Just two years ago, Andy Loucks stood on the sidelines at Kennard-Dale, leading the team during the 2013 season. He donned the blue-and-yellow for the winless Rams that year, but did not return.
Loucks got an important 34-12 win at Kennard-Dale on Friday night, but this time, he found himself on the opposite side, wearing the orange-and-black of York Suburban.
The Trojans' head coach smiled as he stood in front of the team huddle and left the boys cheering after announcing that they earned one less practice. Loucks had one word to answer whether the win over his former team, at a school where still teaches, meant a lot to him.
"Absolutely," he said as he headed toward a joyful visiting locker room.
York Suburban (2-2, 1-0 Division II) needed a win at Kennard-Dale (1-3, 0-1) to make it two straight and get back to .500 on the season. It was another step toward meeting the potential that Loucks sees in this team.
"We have a good football team when we play the way we are capable of," he said. "We just got to keep tightening up the mistakes that hurt us. That's the progress we have to make."
The Trojans made an effort to bring a more balanced attack at the Rams, looking to generate a running game to supplement the region's top passer, Thomas Merkle.
Merkle led York Suburban early, completing 13 passes for 133 yards in the first half. He said his team knew the significance of the game to their coach.
"I'm sure (the win) meant a lot to him," Merkle said. "It was a big week for him, and we wanted to get the (win). I'm sure it had a little extra something, so that was good. It wasn't pretty, but we got the win."
The senior quarterback had done enough in the first half to allow junior running back Jadon Haynes to carry the load and close the game. Haynes and senior running back Dajour Henderson helped York Suburban out rush a Kennard-Dale team that had 280 more rushing yards this season entering Friday.
"I feel great," Haynes said. "In the first half, I wasn't expecting it as much, but as the game went on, I kind of got a feel for it. I feel like we're on the right roll, and once we get on the roll, it'll be hard to stop us."
Chase Carlile, the 10th leading rusher in the YAIAA entering the game, highlighted the Kennard-Dale's offense with 113 yards and a touchdown.
York Suburban 34, Kennard-Dale 12
YS — Colin Deardorf 8 pass from Thomas Merkle (Atkinson kick), 2:59.
YS — Teague Hoffman 1 rush (Atkinson kick), 9:07.
YS — Dajour Henderson 21 rush (Atkinson kick), 5:30.
KD — Chase Carlile 19 rush (kick failed), 6:35.
YS — Travis Edwards 1 rush (Atkinson kick), 3:26
KD — Dalton Stike 1 rush (Two-point failed), 6:56
YS — Collin Mailman 30 pass from Thomas Merkle (kick failed), 3:49
YSKDFirst downs2311Rushes-yards46-28125-195Passing15-26-19-20-0 Passing yards186181 Total yards467376Fumbles-lost2-21-1 Penalties-yards5-406-35
Rushing — YS, Dajour Henderson 10-63, Travis Edwards 7-24, Jadon Hayes 7-94, Teague Hoffman 14-85, Thomas Markle 7-10, Collin Mailman 1-5. KD, Chase Carlile 14-113, Nick Workinger 5-73, Dalton Stike 5-6, Shawn Ellis 1-3.
Passing — YS, Thomas Merkle 15-26, 186 yards. KD, Daniel Brewer 0-3. Dalton Stike 9-17, 181 yards.
Receiving — YS, Brad Smith 9-124, Collin Mailman 2-38, Colin Deardorf 2-5, Travis Edwards 1-5, Dajour Henderson 1-14. KD, Chase Carlile 4-47, Kyle Woolridge 2-80, Connor Stokes 2-47, Shawn Ellis 1-7.