Even after just two games, Northeastern senior David Ankney might have his team pegged for the season.
After Friday night's convincing 31-24 victory against visiting York Suburban, the 5-foot-10 wide receiver said he believes his team is stronger during the second half of football games.
After putting up 40 points in last week's season-opening victory against York Catholic, the Bobcats managed to score just six points before halftime on Friday.
"We came out expecting to win the whole time," Ankney said.
But Northeastern posted four scores in the second half, including two fourth-quarter touchdown receptions from Ankney himself.
"We're more of a running-based team, but we can throw. We definitely focus on pounding the ball," he said.
The Bobcats improved to 2-0 on the season with the win, while the Trojans remain winless at 0-2.
The hosts dominated on both sides of the ball in the half, powered by a strong offensive line that opened holes for six Bobcat running backs. Of their 225 total rushing yards, 166 came in the second half.
After going down 6-0 in the first quarter, York Suburban answered in the second stanza with two touchdown catches from Dajour Henderson and Collin Mailman to take a 14-6 lead before the hosts came out firing in the second half.
Mailman bested his Week 1 performance (5 catches, 117 yards) with a stellar 11-for-120 performance Friday. Senior quarterback Thomas Merkle led the offensive charge in the loss with 264 yards passing on the night.
"Between Merkle and Mailman, that's a great aspect to have on a football team," Northeastern head coach Jon Scepanski said. "They played a great football game tonight."
With 10:15 left to play, the Trojans looked to even the score when Northeastern quarterback Shannon Valenti fumbled the ball on the Suburban 41-yard line. The Bobcat defense, however, denied any yardage with a critical three-and-out series.
"For them to come out and make that stop — we have a lot of seniors over there, and three captains are out there (on defense) for us. The leadership that those guys can bring and rally the group together is a big positive for us."
Ne — Jonathen Butler 3 pass from Shannon Valenti (kick failed), 2:28.
YS — Dajour Henderson 53 pass from Thomas Merkle (Jonas Atkinson kick), 4:30.
YS — Collin Mailman 44 pass from Merkle (Atkinson kick), 2:04.
Ne — Anu Johnson 4 run (kick failed), 8:42.
Ne — Valenti 1 run (conversion failed), 5:45.
YS — Atkinson 33 field goal, 2:51.
Ne — David Ankney 38 pass from Valenti (kick failed), 11:47.
Ne — Ankney 20 pass from Valenti (Cameron Artman kick), 4:54 .
YSNeFirst downs 16 2 Rushes-yards 21-36 40-225 Passing 22-43-1 5-9-0 Passing yards 264 71 Total yards 300 296Punts 6-26.6 6-32.4 Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1 Penalties-yards 5-40 10-89
Rushing — YS, Travis Edwards 6-15, Thomas Merkle 4-14, Dajour Henderson 8-9, Teague Hoffman 3-(-2). Ne, Shannon Valenti 13-71, Anu Johnson 10-55, Chris Whack 12-42, Taemar Willis 2-37, Dezmend Wigginton 1-16, Kody Reeser 2-4.
Passing — YS, Thomas Merkle 22-43-1-264. Ne, Shannon Valenti 5-9-0-71
Receiving — YS, Collin Mailman 11-120, Dejour Henderson 2-59, Dustin Knaub 5-58, Brad Smith 4-27. Ne, Jonathen Butler 2-7, David Ankney 2-58, Jordan Zirkle 1-6.