Kennard-Dale rolls to fourth straight victory, plus other Friday night football notes

ROB ROSE
717-505-5418/@robrosesports
  • Kennard-Dale beat York Suburban on Friday night, 42-10.
  • The Rams improved to 4-1 with the victory.
  • Kennard-Dale has a big York-Adams Division II battle vs. New Oxford next week.
Kennard-Dale's Jacob Copenhaver, left, and Steven Lukes celebrate a touchdown scored by Lukes during football action at York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 42-10. Dawn J. Sagert photo

When Kennard-Dale competed with an undefeated York Suburban team in 2019 and lost, Rams head coach Chris Grube was pleased with how his team played after years of losing seasons. 

When the Rams ran past the Trojans to start the 2020 season, Grube was excited about his team's potential.

When Kennard-Dale showed up to play Suburban on Friday, Grube expected his team to win, and they did, easily. The Rams' rushing attack ripped through the Trojans' defense and cruised to a 42-10 win.

"After all those hard years of work that myself and the staff has put in, and you know, it's finally coming into fruition," Grube said. "The first year we went 0-10 and that was really tough, but we knew we were gonna take our licks, so we got the kids to buy into our philosophy and our system and you're starting to see now. We're up to over 50 kids now so it's definitely going in the right direction."

More:York High-Spring Grove football game canceled

Steven Lukes led the Rams' offense to the victory with a huge night. The senior had 204 rushing yards and three touchdowns on seven carries, and added another touchdown on a 31-yard catch.

Kennard-Dale's Steven Lukes runs the ball for a touchdown during football action at York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 42-10. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Lukes is the latest Rams rusher to put up big numbers. He follows Wyatt McCleary and Darius Bailey in past years. Lukes, however, does his damage in a different way, according to Grube.

"Steven has good feet and good vision," Grube said. "I'm not saying he's not Darius by any means or he's not Wyatt McCleary by any means., but he's his own person and he definitely takes advantage of you know his touches for sure. He's definitely a special kid."

Senior Micah Partee added a touchdown and 83 rushing yards and sophomore Hayden Klimm had a score himself and 40 rushing yards.

Kennard-Dale has crushed its last four opponents after it lost a close game in Week 1 to an Octorara team that's 4-1. Next up is a York-Adams League Division II showdown with reigning champs New Oxford, which is also 4-1.

Kennard-Dale Head Coach Chris Grube during football action at York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Kennard-Dale would win the game 42-10. Dawn J. Sagert photo

The Rams came close to beating the Colonials last season and Grube is hopeful his team can continue to make strides and prove they belong at the top of the division after years of being at the bottom.

"That's the type of standards we want to set," Grube said. "Historically, Kennard-Dale has not been a good football program and in the '90s and early 2000s we struggled big time. We're trying to just show people that we are a competitive school and we want to make (Y-A League) D-II football better. Before, we were always at the bottom there so as long as we make it a competitive division so that we can make some noise in districts, that's what it's all about."

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OTHER FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

A breakthrough win for Fairfield: The Green Knights had to wait three weeks to play because of COVID-19 issues, but it was worth it. Fairfield beat Bermudian Springs for the first time ever after 18 losses, 14-13. Andrew Koons caught a 53-yard touchdown from Jake Myers and Cody Valentine added a 5-yard score. Bermudian scored a fourth-quarter touchdown by Ricky Pacana and went for two, but the conversion attempt failed, allowing Fairfield (2-1) to get the win. Bermudian is 2-3.

Dallastown keeps rolling: The Wildcats continued their winning ways with another impressive offensive effort in a 46-16 victory over Northeastern. Wide receivers Kenny Johnson and Michael Scott each caught a touchdown and each had more than 80 receiving yards. Running back Coleton Mahorney added a touchdown on the ground and had 146 rushing yards. Wildcats QB Dylan Lease was 11 for 19 for 175 yards with two TDs. Dallastown moved to 4-1.

Mustangs win a wild one to improve to 4-1: The South Western Mustangs needed a huge night from senior quarterback Shilo Bivins to beat the Red Lion Lions in a wild one, 42-35. Bivins threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns and added another 90 yards and a score on the ground. Red Lion took the lead with 5 minutes left on a touchdown by Jeff Nyamekye, but South Western (now 4-1) scored twice after that to win the back-and-forth affair.

Central York still unbeaten: Penn State head coach James Franklin made the trip to Central York to watch commit Beau Pribula, and the senior quarterback impressed in a 68-21 victory over Dover. Pribula had four touchdown passes before halftime, and with the Panthers up 47-0, he wasn't needed in the second half to secure the win. Central remains unbeaten.

Squires get first victory: The Delone Catholic Squires stopped their losing streak but had to battle to do so in a 24-13 victory over Littlestown. The Squires held a one-point lead at halftime before two fourth-quarter scores led Delone to the win. Landen Eckert led the Squires' offense with 159 all-purpose yards and had three touchdowns. The two traditional York-Adams Division III powers entered the game with uncharacteristic winless records.

Gettysburg wins battle of Warriors: Gettysburg won the battle of the Warriors, beating Susquehannock, 28-14, behind a big night from junior Cody Furman. The full back had three 2-yard rushing touchdowns in the win and scored the game's first and last touchdowns. Susquehannock quarterback Josh Pecunes threw for two touchdowns in the loss. Gettysburg is 3-2 and Susquehannock is 2-3.

Another shutout for New Oxford: The New Oxford Colonials' defense continued its string of impressive performances with a shutout against Eastern York, 31-0. New Oxford quarterback Jett Moore tossed three touchdowns in the win and had 143 passing yards. The Knights'  star wide receiver Bryce Currier caught eight passes for 96 yards. It was New Oxford's third shutout this season. The Colonials are 4-1.

Turnovers, special teams doom West York: At West York, the Bulldogs couldn't overcome turnovers and special-teams issues in a 42-0 loss to Exeter Township on Saturday night. The Bulldogs had four passes intercepted, allowed a 51-yard punt return for a touchdown and gave up a blocked punt for a touchdown. West York's defense allowed just 217 total yards. The Bulldogs had just 108 total yards on offense. Exeter is 3-2. West York fell to 0-5.

Hanover avenges loss to York Tech: The Nighthawks avenged their loss to the Spartans from a season ago with a 48-24 triumph. Hanover held a narrow 20-16 lead at halftime but dominated the second half to cruise to a big victory. The Nighthawks moved to 2-3. Tech remained winless at 0-4.

Bearcats-Rockets game called off: Friday night’s most highly anticipated football game was not played. At 2:45 p.m. on Friday the York City School District Twitter account announced that the game between York High and Spring Grove had been called off. In the tweet, York City School District said that the teams are working to reschedule the game later this season. The game was expected to be an exciting contest between the 4-0 Rockets and 3-1 Bearcats. York High’s offense has been electric since losing its first game to Governor Mifflin, while Spring Grove is off to its best start in more than a decade.

— Reach Rob Rose at rrose@yorkdispatch.com.