The Spring Grove Rockets fell, 49-24, to West York on Friday night in head coach Russ Stoner's first contest against his alma mater.
"It's always an emotional time because I still live in West York and my kids go to West York. I did a lot of good things there with a lot of great people."
The Rockets fell to 0-3 on the season, but they kept the game close for a team that had been outscored 94-13 in its first eight quarters of action.
Logan Hagerman's 23-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter cut what had ben a 16-point Bulldog lead to 28-24, but West York closed the game out strong with three unanswered rushing touchdowns by three different backs to pull away.
"The first week, we got one quarter in," Stoner said. "The second week, we got two quarters in. This week, we got three quarters in. This was a very talented team we played. Our kids came out and competed the whole game. At the end they got tired, but they competed hard the whole game."
West York took the ball first to start the game and jumped on the board on a 15-yard scoring toss from Kaden Hepler to Zack Smith. Hepler had completed his first three passes to receivers around the line of scrimmage before he went deep to Smith.
The Rockets answered toward the end of the quarter when Tyler Miller raced 75 yards on a punt return, setting up the offense at the Bulldog 5-yard line. Three plays later, Seth Hildebrand hooked up with Hagerman on a lob pass in the end zone. It was the first of three scoring strikes for the combo.
The score remained 7-6 when the snap on the extra point went flying over the holder's head.
On the next possession, West York went with their change-of-pace running back Mike Bell and, several plays into the drive, he broke two tackles and romped 46 yards to paydirt.
After Spring Grove recovered a West York fumble at the Bulldog 32-yard line, the Rockets turned the ball on downs four plays later.
Spring Grove forced another turnover on the next drive when linebacker Austin Klunk set his crosshairs on Hepler. Klunk rushed unblocked around the left end of the line and blasted the West York quarterback, forcing the ball to squirt loose. The Rockets recovered at the Bulldog 6-yard line.
Hildebrand brought the score to 14-12 when he plunged in to the end zone from 3 yards out on a quarterback sneak. The Rockets then lined up to go for two and proceeded to get stuffed on the same play.
West York again had a quick answer as wide receiver Jerrin Toomey beat the corner badly on the next play from scrimmage. Hepler fired the ball out to his senior receiver and Toomey raced down the field to complete a 67-yard touchdown.
Jeremy Stauffer set the Bulldogs up in great field position when he made a kneeling interception of Hildebrand at the home team's 32-yard line to end the Rockets' next possesion.
Spring Grove forced West York into a fourth down before Hepler hooked up with Toomey on a slant at the goal line for a 14-yard touchdown and a 28-12 lead.
West York 14 14 7 14 -- 49
Spring Grove 6 12 6 0 -- 24
WY -- Zack Smith 21 pass from Kaden Hepler (Chris Markel kick), 9:06
SG -- Logan Hagerman 5 pass from Seth Hildebrand (run failed), 3:49
WY -- Mike Bell 46 run (Markel kick), 2:41
SG -- Hildebrand 3 run (run failed), 7:08
WY -- Jerrin Toomey 67 pass from Hepler (Markel kick), 6:49
WY -- Toomey 14 pass from Hepler (Markel kick), 2:36
SG -- Hagerman 22 pass from Hildebrand (pass failed), 0:12
SG -- Hagerman 23 pass from Hildebrand (pass failed), 10:43
WY -- Kyle Narber 4 run (Markel kick), 3:55
WY -- Bell 3 run (Markel kick), 9:31
WY -- Brock Snellbaker 12 run (Markel kick), 7:55
-- WY -- SG
First downs -- 15 -- 12
Rushes-yards -- 39-198 -- 43-77
Passing -- 8-13-0 -- 9-17-1
Passing yards -- 175 -- 104
Total yards -- 373 -- 181
Punts -- 2-38.5 -- 4-33.3
Fumbles-lost -- 4-1 -- 2-2
Penalties-yards -- 2-8 -- 7-35
Rushing -- West York, Snellbaker 18-121, Bell 10-68, Hepler 6-17, Ross Campbell 4-(-2), Anthony Trone 1-(-6); Spring Grove, Jeff Delaughter 13-48, Juwan Fitchett 9-20, DeAndre Gaskins 7-12, Jean-Pierre Graham 4-4, Matt Runge 1-3, Zack Stauffer 2-1, Hildebrand 7-(-11).
Passing -- West York, Hepler 7-10-0-166, Campbell 1-2-0-9, Smith 0-1-0-0; Spring Grove, Hildebrand 9-17-1-104.
Receiving -- West York, Toomey 4-90, Snellbaker 2-55, Smith 2-30; Spring Grove, Hagerman 6-77, Runge 1-13, Fitchett 1-9, Austin Nee 1-5.