Central York crushes York High, 60-14, claims third straight Y-A League D-I championship
Rain or shine, Central York can score.
The Panthers averaged more than 40 points per game headed into Friday's York-Adams Division I showdown with the rival York High Bearcats, but with water pouring onto the field before, during and after the game, most fans, media members and players likely expected a low-scoring contest.
Instead, the Central York offense opened the game at its usual elite level and stayed there all night en route to a 60-14 victory over York High. The win secured the Panthers (10-0) their third straight D-I title.
"It was amazing. I was not expecting this at all," Central York senior quarterback Beau Pribula said. "I thought it was gonna be maybe 7-6 at the end or something like that, not 60 points on the board. So, (to be) able to do that was amazing."
The main reason why the Panthers offense was so prolific despite the poor weather was Pribula's play. The quarterback prepared for the conditions on Thursday by throwing a football he soaked in a bucket of water and it paid off during the game.
Pribula tossed three touchdown passes in the first quarter and added another three rushing touchdowns before halftime to set up yet another second half where he wasn't needed by his team.
Junior wide receiver Parker Hines, sophomore running back Juelz Goff and senior tight end Trenton Dunnick caught Pribula's passes for the first three Central York scores. The Penn State recruit followed up the three passing touchdowns with a trio of rushing scores before the break.
Yonchiuk proves prophetic: Senior wide receiver TreyShawn Smith returned a punt for a touchdown as well, and Goff added a pair of second-half rushing scores. The team effort impressed head coach Gerry Yonchiuk and made his preseason prediction that the 2021 team could repeat the program's miraculous 2020 run look spot on.
"I told you we have a special group of guys that are talented," Yonchiuk said. "I said that in the beginning (of the year) and you guys (acted) like I had lost my mind. I really meant it, in that I felt they're talented and they could do what we asked them to do. It starts with their commitment level, then having Beau at quarterback. They just roll with it."
Before a late touchdown in the final seconds, York High's only points came on an 80-yard touchdown by junior running back Jahiem White.
The Bearcats (7-2) struggled to secure the ball all game in the rain and had several fumbled snaps. York also allowed Central York to recover two kickoffs after the ball bounced off their players.
Bearcats must regroup: York High head coach Russ Stoner said his team has to regroup headed into District 3 playoffs next week and couldn't take much away from the game because much they were disrupted by the rain.
"They handled the weather much better than we handled the weather, but at the end of the day, both teams have to play in that kind of weather," Stoner said. "Beau was the main factor in the game. Their defense did a nice job. We really couldn't feel the football. It is what it is."
Three-peat: With the win, Central York clinched three straight league titles for its senior class. Pribula was one of those Panthers that lost to the Bearcats in the 2018 D-I title game and took pride in finishing out his career with another championship.
But after the team reached the state championship game in 2020, the celebration for winning a local league title was more muted than in years past as the team prepares to defend its District 3 Class 6-A crown as the No. 1 seed. The Panthers, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 6-A, want to make another run to Hershey.
"It's a little different," Pribula said. "When we won that first one, it was the first one in a while, but now it's kind of like, we had last year's and now this year. It's a goal to win the league, but we also know we have a lot bigger goals."
According to the District 3 power ratings, No. 1 seed Central York should play host to No. 8 seed Manheim Township (6-4) in the 6-A quarterfinals. York High appears slotted for the No. 4 seed and should play host to No. 5 seed Wilson (7-3) in another 6-A quarterfinal. Both quarterfinals are expected to be played at 7 p.m. Friday.
The official District 3 playoff brackets will not be released until Monday.
Reach Rob Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.