WEEKEND FOOTBALL ROUNDUP: Central York dominates, advances to District 3 6-A title game
Another season, another District 3 playoff blowout for Central York.
This year, though, there's one small difference.
This year, it was the Panthers who left the field with smiles on their faces and another game on their schedule.
Central York (7-0) removed all doubt that it could play with teams from the Mid-Penn Conference with a dominant, 42-15 victory over the defending district champions, Central Dauphin, to advance to the title game against rival York High (7-0).
“It was kind of like a revenge (game) from two years ago,” Central York junior quarterback Beau Pribula said of the Panthers' 49-21 loss to CD in 2018. “The smack talk on the York teams from the Mid-Penn perspective — to prove them wrong means a lot.”
Panthers respond after slow start: Unlike the Panthers’ postseason loss to the Rams in 2018, or blowout 47-14 loss at Harrisburg last season, Central York had a response after Central Dauphin opened the game with a touchdown.
CD began the contest with a 13-play touchdown drive and forced Central York to answer quickly. The Panthers did just that.
Pribula capped off a 10-play drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Parker Hines, which gave the team the feeling it was going to be a different experience this year.
“It means a lot as far as confidence goes because the past two years that’s how it’s started,” Pribula said. “They march down (and score a touchdown) and then on offense we stall (out). To score right back and answer, that was a huge confidence booster.”
Solidifying their belief: If the touchdown to tie the game gave the Panthers a confidence burst, the ensuing drive solidified their belief they had the talent to win the game.
Senior linebacker Cole Luckenbaugh intercepted Rams’ quarterback Max Mosey and on the next play Pribula hit senior wide receiver Judah Tomb for a 43-yard score. That TD, Pribula said, let him know they could beat the No. 61 team in the country.
“This is game on, we can really compete here,” Pribula said of his thoughts after the play.
The rout is on: From that point, the rout was on.
Central York forced a fumble on the goal line on the next drive. On the following possession, the Rams turned the ball over on downs with two minutes remaining and that was just enough time for Pribula, the Penn State recruit, to take his team down the field and let Tomb all but end the game.
Pribula threw a 10-yard pass to the senior receiver and Tomb did the rest, running through and then by defenders for the score. That wasn’t, however, his biggest play of the game.
To open the second half, Tomb, who Central York coach Gerry Yonchiuk called “the best-kept secret in Pennsylvania," raced past the Rams en route to a 95-yard kickoff return touchdown to shut down any hope of a second-half surge by Central Dauphin.
“He’s humble, (but) he knows when to turn it on and go,” Pribula said. “When he is on his game, nobody is stopping him. He’s one of the most explosive athletes I have seen.”
Pribula's monster game: To go with his three first-half touchdown passes, Pribula added a pair of rushing scores to live up to his dual-threat label.
The Panthers’ star quarterback ended the game 13 for 18 passing with 193 yards and three touchdowns, and added 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
“I knew I had to perform, but all in all, I was just going to put anything on the line to win this game,” Pribula said.
Yonchiuk enjoys standout first season at Central: With standout players such as Pribula and Tomb, along with several other players headed to NCAA Division I schools, Yonchiuk knew he didn’t need to switch things up much when he took over before the season.
He brought his Air Raid offense to the Panthers, which he proudly wears embroidered on his Central York jacket and hat, and with the success the team has had in his first season, there could be more custom jackets in the future.
“It means everything because I feel like I didn’t want to fail these kids,” Yonchiuk said. “I wanted to just help them. It’s them and I just didn’t want to mess it up for them. Just try to guide them, put my spin on things and let them go do what they can… That’s what makes me proudest — I didn’t want to ever get in the way.”
York High looms: The team in the way of Central York making history as the first Y-A League team to win a District 3 6-A title is rival York High. The Panthers will host the Bearcats next week for the district and Y-A D-I title.
While he said the preparation for York High began Saturday morning, for one night at least Pribula wanted to enjoy that, for the first time in his career, his team is the one celebrating on the bus ride home after a district playoff win.
“It just feels unreal,” Pribula said. “This is everything we wanted it to be. It’s not like it was the past two years and we’re just so thankful that it turned out the way it did.”
OTHER WEEKEND FOOTBALL ACTION
Delone falls in District 3 1-A title game: At McSherrystown, Steel-High downed Delone Catholic in the District 3 Class 1-A title game, 23-13 on Friday, ending Delone's season at 6-1.
It was the third consecutive season that the Squires' season ended in a district final.
Steel-High controlled Delone's vaunted rushing attack, limiting the Squires to 51 rushing yards and less than 2 yards per carry. Steel-High, meanwhile, piled up 149 rushing yards, including 166 yards on 41 carries from Odell Greene.
Tate Neiderer led Delone with 68 yards on 14 carries, including a 29-yard TD run that briefly gave Delone a 6-0 lead.
Steel-High moved to 6-0 and advanced to the state playoffs.
Delone did manage to control Steel-High's standout wideout, Mekhi Flowers, limiting him to three catches for 21 yards and three rushes for three yards.
Bermudian's season ends with district loss: At Middletown, Bermudian Springs' season came to a close with a 46-7 defeat to the host team in a District 3 Class 3-A semifinal on Friday.
Bermudian finished at 4-3. Middletown improved to 4-1 and moved to the district final vs. Wyomissing, a 47-7 winner over Boiling Springs on Saturday.
Bermudian did have more than 200 rushing yards, led by Savauri Shelton, who had 127 yards on 22 carries and Ricky Pacana, who had 99 yards on 12 carries. The Eagles, however, also allowed Middletown to rush for 376 yards.
Red Lion outlasts Dallastown: At Dallastown, Red Lion outlasted rival Dallastown in a high-scoring York-Adams Division I affair, 56-49.
Red Lion led 48-14 at halftime, only to see Dallastown outscore the Lions in the second half, 35-8.
Red Lion quarterback Randy Fizer finished his career with another monster game, completing 14 of 18 passes for 147 yards, including two TD throws. He also rushed for 268 yards on 15 carries, averaging 17.9 yards per carry, with five TDs. Fizer finished with 415 total yards of offense.
Reid Anderson added 120 yards rushing for Red Lion on 18 carries. Red Lion finished with 413 rushing yards.
The Lions finished 5-2. Dallastown dropped to 1-4.
York Catholic finishes 6-1: At York Tech on Saturday, York Catholic rolled to a 41-16 Y-A D-III victory to finish off a 6-1 season.
De'Kzeon Wyche (12 carries, 107 yards), Brennan Wiitman (three catches, 101 yards, two touchdowns) and Levan McFadden (4 for 7, two TD passes) led the York Catholic attack.
Tech finished at 1-6.
Littlestown cruises: At Littlestown, the Thunderbolts routed Fairfield on Friday, 47-12, to finish at 4-3 in Y-A D-III.
Braden Unger (five carries, 86 yards) and Will Shoemaker (eight carries, 81 yards) led Littlestown's 273-yard rushing attack.
Fairfield's Peyton Stadler rushed for 109 yards on 22 carries for Fairfield, which finished at 2-5.
Biglerville gets payback: At Biglerville, one week after dropping a 21-20 decision at Hanover, the Canners rebounded for a 24-0 decision over the Nighthawks.
Both teams finished 2-5.
Biglerville rushed for 391 yards, led by 161 yards on 14 carries from Josh Fulton. Sam Hurda added 114 yards on 17 carries and Kalen Sharrah had 108 yards on 18 carries.
Biglerville limited Hanover to just 39 yards of total offense.
Colonials stay unbeaten: At West York, the New Oxford Colonials finished off a perfect Y-A D-II season at 6-0 with a 49-14 victory over the home team.
Connor Beans threw for three TDs for New Oxford, including two to Connor Herring. Kevin Chavez added TD runs of 51 yards and 25 yards for the Colonials.
Jahmarri Generett had both of West York's TDs on an 80-yard kickoff return and a 15-yard TD run.
West York dropped to 2-3 after a 2-0 start.
New Oxford now prepares for a District 3 Class 5-A semifinal at Warwick (6-0) on Friday night. Warwick is ranked No. 2 in the state in 5-A.
Spring Grove throws shutout: At Spring Grove, the Rockets ended their season with a 24-0 shutout of South Western in a Y-A D-I contest.
Spring Grove allowed just 104 rushing yards and 81 receiving yards.
The Rockets finished above .500 at 4-3 and doubled their win total from a season ago. South Western dropped to 1-5.
Kennard-Dale finishes at 4-2. At Wrightsville, the Kennard-Dale Rams finished off a 4-2 season with a 35-8 pounding of Eastern York.
Darius Bailey rushed for 176 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown to lead K-D to the Y-A D-II triumph.
Eastern led 8-6 after one quarter, but the Rams dominated after that. The Golden Knights dropped to 1-5.
Suburban cruises: At Glen Rock, York Suburban rolled to a 34-10 triumph over the Susquehannock Warriors in a Y-A D-II contest.
The Trojans finished 4-2 in D-II. Susquehannock dropped to 0-6.
Suburban jumped out to a 21-0 halftime lead and never looked back.
Northeastern gets first win: At Dover, Northeastern broke through for its first victory of the season with a 38-25 verdict over the home team in a Y-A D-I game.
Northeastern finished at 1-6. Dover dropped to 1-5.
For Dover, Tanner Linker had four catches for 130 yards and two TDs.
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.