Bermudian overcomes slow start to beat Spartans
It was the type of start Bermudian Springs head coach Jon Defoe has seen too often this season.
Taking on York County Tech on the road Saturday afternoon, the Eagles came out flat in the first quarter. Quarterback Chase Dull was intercepted on the team's first offensive play, and the Spartans immediately scored on a 28-yard pass from Josiah Smallwood to Jordan Ray.
Once again, however, Bermudian Springs overcame the early deficit, eventually earning a 28-7 win over the Spartans.
While satisfied with the victory, DeFoe admitted the team's first-quarter performances have been frustrating.
"I wish I had an answer," DeFoe said. "There's no reason for it, no excuse. To be honest, today wasn't the intensity level or enthusiasm high school football needs to be played on our end. I guess I need to take responsibility. You get 10 games a year, you should be excited to play any day whether it's Saturday or Monday."
Despite the game being tied at the end of the first quarter, the Eagles outscored the Spartans 21-0 the rest of the way and held them to just 15 yards rushing. The win kept the Eagles (5-1, 3-0 YAIAA Division III) tied with York Catholic for first place atop the division.
With Bermudian Springs' next three games against arguably the division's top three teams: Delone Catholic, York Catholic and Littlestown, DeFoe said the Eagles need to increase their intensity. Still, he remains encouraged by the team's ability to overcome adversity.
"I love the fact that we've been a real strong second-half team because the kids have confidence that they can put it together," said. "But a start like that against another team might just be too much to dig out from."
Once the Eagles started clicking, they moved the ball fairly consistently and finished with 360 yards of total offense. Quarterback Chase Dull overcame the early interception to complete 9-of-14 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, and seniors Ashton West and Devon Hodgen both reached the end zone twice.
Bermudian Springs has traditionally been a run-first team, but the emergence of Dull has given its offense a nice balance. The sophomore has started every game this fall after tearing his ACL midway through last season.
"(The interception) was just a bad throw, but it's four quarters, you can't let up and you've got to keep going," Dull said. "All I wanted to do (last year) was get back on the field, it's awesome to be winning."
While the Eagles overcame their slow start Saturday, York County Tech (3-3, 1-2 Division III) was unable to capitalize on its early touchdown. Smallwood made a number of impressive throws and finished with 156 passing yards, but the Spartans were hindered by their lack of a running game.
Despite the loss, Spartans head coach Charlie Troxell was encouraged by his team's ability to compete with Bermudian for most of the game.
"We don't have a lot experience up front and we were having trouble blocking them," Troxell said. "I was impressed with our kids, they fought really hard. We're 3-3 and there are some good opportunities coming up."
York County Tech_7_0_0_0_—_7
YCT -- Jordan Ray 28 pass from Josiah Smallwood (Isaiah Colon kick), 9:30
BS -- Ashton West 28 run (Noah Aeppli kick), 4:30
BS -- West 1 run (Aeppli kick), 7:21
BS -- Devon Hodgen 36 pass from Chase Dull (Aeppli kick), 4:20
BS -- Hodgen 26 run (Aeppli kick), 8:54
Rushing — BS, Ashton West 14-83, Devon Hodgen 7-50, Addison Wheeler 9-41, Brenton Krebs 9-41, Ben Egenrieder 1-(-6). YCT, Tyrese Smallwood 7-22, Isaiah Colon 2-1, Josiah Smallwood 8-(-8).
Passing — BS, Chase Dull 9-14-150-1. YCT, Josiah Smallwood 15-31-156-1.
Receiving — BS, Hodgen 3-53, West 3-42, Trevor Grim 2-23, Quinton Nace 1-32. YCT, Jordan Ray 3-66, Terence Romey 7-47, Colon 2-36, Manuel Spells 1-6, Christopher Sams 2-1.