The Irish had little trouble with the Squires Friday night, rolling to a 42-7 road win to open division play. Matt Allibone
The senior quarterback threw for 168 yards and three touchdowns while running for a score and intercepting a pass.
York Catholic head coach Eric Depew enthusiastically high-fived and hugged everyone in sight.
The Fighting Irish had just opened YAIAA Division III play with a dominant, 42-7 road win Friday against previously undefeated Delone Catholic. Needless to say, Depew was pretty excited.
"I mean, this is a big game, division game against a big rival," Depew said. "It's huge as far as the division, it's huge as far as districts. Knowing they were the No. 1 team (in District 3 Class 2A) going in scared me. I knew (the Squires) were going to have a lot of energy because I think they knew what was on the line."
In a game that could have major implications in both the Division III and District 3 standings, York Catholic (3-1, 1-0) seemed to have more energy than the Squires (3-1, 0-1) right from the jump. The Irish scored on their opening drive and converted big play after big play. And with the exception of an 83-yard kick return touchdown by Ryan Hart in the second quarter, Delone never had an answer.
As usual, York Catholic relied on the 1-2 punch of quarterback Dan Yokemick and running back Jakkar Kinard. The duo combined for 226 of the team's 251 rushing yards and all of its carries in the first half.
It's a big load for two players to handle, but Depew said the Irish will continue to ride the pair.
"We're a small school and they're the 1-2 punch," Depew said. "It all starts with the guys in the trenches, if we don't have those guys, we're not going to get those big plays."
Kinard rushed for 90 yards and scored on a 28-yard dash, but Yokemick made most of the big plays Friday night. The senior quarterback went 5-of-6 for 168 yards and three touchdowns while adding a 60-yard score on the ground. He also intercepted a pass on defense.
For most of the night, it seemed like Yokemick could do no wrong. He fitted a beautiful 31-yard touchdown pass to a well-covered Ryan Sewell in the first quarter and added long scoring throws to Brenden Kennedy and Riley Brennan in the third quarter as the Irish turned the game into a blowout.
"I've never had a game like that," Yokemick said. "This boosts our confidence, we know if we beat them we can probably win out, but we've got to keep getting better."
As the Fighting Irish celebrated, Delone coach Corey Zortman tried to keep his player's spirits high. The Squires entered the season with district playoff aspirations, but only two out of seven teams qualify for the 2A tournament, so every loss hurts.
Big plays and turnovers killed Delone on Friday night. The Squires gave up three fumbles and three interceptions, most of which killed promising drives. And with an offense based around the run game, it wasn't easy to dig out of the hole.
With numerous Division III teams off to strong starts this season, Zortman said the Squires don't have time to feel sorry for themselves.
"There's still a chance that some 9-1 teams could possibly stay home (from the district tournament)," Zortman said. "When you have a loss like that, you've got to make them believe that there is still a chance because it's a long season. Unfortunately a game like this with so much on the line comes so early, and unfortunately we didn't play well tonight."
YC -- Jakkar Kinard 1 run (Nicolas Basile), 8:26
YC-- Ryan Sewell 31 pass from Dan Yokemick (Basile kick), 5:04
YC -- Kinard 28 run (Basile kick), 10:19
DC -- Ryan Hart 83 kick return (Brandon Hall), 10:06
YC -- Yokemick 60 run (Basile kick), 9:04
YC -- Brenden Kennedy 58 pass from Yokemick (kick failed), 6:45
YC -- Riley Brennan 42 pass from Yokemick (pass to Brenden Kennedy), 0:14
Rushing — YC, Jakkar Kinnard 24-90, Dan Yokemick 11-136, Manuel Montes 1-4, Kyle Dormer 7-21. DC, Zach Hart 10-50, Ryan Hart 5-22, Logan Panzer 5-11, Brian Shermeyer 4-9, Sean Sneeringer 2-9, Tyler Monto 2-15, Andrew Hernandez 2-2, Dimitri Partenza 1-5, Derek Weaver 1-2, Evan Brady 2-(-12).
Passing — YC, Yokemick 5-6-168-0. DC, Shermeyer 9-15-53-2, Brady 0-3-1.
Receiving — YC, Ryan Sewell 2-55, Brenden Kennedy 2-71, Riley Brennan 1-42. DC, Larry Lefler 3-28, Cody Pfaff 1-9, Sneeringer 1-10, Panzer 1-1, Hernandez 2-7, Ryan Hart 1-(-2).