Most teams in central Pennsylvania know what is coming when they face up against perennial powerhouse Cumberland Valley.
The Eagles’ hard-nosed, in-your-face rushing game is easy to spot, but hard to stop.
Unfortunately for a young Central York football team, this was no different Friday night as the Panthers fell, 35-7, at home to last year’s District 3 Class AAAA champion.
Despite the setback, first-year head coach Josh Oswalt said he's confident his team will learn from the loss.
“We learned that if they (Central) play the way they’re coached, then good things will happen,” said Oswalt. “We made way too many mistakes against a very good football team, and that’s why it ended the way it did. It’s all about execution.”
Cumberland Valley used its well-known run attack to score four touchdowns on seven possessions.
What was the key?
“Third downs. You get an offense like that in a third-down situation? They don’t throw the ball. That’s when we need to attack the ball and make the play, and we didn’t do it,” Oswalt said.
Junior Jake Palmer scored twice in the first half and finished with 48 yards on eight carries. The air seemed to be taken out of the Panthers’ sails when junior Charlie Katshir returned a Central punt 74 yards to give the visitors a 21-0 lead going into halftime.
Quarterback Ridge Bachman added a score in the third quarter, and junior Cole McCoy added the final blow early in the fourth quarter on his only carry of the evening.
Central quelled a would-be shutout with 7:28 left to play when sophomore gunslinger Cade Pribula hit receiver Eddie Santiago from 7 yards out for the Panthers’ lone score of the night.
Central's offense relied heavily on senior running back Noreaga Goff, who finished with 111 yards on 24 carries. Pribula finished 9-of-20 passing for 106 yards. Oswalt was satisfied with Pribula's performance.
“There are things that we need to clean up, but he’s 15 years old,” Oswalt said. “He did some good things tonight. He’s mature beyond his years, and I’m blessed to have a guy like that.”
Oswalt said his team will move forward from this and take some lessons into Hempfield next Friday.
“We know exactly where we want to be. We want to be that perennial powerhouse,” Oswalt said.
Cumberland Valley – Jake Palmer 5 run (Ridge Bachman kick), 6:48.
Cumberland Valley – Jake Palmer 7 run (Bachman kick), 8:40.
Cumberland Valley - Charles Katshir 74 punt return (Bachman kick), 32.9.
Cumberland Valley – Ridge Bachman 1 run (kick failed), 5:41.
Cumberland Valley – Cole McCoy 1 run (Cole Homovich pass from Jared Plessinger), 11:28.
Central – Eddie Santiago 7 pass from Cade Pribula (Carter Luckenbaugh kick), 7:28.
Rushing — Cumberland Valley, Josiah Quigley 16-143, Jake Palmer 8-48, Tyler Sunday 5-41, Austin Kupdo 5-35, Chase Ebersole 4-25, Charles Katshir 2-6, Alexander Hetzel 5-12, Ridge Bachman 1-1, Jared Plessinger 2-10, Cole McCoy 1-1, Logan Thorne 1-1. Central, Noreaga Goff 24-111, Hunter Werner 1-2, Sakai Barton 2-(-3), Cade Pribula 3-(-9).
Passing — Cumberland Valley, Ridge Bachman 4-7-0-71, Jared Plessinger 1-1-0-28. Central, Cade Pribula 9-20-2-106.
Receiving — Cumberland Valley, Charles Katshir 2-61, Cole McCoy 2-20, Josiah Quigley 1-18. Central, Eddie Santiago 3-35, Sakai Barton 2-26, Noreaga Goff 1-9, Dustin Grim 1-14, Tim Sturgis 2-22.