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Central York sprints past Red Lion, 55-0, in season opener

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports

Central York football coach Gerry Yonchiuk sported the same style clear face shield on Friday that Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid wore during his team's season-opening win last week.

While Yonchiuk's mask wasn't as fogged up as Reid's was, that was likely the lone difference between the Panthers' and Chiefs' respective Week 1 performances.

Central York coach Gerry Yonchiuk, center in grey, walks the sideline wearing a clear face shield on Friday. Yonchiuk won his Central York debut, 55-0.

Like Chiefs stars Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire did to the Houston Texans to begin their season, Central York's talented offense erupted in its opening game with a dominant 55-0 victory over Red Lion at home.

Junior quarterback Beau Pribula tossed five touchdowns before halftime, while three different running backs found the end zone in the win.

After the game, Yonchiuk was confident that the Panthers' new Air Raid offense that he brought with him when he was hired in February can continue to put up big numbers each week.

“I do because the system allows that for the guys,” Yonchiuk said. “(Pribula) has the skill set, but having four wideouts and those (running) backs, you really have to spread out because we can attack from different areas.”

Central York junior quarterback Beau Pribula throws a pass against Red Lion on Friday. Pribula threw five touchdown passes in the Panthers' 55-0 victory.

Pribula, Wright-Rawls shine: Pribula, a Penn State commit, nearly tied his total number of passing touchdowns from last season (eight) in one game. That 2019 number isn't exactly fair because the junior missed some time with an injury, but it highlights how dangerous the Panthers' new offense can be coming off a 9-1 regular season and York-Adams League Division I title.

The main beneficiary of Pribula's prolific passing performance was senior wide receiver Taylor Wright-Rawls. A. D-I all-star the past two seasons, Wright-Rawls opened the season by nearly locking up another year on that list. The senior hauled in four touchdowns and routinely burned defenders for big catches.

Fellow senior wide receiver Judah Tomb caught Pribula's fifth touchdown and used his speed to run past defenders to finish off the score.

“I just want to spread it to these guys because these guys are tremendous athletes and great players,” Pribula said.

Central York senior wide receiver Judah Tomb, right, runs through the Red Lion defense on his way to score a touchdown in the Panthers' 55-0 win.

Senior running backs Isaiah Sturgis and Jahmar Simpson scored rushing touchdowns, along with junior Raquel Dewitt.

Lions' coach disappointed, but not discouraged: On the other side of the field, the Lions were obviously disappointed with the way their season began.

Red Lion coach Jesse Shay said that the Panthers are the best team his Lions will play all year and he wanted to make sure his team knew they were talented, too, and would have better nights in the future.

“In no season does any one game ever define a team,” Shay said. “So, look, that's a fantastic football team. We ran into a buzzsaw. What I tried to impress upon them is they didn’t quit and that will help us the rest of the way through.”

Central York's defense completely shut down Red Lion's offense and derailed the debut of senior Randy Fizer at quarterback. Fizer was unable to generate much in the passing game and threw one interception in the loss.

Red Lion senior quarterback Randy Fizer tries to avoid a Central York defender in the backfield.

No fans: The game was played in front of no fans, with Central York's cheerleaders and band in attendance, to stay under the current limit of 250 people at outdoor events set by Gov. Tom Wolf.

The atmosphere was different, with no student sections cheering for each Panthers' score, but the players and coaches were just happy to be back on the field.

His parents and fans may not have been there to see him perform in person, but for Pribula, a chance to step on the field and score touchdowns on Friday nights is all needs.

“Every fall should have football in it,” Pribula said. “I couldn’t live without football. So, to have this game; everybody involved did a tremendous job in getting us here and I thank them so much because I had a lot of fun tonight.”

OTHER WEEKEND

FOOTBALL HIGHLIGHTS

York Suburban wins shootout: Defending D-II champion York Suburban won its opener on Saturday night in a shootout over Eastern York, 43-28.

Suburban wideout Kenny Johnson, a 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore, finished with six receptions for 198 receiving yards with five touchdown. He also had an interception on defense.

Suburban QB Camden Brewer also had a big night.

York High cruises past Dover: The Dover Eagles' introduction to D-I football got off to a rugged start on Friday night with a 45-7 loss at York High.

Dover moved up to D-I from D-II this season. 

York High's Ajani Cheshire dives into the end zone for a touchdown during football action against Dover at Smalls Athletic Field in York City, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. York High would win the game 45-7. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The game was tied 7-7 after one quarter before York High took control with a 17-0 second-quarter edge.

York High has become a consistent D-I title contender under head coach Russ Stoner.

Spring Grove shines vs. Northeastern: Spring Grove established itself as a team to watch in D-I with an impressive 31-14 victory over Northeastern on Friday.

The Rockets led 31-0 after three quarters.

Tyree Brooks (15-yard run and 12-yard run), Zyree Brooks (69-yard run) and Mike Shaqfeh (58-yard fumble return) scored Spring Grove's touchdowns.

The Rockets have won just four games over the last three seasons, but a strong junior class has the folks in Papertown feeling optimistic this season.

Colonials roll after slow start: The New Oxford Colonials got off to a slow start, trailing 2-0 after one quarter, but rebounded for a 24-2 D-II victory over Susquehannock.

New Oxford dropped down to D-II this season from D-I.

The Colonials' new starting quarterback, senior Connor Beans, went 9 for 20 for 145 yards. He also scored a rushing touchdown.

New Oxford's defense held Susquehannock to 53 total yards.

Delone Catholic rolls: Defending D-III champion Delone Catholic got off to a strong start with 38-0 pounding of York Tech on Friday.

Delone led 31-0 at halftime.

The Squires piled up 329 rushing yards and limited Tech to 81 total yards. Tate Neiderer (10 rushes for 128 yards) and Cory Heffner (six rushes for 78 yards) led Delone's rushing attack.

Fairfield surprises Biglerville: Biglerville came into the 2020 season hoping to contend for the D-III title.

Friday night, Fairfield may have stamped itself as a D-III contender with a 20-14 win over the visiting Canners.

Peyton Stadler rushed for 76 yards for Farifield. Kalen Sharrah (66 yards) and Delone Catholic transfer Josh Fulton (64 yards) combined for 130 yards for Biglerville, which was hurt by 13 penalties for 108 yards.

It ruined the debut of new Biglerville head coach Brett Smyers. 

York Catholic tops Littlestown: The York Catholic Fighting Irish got off to a strong D-III start, especially on the defensive end, with a 17-6 home victory over Littlestown.

The Irish are coming off a 5-5 season, while Littlestown was the D-III runner-up a season ago.

York Catholic kept Littlestown scoreless until the final quarter.

Bermudian Springs blanks Hanover: The Bermudian Springs Eagles got the John Livelsberger coaching era off to a strong start with a 35-0 D-III triumph at Hanover.

Livelsberger is replacing longtime Bermudian head coach Jon DeFoe.

Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.