Delone Catholic dominates York Catholic to capture consecutive Y-A Division III titles
In 2019, Tate Neiderer made his name known around the York-Adams League.
The Delone Catholic senior was the Y-A Division III Defensive Player of the Year and led the Squires to an undefeated division record and a District 3 title-game appearance.
In 2020, Neiderer has made sure he will go down as one of the most decorated players in program history.
Neiderer scored three more touchdowns in Delone Catholic's 28-10 Division III title-game victory over York Catholic on Friday to bring his league-leading total to 16 this season and increase his chances of putting an Offensive Player of the Year award next to his defensive one.
“Hopefully, but that’s not the main focus,” Neiderer said. “The main focus is just getting (wins).”
The Squires are definitely getting wins, and it has everything to do with Neiderer's skills. The senior, who only comes off the field on kickoffs, carried the ball 32 times for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
Delone Catholic coach Corey Zortman described Neiderer as the type of player you dream of having as a coach and added that his leadership talents match what he can do with the ball in his hands.
“He comes to practice every day, and sometimes you have to tone him back because everything he does is full bore,” Zortman said. “He just has a motor that doesn’t stop.”
Squires in control from the start: Fellow Squires senior running back Cory Heffner added another 85 yards on the ground as Delone Catholic controlled the game from start to finish and followed its game plan. Neiderer scored on the Squires' first two drives as the team's rushing attack continued to chip away at the Fighting Irish's defense.
York Catholic tried to steal back the momentum headed into halftime on a 44-yard field goal by junior Nick Andrasi, but it wasn't enough.
Delone Catholic got the ball to start the second half and rode their star senior on a 12-play scoring drive where Neiderer had nine carries for 78 yards and scored the touchdown that all but ended the Fighting Irish's hopes for a comeback.
“We have a saying — twist the knife — and that’s all we wanted to do,” Neiderer said. “We wanted to finish them.”
Not a fluke: In addition to the obvious motivation of capturing the division title, Neiderer said the Squires were driven to show their opponents and their division that their 2019 Y-A D-III title wasn't lucky. Delone Catholic players said the York Catholic team believed the Squires' 2019 title was going to be a one-off, so Neiderer and his teammates were out to make a statement on the field.
“It was huge. We were talking about it since the morning bell at school,” Neiderer said of the meeting of two teams that entered the night at 5-0. “Everyone was talking about it, and we wanted to prove to them that it’s not a fluke.”
Both teams added fourth-quarter passing touchdowns to cap off a game dominated by running backs. Delone Catholic junior quarterback Coltyn Keller hit senior wide receiver Dylan Zimmmerman on a 5-yard score early in the final quarter.
On the ensuing drive, York Catholic sophomore quarterback Levan McFadden threw a touchdown to classmate Quinn Brennan on a fourth down from the 23-yard line to end a rough night for Fighting Irish signal caller with a score.
McFadden completed 5 of 17 passes and took several hits trying to allow his wide receivers to get open down field. York Catholic coach Eric DePew credited Delone Catholic's defense for taking their pass catchers out of the game and limiting senior running back De'kzeon Wyche to 85 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Steel-High up next: Next up for Delone Catholic after it secured the division title again is crossing off the biggest challenge for the program — winning a District 3 title.
The team lost to their rival York Catholic in 2018 and Upper Dauphin in 2019, with both defeats coming in the title game.
With the limited postseason because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Squires already know their opponent and only need one win to capture another championship, this time in Class 1-A.
They will need to get through Steel-High (5-0) for a second straight season after the Squires defeated the Steamrollers in the District 3 2-A semifinals a year ago. Led by their do-it-all star Neiderer and a stellar defense, Zortman is confident this squad has what it takes to make this wild year one that will be remembered forever.
“These guys understand that we had two opportunities slip through our fingers, tight ball games in both, but we couldn’t pull (the win) out,” Zortman said. “I think they’re excited to try to accomplish that in McSherrystown yet.”
The game vs. the Rollers will be played in McSherrystown. Steel-High is ranked No. 3 in the state in 1-A, while the Squires are unranked.
Despite the loss, York Catholic will still be the top seed in the district 2-A playoffs and will play host to Camp Hill (2-2) in the title game.
All district pairings are unofficial until Tuesday morning.
OTHER HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Panthers, Bearcats roll, but district future up in air: The two dominant teams in Y-A D-I earned dominating wins over the weekend.
Central York pounded Dallastown, 75-7, on Friday night, while York High cruised past Northeastern, 64-7, on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams moved to 6-0 in D-I. The Panthers and Bearcats were originally scheduled to meet in the D-I finale on Friday at York High. That game won't occur as a division game. Both teams should be involved in the District 3 Class 6-A semifinals this coming weekend.
It earlier appeared as if the Panthers and Bearcats would face each other at Central York in the district semifinals, since the Panthers are currently No. 2 in the District 3 6-A power ratings and York High is No. 3.
Late Sunday afternoon, however, it was revealed that Harrisburg High had found a required fourth opponent in State College. The Little Lions and the Cougars will meet Monday afternoon. If Harrisburg (3-0) beats State College (2-2), Harrisburg could well move up to No. 1 in the power ratings, pushing Central York to No. 3 and York High to No. 4. Under that scenario, York High and Central would not meet in the district semifinals. Harrisburg would likely play host to York High and Central York would likely visit No. 2 Central Dauphin.
Under District 3 rules, football teams must play four games by Monday's power-ratings deadline to qualify for the district playoffs.
If Harrisburg wins Monday, the team likely ousted from the district 6-A playoff field would be Wilson (5-1).
State College and Harrisburg were originally set to play last Friday night, but State College dropped that game in order to compete in the District 6 6-A playoffs vs. Altoona. State College lost to Altoona, 22-21, opening the door the game vs. Harrisburg on Monday.
Colonials win showdown vs. Gettysburg: At New Oxford, the Colonials won a D-II showdown vs. Gettysburg on Friday by the unusual score of 5-0.
The win clinched the D-II title for the Colonials (5-0). Gettysburg fell to 3-2.
New Oxford dominated the game statistically, gaining 331 total yards to Gettysburg's 114, but couldn't score a touchdown. New Oxford quarterback Connor Beans threw for 242 yards.
The Colonials are slated to face Warwick (6-0) in the District 3 Class 5-A playoffs in two weeks. Warwick is ranked No. 2 in the state in 5-A.
New Oxford will finish its D-II season at West York on Friday.
Bermudian clinches playoff berth: At York Springs, Bermudian Springs has apparently clinched a district 3-A playoff berth with a 27-13 win over Adams County rival Littlestown.
Bermudian improved to 4-2, while Littlestown fell to 3-3. The game was basically an elimination game for the district playoffs. Bermudian is now No. 4 in the district 3-A power ratings and looks headed for a battle vs. No. 1 Middletown (3-1) this coming weekend.
Bermudian's Sauvari Shelton rushed for 104 yards on 22 carries. He also threw a game-clinching 73-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter on a halfback pass.
Dover gets first win: At Hanover, Dover picked up its first win of the season in a D-I contest, 42-20, against South Western.
Both teams are now 1-4.
Dover QB Matthew Hoffman was 9 for 12 for 161 yards with a TD. Dover's Cam Fetrow rushed for 115 yards on 20 carries. The Eagles rushed for 334 total yards. Dover's Owen Kennell had six catches for 93 yards.
Rams move over .500: At Fawn Grove, the Rams won a battle vs. their southern York County rivals, 35-7.
Kennard-Dale improved to 3-2 on the season, while Susquehannock dropped to 0-5.
Darius Bailey led K-D with 119 yards rushing on 15 carries, including two touchdowns.
Fizer shines again: At Red Lion, Randy Fizer continued his sensational senior season in a 28-7 victory over Spring Grove.
Fizer was 10 of 13 passing for 105 yards with a TD. He also rushed for 119 yards on 20 carries with a TD. Red Lion's Jeffery Nyamekye had eight catches for 97 yards and a TD.
Red Lion moved to 4-2, while Spring Grove fell to 3-3.
York Suburban dominates: At Suburban, the Trojans had no trouble dispatching West York in a D-II contest, winning, 50-6.
Suburban improved to 3-2, while West York dropped to 2-2.
Hanover wins tight one: At Hanover, the Nighthawks won a D-III thriller over Biglerville, 21-20.
The Nighthawks improved to 2-4, while Biglerville dropped to 1-5.
Fairfield rolls over Tech: At Fairfield, the Green Knights picked up their second win of the season with a 36-14 decision over York Tech.
Fairfield is now 2-4, while Tech dropped to 1-5.
Reach Rob Rose at email@example.com.