiah Foster 1-(-1), Team 1-(-1). CY – Jahmar Simpson 9-64, Isaiah Sturgis 6-88, Beau Pribula 4-59, Brendan Harris 1-13, Judah Tomb 1-12, Imeire Manigault 3-1, Macon Myers 3-3, James Jackson 1-2, Zane Collington 3-2, Victor Pena 1-0.
Passing: Ne - Sanderson 9-17-1 65, Nathan Toomey 1-4-0 6. CY – Pribula 10-13-0 187, Myers 2-2-0 8.
Receiving: Ne – Jordan Lagana 4-36, Kaden Hamilton 2-15, Capo 2-11, Fernando Flores 1-6, Dakota Neiman 1-3. CY – Mason Myers 5-41, Taylor Wright-Rawls 3-43, Judah Tomb 1-93, Kairyn Brown 1-10, Parker Hines 1-4, Pena 1-4.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.