It was a pass that York Suburban senior quarterback Thomas Merkle had thrown thousands of times before to Collin Mailman in practices, games and summer workouts over the years.
This time, this pass had a little more significance attached to it.
Merkle's first-quarter, 25-yard completion to Mailman on a third-and-10 play was enough to surpass Mike Beckley as the Trojans' career passing yardage leader. Beckley had established the record of 4,048 yards in 1998.
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Merkle wound up passing for four touchdowns and 258 yards before exiting the game with what appears to be a minor injury as York Suburban blew past Susquehannock, 47-14, in a YAIAA Division II game at York Suburban High School.
"It's an awesome achievement, an awesome accomplishment," Merkle said. "I got to meet (Beckley) before the game. He was here. That was pretty cool. But the big thing is we got a win. We are 2-0 in the division, and hopefully we can keep things going. Everybody played well."
Merkle now stands at 4,208 career yards with five regular-season games remaining. Former Spring Grove quarterback Matt Marshall owns the York County record with 4,894 career passing yards, set in 2006.
Marshall is a volunteer assistant coach with the Trojans. He has known Merkle since helping out at the York Suburban youth football camps run by Matt's father, Brian Marshall.
"Both of the Marshalls have been great to work with," Merkle said. "I've been working with them since I was 6 years old. They have helped me with my quarterbacking skills, my footwork, vision, everything."
York Suburban (4-2, 2-0 Division II) broke open a one-touchdown game in the second quarter behind three touchdown passes by Merkle. He connected on a 53-yarder with Mailman, a 35-yarder with senior running back Dajour Henderson and a 5-yard score with junior wide receiver Colin Deardorf.
"We did a good job of mixing it up," said York Suburban coach Andy Loucks, whose team finished with 535 yards on offense. "We did a good job of picking up their blitzes on pass protection, and Dajour (Henderson) had some big plays (including a 76-yard run in the fourth quarter) and sparked us at times. If we can run and throw effectively like that, it makes any offense hard to stop."
Susquehannock (2-4, 1-1 Division II) was held to just two first downs and 50 yards of offense in the first half as it fell behind 26-0. The Warriors amassed 209 yards in the second half, including 138 on the ground.
"It's frustrating," said Susquehannock coach Steve Wiles. "(York Suburban) by far was the better team (Friday night). I truly believe we had a shot to be in the game, based on film and common opponents, but credit to them, they played a heck of a game. I thought we might be able to run the ball, but we just couldn't. It's disappointing."
Merkle left the game after taking a hit on a 43-yard scoring pass to Mailman in the third quarter. He removed his pads and had an ice bag on his collarbone/shoulder area immediately after, but removed it before the game ended. Merkle and Loucks both said his coming out of the game was precautionary, and he was fine.
YS — Dajour Henderson 1 run (Jonas Atkinson kick), 9:24.
YS — Collin Mailman 53 pass from Thomas Merkle (kick failed), 10:44.
YS — Henderson 35 pass from Merkle (pass failed), 10:27.
YS — Colin Deardorf 5 pass from Merkle (Atkinson kick), :27
YS — Mailman 43 pass from Merkle (Atkinson kick), 9:20.
Sus — Dorian Faster 5 pass from Josh Stoneberg (Adam Hedgeland Jr. kick), 2:08.
Sus — Kevin Clapp 10 run (Hedgeland kick), 9:48
YS — Jadon Haynes 5 run (Atkinson kick), 8:14.
YS — Haynes 7 run (Atkinson kick), 5:11.
SusYSFirst downs1318 Rushes-yards31-16436-253 Passing9-17-313-22-1 Passing yards95282 Total yards259535 Punts3-32.70-0.0 Fumbles-lost1-00-0 Penalties-yards5-423-42
Rushing — Sus, Kevin Clapp 11-81, Jack Allred 6-42, Myles Moultrie 4-23, Nick Tannura 3-8, Dorian Faster 5-6, Josh Stoneberg 1-4, Kyle Orndorff 1-0. YS, Dajour Henderson 14-156, Teague Hoffman 7-49, Jadon Haynes 9-39, Thomas Merkle 3-6, Collin Mailman 1-5, Ben Igo 2-(-2).
Passing — Sus, Stoneberg, 9-17-95-3. YS, Merkle 12-20-258-1, Igo 1-2-24-0.
Receiving — Sus, Tannura 4-61, Allred 1-14, Faster 2-13, Pearce Bloom 2-7. YS, Mailman 3-121, Deardorf 3-49, Brad Smith 3-44, Henderson 3-41, Hoffman 1-27.