Behind a career night from standout running back Savion Harrison, York Suburban improved to 8-0 on the season in a showdown against Gettysburg. ROB ROSE, @robrosesports
In the biggest game of the season, York Suburban senior running back Savion Harrison let his teammates know that this result would decide how the team will be remembered.
He backed up his words with a memorable performance.
The 5-foot-9 back gashed the Gettysburg defense for 303 rushing yards and four touchdowns as the Trojans (8-0) defeated the Warriors (6-2), 30-19, and took sole possession of the top spot in the York-Adams Division II standings on Friday.
“I told my guys, ‘I don’t want to lose this game at all, I really want this,’” Harrison said. “It’s my senior year, I want to go out with a bang and games like this mean a lot. I definitely wanted to go out with a bang this game and do great things.”
Harrison did just that against Gettysburg with a career high in rushing yards, and his coach, Andy Loucks, heaped praise on York Suburban’s offensive line, which includes NCAA Division I Syracuse University commit Garth Barclay, for creating holes for Harrison to make big plays happen.
“Our kids up front came after them,” Loucks said. “They played with everything they had tonight. You get 300 yards because the dudes in front of you are getting after people and they got after people tonight.”
Clutch plays: Although Harrison was a force for the entire game, a pair of plays he made late in the fourth quarter locked down the victory for the Trojans.
With York Suburban leading, 23-19, Harrison, who also plays cornerback, had an interception called back on a defensive pass interference penalty. Later in the drive, Harrison deflected a pass that fell incomplete and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs.
On the ensuing series for York Suburban, Harrison iced the game with a 67-yard touchdown run after he bounced off defenders and dove into the end zone.
Despite Harrison’s dominant performance, the victory didn’t come easy to the Trojans.
Gettysburg, playing without injured standout two-way performer Austin Heiser, cut the deficit to 16-13 at halftime on a 7-yard touchdown run by running back/wide receiver Charles Warren and were going to get the ball after the break.
Loucks said the coaching staff was happy with the effort the players were giving, but they need to tighten up some things after their meeting in the locker room.
Fight on: The Trojans answered the challenge from their coach. The Warriors punted on their first possession of the second half and Harrison took off for his third touchdown of the game for a 38-yard score.
Gettysburg pulled back within one score after quarterback Zach Ketterman called his own number on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.
The Trojans got all they could handle from the Warriors, but in the end, proved they were up to the test and remained undefeated.
“I thought we kept fighting and that’s the biggest thing,” Loucks said. “When you have some mistakes and things don’t go your way, if you’re able to keep fighting and keep working, those are the types of teams and situations that prepare you for the next level.”
Looking forward: Despite the tough loss in a highly anticipated game, Gettysburg coach Matt Heiser was proud of what his team did on the field and hoped to get another shot at the Trojans later this season.
“I know what my boys can do,” Heiser said. “We’ll put things back together, get back to work (and) maybe see them in the playoffs and do some other things.”
With so much energy and emotion spent on this crucial contest, Harrison was confident that the Trojans wouldn’t have a letdown in their performance next week against West York (1-7).
“We’re definitely going to take every game just like this,” Harrison said. “Every week is going to be a big game for us. That’s how we just gotta keep the mentality, (just) like that. We don’t want that going into our head cause if we underestimate the opponent, you never know what can happen.”
While he was proud of their effort, victory and 8-0 record, Loucks, in typical coach fashion, said there’s another level his team can get to. Through eight games, they’ve been the best team in Division II, but they will need to keep getting better if they want to become the team he believes they can be.
“We’re getting there,” Loucks said. “We still have two more games to play. So, the regular season is not over and we have goals beyond the regular season. I feel like we’re getting there. We finally have everybody healthy, but we still need to improve.”
York Suburban - 13 3 7 7 - 30
Gettysburg - 6 7 0 6 - 19
YS - Savion Harrison 4-yard TD run
G - Zach Ketterman 6-yard TD pass to Charles Warren
YS - 58-yard TD run by Savion Harrison (Griffin Smith kick)
YS - Griffin Smith field goal
G - 7-yard TD run by Charles Warren (Zachary Parr kick)
YS - 38-yard TD run by Savion Harrison (Griffin Smith kick)
G - 1-yard TD run by Zach Ketterman
YS - 67-yard TD run by Savion Harrison (Griffin Smith kick)
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