Friday night wasn't an ideal scenario for Dallastown quarterback Ford Reinalda's first start. After all, the Wildcats' opponent was Central York, owners of perhaps the most smothering defense in the league.
So it wasn't surprising to see Reinalda -- who was replacing the injured Josh Luckenbaugh -- have his struggles. The junior finished 4-of-16 for 29 yards, throwing a trio of second-half interceptions during the Wildcats' 34-7 loss to the Panthers. Central's attacking defense pressured Reinalda all night, often leaving him with no choice but to throw into coverage.
"It's not all on Ford," Dallastown coach Kevin Myers said. "He make a couple of bad reads, but so did our starting quarterback when he played. That's going to happen in high school football. Our linemen missed some blocks. Our receivers ran some wrong routes. It's nothing new.
"I'm proud of the way Ford played. He stood tall in there. He never stopped playing."
Reinalda was forced into action by Luckenbaugh's injury. The junior hurt his left leg during last week's loss at South Western. Myers didn't get into specifics on the injury or how long it would keep Luckenbaugh out, saying the quarterback was "getting different opinions." But Luckenbaugh spent the game on crutches, his left leg in a brace.
Speaking of quarterbacks: Brandon Baker's night didn't start very well. Central's sophomore signal caller threw a pair of first-quarter interceptions -- the second of which set up Dallastown's only touchdown, a 38-yard run by Ben Kline.
But Baker regained his composure, and finished with an efficient stat line, going 8-for-12 for 112 yards. Baker also fired two third-quarter touchdown passes, helping Central put the Wildcats away.
The first of those scores caught the attention of Panthers coach Brad Livingston. On third-and-8 midway through the third quarter from the Wildcats 17-yard line, Baker read a blitz and found tight end Kyle Baublitz over the middle for a touchdown pass.
"We were pretty happy with Brandon when he hit a hot read down to Kyle for that touchdown there," Livingston said. "That's big league stuff."
Baker has recovered well from a rough start to the season. He struggled during Central's first two losses, when the Panthers scored a total of 13 points.
Culp's big night: James Culp couldn't decide which was better Friday night -- his three interceptions or a third-quarter touchdown catch.
Either way, it added up to a memorable homecoming night for Culp. The senior's three interceptions all came in the second half. He also took a wide receiver screen 25 yards to the house to give Central a 31-7 lead midway through the third.
"Tell you what, three interceptions are pretty nice," Culp said. "But the touchdown was great, too."
Goodyear's good: Central junior kicker Aaron Goodyear had a solid night for the Panthers, hitting a pair of field goals and going 4-for-4 on extra points.
Goodyear hit from 30 yards out in the first half, and 42 out in the second half. It's the second time this year he's made two field goals -- he also did so Week 1 against West York.
Hail to the King: Friday was homecoming at Central York, and one Panthers' player got the honor of Homecoming King before the game. Senior defensive lineman Brock Birden beat out teammates Charles Anderson, Kyle Baublitz and Tyler Benton for the crown.