York High shuts down Northeastern's offense in big win, sets up showdown with Central York

  • York High defeated Northeastern, 32-7.
  • The Bearcats held Manny Capo to 79 rushing yards and no touchdowns.
  • Tyrell Whitt had 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns for York High.

York High coach Russ Stoner didn’t worry for a minute about his players looking past their Week 9 opponent ahead of their showdown against Central York for the York-Adams League Division I title.

“We have a really good group of kids and it’s not hard to get them to play hard,” Stoner said. 

York High junior running back Tyrell Whitt had 103 rushing yards and two touchdowns against Northeastern.

The Bearcats (7-2) certainly played hard on Friday night when they handed Northeastern (6-3) a 32-7 loss, controlling the game from start to finish. 

No Capo: Part of the motivation for York High in this game was the 2018 contest between the teams. The Bearcats beat the Bobcats, but Northeastern junior running back Manny Capo — the league’s leading rusher through the first eight games of this season — gashed the York High defense for 213 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Northeastern junior running back Manny Capo had 79 yards against York High.

With the memory of Capo’s dominant performance in 2018 fresh on their minds, the Bearcats’ defenders shut down the junior back, and held him to 79 rushing yards on 23 carries, and kept him out of the end zone.

“He had 200 yards rushing against us last year and that bothered the kids,” Stoner said. “Our kids wanted to make them one dimensional tonight and make them throw the ball, and that’s what we did.” 

Sacking Sanderson: Without the benefit of Capo’s usual presence running the ball, Northeastern senior quarterback Zech Sanderson had to deal with York High’s defensive line. The Bearcats got after the Bobcats’ signal caller and sacked him six times, while stifling Northeastern’s offense from the first drive until the final whistle. 

“Our kids were relentless up front,” Stoner said. “We’re known for bringing lots of pressure, but in the second half we didn’t blitz at all.”

On the offensive side of the ball, it was business as usual for the Bearcats. Stoner used his talented group of running backs to get the offense going with some timely pass plays mixed in. 

Establish the run: Junior running back Tyrell Whitt was the most effective of the backfield bunch in the game. He found the end zone twice and racked up 103 yards on 13 carries. 

His first touchdown run put the Bearcats up by six early and his second put the game away as they took a commanding 32-0 lead in the third quarter.

Fellow junior running back Marcellus John added a rushing touchdown of his own on a 6-yard sprint for the score, and senior quarterback Tobee Stokes fought for a 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak.

Looking ahead: Northeastern coach Jon Scepanski was pleased with how his team responded in the second half, but the first half was too lopsided for the Bobcats to make up ground. 

With one game remaining and hopes of making the district playoffs with a 7-3 record, Scepanski preached to his team postgame how important this next week is for them.

“We’re guaranteed five more days of football,” Scepanski said. “After that, if we win this next one, which we’re going to bust our butt to do, we probably have another week. If we don’t, then we leave it in jeopardy. I told them, ‘We’ve been doing this for a long time, I would hate to see this be the last five days.’”

For York High, this victory and the 58-0 win by Central York (8-1) over Dallastown (1-8), sets up a battle for the division title next Friday. 

Although the Panthers have outscored Y-A opponents 312-28 through six games and haven’t allowed more than seven points in a league contest, Stoner wasn’t concerned about the dominant results their next opponents have posted during the season.

Northeastern vs York High during football action at Smalls Athletic Field in York City, Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. York High would win the game 32-7. Dawn J. Sagert photo

“Dominating who? Stoner said. “We still have to play and at the end of the day, we’re going to go there, line up and we’re going to play football. It doesn’t matter how many points they scored against that team, how many points they didn’t give up; what happens next week at 7 p.m. matters and that’s what we’re going to concentrate on.”

York High 6 20 6 0 - 32

Northeastern 0 0 0 7 - 7

Scoring Plays 

First Quarter

YH - Tyrell Whitt 16-yard TD run 

Second Quarter

YH - Marcellus John 6-yard TD run (Aaron Robinson 2-point conversion run successful)

YH - Tobee Stokes 1-yard TD run

YH - Michael Parker fumble recovery for TD

Third Quarter

YH - Tyrell Whitt 13-yard TD run

Fourth Quarter

NE - Zech Sanderson 6-yard TD pass to Cawan Chatman (Alex Afata kick)

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.