The South Western Mustangs left Central York with a win in a tight defensive battle. Christian Arnold
When it mattered most the South Western Mustangs defense stepped up and did the job they had to do.
It was the impressive effort of the Mustangs' defensive unit that helped fend off Central York and preserve a 14-11 victory over the Division I foe on the road. The biggest stop came in late in the fourth quarter with the Panthers on the cusp of making South Western pay for a mistake.
Mustangs’ quarterback Nate VanCampen had just taken a safety and the Panthers were starting off the following drive with good field position.
However, the South Western defense allowed only 14 yards on the offensive series and forced Central to turn over the ball on downs.
“Our defense was playing so well all night,” Mustangs’ head coach Damian Poalucci said. “We had a goal line stop down there, we gave up three points. We had a goal line stop here. The defense was just doing a great job, so we figured put the ball in the hands of what’s going well. We took a shot and we trusted them.”
The Mustangs’ defenders gave the Central York offense headaches all night. The Panthers had an early chance to score in the second quarter down 7-0 when the Mustangs botched a punt. Central York moved the ball to the 5-yard line, but was held out of the end zone.
They found themselves in a similar situation later in the game when Jordan Bowie picked off a pass and returned to the 5-yard line. But Central didn’t score there either.
“It just really came down to all of us playing as a unit,” South Western defensive tackle Bubba Carbaugh said. “The linebackers played fundamentally sound. Stopped the run first, covered the pass second. The defensive line stopped the run every time. The corners and safeties were wonderful at stopping the pass.
“I mean it was just all one group playing fundamentally sound football. It was amazing.”
Drew Hartlaub’s two touchdowns were all the Mustangs needed offensively and the defense did their job at holding off Central’s offense, which came from behind the week before to defeat Northeastern.
“It’s that prototypical letdown,” Central York coach Josh Oswalt said. “We’re young, we’re still learning football, we’re still learning how to play the game. We’re still learning how to do things and maybe this will be a good thing for us, and we can actually understand when we don’t do the things we’re coached to do bad things can happen.
Central (3-1) was coming off a 28-27 road win at Northeastern and the Mustangs entered Friday's game with a 2-2 record.
South Western – Drew Hartlaub 1 fumble recovery (Mason Felton kick), 11:46
Central York – Carter Luckenbaugh 17 field goal, 6:00
South Western – Drew Hartlaub 6 run (Felton kick), 10:19
Central York – Noreaga Goff 1 run (failed two-point conversion), 8:45
Central York – safety, 3:34
Rushing — SW, Austin Snyder 4-9, Delunche Shaw 14-47, Nate VanCampen 7-11, Thaddeus Davis 15-85, Drew Hartlaub 7-26, Carson Perry 3-13, Josh Higdon 1-10, Telan Moore 1-9. CY, Noreaga Goff 12-32, Cade Pribula 4-(-14), Eddie Santiago 2-13, Hunter Werner 2-11.
Passing — SW, Nate VanCampen 7-15-60-1. CY, Cade Pribula 7-20-117-0
Receiving — SW, Drew Hartlaub 5-38, Shareef Jakes 1-6, Delunche Shaw 1-16. CY, Dustin Grim 1-14, Eddie Santiago 4-84, Tim Surgis 1-9, Sakai Barton 1-10.