York Slips Past Hanover in Backyard Brawl
GLENVILLE, Pa.- The York Silver Bullets used two big plays in the fourth quarter to put away a hotly-contested edition of the York County Blood Feud on Saturday.
York (4-0) defeated Hanover 23-0, primarily on the strength of a 123-to-negative-10 yard advantage in the fourth quarter.
Aside from the final flurry, the Darkside defense and Silver Bullets defense traded dominant performances in what was a nasty first three quarters.
The two teams were flagged a combined 22 times for 171 yards, and that doesn’t include two sets of offsetting dead ball personal fouls in the third quarter.
Darkside gave up 97 yards on two back-breaking plays in the fourth quarter, but gave up just 144 yards on 38 plays (4.0 yards per play) for the rest of the game.
Darkside gave up just 5 first downs in the first 45 minutes.
Snacktown’s warriors got off to a hot start on the very first possession.
A 32-yard return by Jay Collins on the opening kickoff set the Bullets up at their own 48.
Adept scrambler Bob Moore made no attempt to hide his intentions to keep the ball and run on first down, but Richard Settle scraped to Moore’s outside ahoulder and brought him down after a 2-yard gain.
Linebacker Adam Day stepped into the hole and combined with Dustyn Lauver to smack ball carrier DJ Brumfield after a short gain on second down, and the hitting only intensified on third down. The smallest guy on the field, David Harden chopped down Darrius Johnson on the perimeter for no gain.
Harden popped right up and let out a primal yell in celebration.
On fourth down, Moore was flushed by Brandon Nicastro, and threw incomplete.
Lloyd Welford curtailed the next Bullets drive when he intercepted Moore’s overthrow near midfield, and returned it 14 yards.
Welford has an interception in a career-high 4 straight games to start the season.
Bernard Jackson ripped and bullied his way through defenders for an 11-yard gain on 1st down, and the Rhinos moved to the York 19 on a late hit by Josh Dolheimer. The former Rhino took a facetious bow following the penalty while being heckled by the Hanover bench.
The offense would get no closer on the afternoon, as Jake Orner’s pass for Dominic Cotterino was intercepted by Lamar Calhoun in the front left corner of the emd zone on the next play.
Making his first career semi-pro start, Orner lobbed a ball deep overthe middle on the final play of the first quarter.
Chase Scharf, playing tight end, raced under the ball and threw himself down for a shoestring catch that covered 28 yards.
The Rhinos led the Silver Bullets in first downs 3-0 after one quarter.
Lloyd Williams recovered a Diego Simms fumble when the second quarter started, but the Bullets gave the ball right back.
Moore hit Terrance Jacobs over the middle for a 22-yard gain, but as Adam Day dragged the receiver down from behind, Phoenix Russell came around the front and wrenched the ball out. Jordan Snyder pounced on the loose ball at the Hanover 42.
A trade of punts nearly turned into disaster for the Rhinos when Welford put the ball on the soggy grass, but he fought from an impossible position on the ground and under a defender to pull the pigskin back in.
Disaster could not be averted on the next punt, as the snap bounced to Rhinos punter Jordan Gardner, and all he could do was fall on it in the end zone.
Up 2-0 and at the Hanover 30 after the free kick, Moore butterfingered the wet ball as he received pressure from Nicastro, who also recovered the fumble.
After a fruitless offensive possession and punt, the Rhinos got to Moore again.
Standing calmly in the pocket as Nicastro and Lauver swarmed, Moore didn’t see the third rusher, defensive tackle Jeremy Loughlin.
Loughlin closed in from behind and jackhammered the ball to the ground.
Richard Settle scooped the bouncing, dewey ball, and galloped toward the end zone. He was corralled after a 25-yard return at the Bullets’ 28.
Faced with fourth down, the Rhinos sent out Russell for a 41-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds of the half, but a false start penalty scrapped that idea, and the Rhinos unsuccsefully went for the end zone.
On the first possession of the second half, Orner’s 3rd-and-19 pass was tipped up in the air and intercepted by defensive tackle Vinnie Mack, despite a heroic effort by Rhinos’ center Ryan Pysher to break up the pass.
Darkside rose to the occasion again.
Welford laid out running Jakye Wilson near the visitors’ sideline, dislodging the ball. Charles Smith slid on top of the ball like a coed going down a slip-n-slide the wrong way for his first recovery since 3/28/15.
Marred by numerous personal fouls, the ensuing drive ended with Doobie Dorm jogging into the end zone after picking Orner’s pass off and returning it 30 yards down the home sideline.
Up 8-0, York went surprise onside kick and stunned the Rhinos.
Mark Davis had the first shot at Devante McWhorter’s kick, but it deflected off his hands as he tried to make a basket catch. Davis waded into the pile of Bullets around the ball in vain, as Chris Penn came up with the recovery for the visitors.
Darkside, having only yeilded three first downs to the York offense in the game, bent but didn’t break, with Smith and Day combining to make a fourth down tackle as the third quarter ended.
Backed up at their own 8, the Rhinos turned to a familiar face at quarterback.
Jordan Gardner, who led the Rhinos in passing yards in 2016 with 545, was the new man under center.
Three plays into his stint, he was hit in the end zone by Nate Williams, knocking the ball loose. Pysher fell on it, but it was a safety anyway, and York led 10-0.
After the free kick, Hanover forced York to a 3rd-and-26, which the Bullets converted with a 57-yard pass from Moore to Steven Truiett.
Moore converted touchown runs of 3 and 40 yards in the game’s final minutes.