Using the running game to build an early lead and the passing game to seal its fourth consecutive victory on the season, Littlestown defeated York County Tech, 34-8, in the Bolts' first YAIAA Division III matchup of the season.
For the Spartans (2-2, 0-1) it was a day to forget, getting both frustrated and dominated on the field as they committed 15 penalties and accumulated 100 penalty yards.
The Thunderbolts (4-0, 1-0) had troubles of their own in the first half, fumbling the ball three times and keeping the Spartans in the game.
Despite the turnovers, Littlestown went into halftime leading, 13-8, thanks to its running back tandem of Andrew Matthews and Wesley Storey.
Midway through the first quarter, Matthews slipped into the end zone on a 1-yard run. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Storey had a short score of his own, running it in from the 3-yard line.
“It was much needed,” said Storey about returning to play after exiting last week’s game with a scary injury. “I couldn’t stand sitting out this week in practice. It was like no contact, no contact, then slow getting back into it.”
The game flipped 180 degrees in the second half. Instead of fumbles, penalty flags started falling; instead of powerful rushes, Littlestown quarterback Tanner Noble moved the ball through the air. The senior signal caller completed 13-of-21 passes for 231 yards and threw two touchdown passes.
Noble rushed into the end zone for a 2-yard score in the third quarter, and he made the Bolts a two-dimensional threat.
“It’s always great when we can throw the ball, but I like when we can run and score too,” Noble said. “Any way to get into the end zone is the best for me. We could air it out, we could get our runs out on the sweeps and when you have someone like [Tyler Barthel] you can just throw it up and he gets it.”
Barthel pulled in seven receptions for 105 yards, and he scored two touchdowns. With 11:05 left in the fourth quarter, the receiver had a 22-yard touchdown reception. He added a 7-yard score midway through the quarter.
Thunderbolts’ head coach Mike Lippy was impressed with his quarterback’s ability to block out his past failures and focus on the game.
“I think it’s very encouraging for sure,” Lippy said. “To have an opportunity when things weren’t going our way with the fumbles and stuff to throw him in there. He had a couple bad throws, now he’s on all cylinders.”
L – Andrew Matthews 1 run (Alex Potts kick).
YT – Terence Romey 15 pass from Josiah Smallwood (Tyrese Smallwood run).
L – Wesley Storey 3 run (run failed).
L – Tanner Noble 2 run (Trey Noble pass from Noble), 6:02.
L – Tyler Barthel 22 pass from Noble (Potts kick), 11:05.
L – Barthel 7 from Noble (kick failed), 6:07.
L – Mike Sparks 1 run (Drake Pew kick).
Rushing — Littlestown, Wesley Storey 16-61, Andrew Matthews 10-55, Austin Watters 4-9, Tanner Noble 3-(-12), Jakob Lane 1-6, Alex Potts 1-12, Corbin Brown 2-6, Wyatt Kramer 1-18 York Tech, Josiah Smallwood 10-26, Isaiah Colon 5-15, Ben Jackson 2-8, Tyrese Smallwood 3-(-3).
Passing — Littlestown, Tanner Noble 13-21-231-0, Jakob Lane 1-1-11-0. York Tech, Josiah Smallwood 9-23-96-2.
Receiving — Littlestown, Ben Snouffer 2-58, Tyler Barthel 7-105, Wyatt Kramer 1-1, Heath Reynolds 1-21, Storey 1-13, Corbin Brown 1-30, Dylan Morey 1-14. York Tech, Terence Romey 4-38, Julio Pascal 3-26, Tavon Williams 2-32.