While the Spartans have had trouble keeping their composure in 2016, their Week 7 victory over Fairfield showed a new mentality. Ryan T Provencher
An outstanding defensive effort by York County Tech pushed the Spartans to their fourth win of the season, and ruined homecoming for Fairfield.
The Spartans defeated the Green Knights, 28-12, in YAIAA Division III football action Friday night at Robert E. Finafrock Field. The four wins for Tech is its most since posting a 6-4 record in 2009.
"We're making progress and the kids believe in themselves," Tech head coach Charlie Troxell said. "That's a good team over there that we just beat. They're very capable of moving the ball on offense."
Tech (4-3, 2-2) held sophomore running back Charlie Burnett to 18 yards rushing on 11 carries after Burnett entered the game third in the YAIAA in rushing yards with 810.
Fairfield (4-3, 1-3) played without two starters on its offensive line, had two others playing out of their usual positions and started two sophomores up front.
"We're a single-A team and when you lose two starters on your line and have to move guys around, that makes it tough," Fairfield head coach Darwin Seiler said. "We don't have the depth to overcome that. There's no excuses, you have to play with who you have and York Tech played well and deserved to win tonight."
The Spartans took an 8-0 lead in the second quarter on Josiah Smallwood's quarterback keeper with 3:50 left in the opening half.
Fairfield cut the deficit to 8-6 on Nick Wheeler's 30-yard touchdown catch from Darian Mort early in the third quarter.
The score remained that way until the visitors put the game out of reach on a pair of scoring runs by Smallwood in an 88-second span early in the fourth quarter.
Smallwood scored with 11:31 to play, then following an interception, the junior signal caller scored with 10:03 left. He visited the end zone one more time with 6:03 to play and finished the game with 101 yards rushing on 18 carries and four scores. He also completed 12-of-24 passes for 164 yards through the air.
"The offensive line did a great job tonight of protecting me and opening holes for guys to run through," Smallwood said. "Our defense played well and our offense capitalized on our chances. Coach (Troxell) said this game would define us and it's great to get the win."
Fairfield did put together a final scoring drive when the Knights went 82 yards in four plays and scored when Mort found Garrett Stadler with a 32-yard scoring pass with 4:19 to play.
York Tech's defense yielded 180 yards through the air, but the Knights lost 13 yards on their 20 rushing attempts.
"We don't try to stop just one player," Troxell said referring to the defensive game plan not solely focusing on Burnett. "Because we know that when you commit too much of your attention to one guy, that other guys will hurt you. We played solid, all-around defense tonight."
York Tech _0_8_0_20 - _28
Fairfield _0_0_6_6 - _12
YT - Josiah Smallwood 3 run (Smallwood run) 3:50
Fair - Nick Wheeler 30 pass from Darian Mort (run failed) 9:44
YT - Smallwood 1 run (Jordan Ray pass from Smallwood) 11:31
YT - Smallwood 8 run (pass failed) 10:03
YT - Smallwood 4 run (run failed) 6:08
Fair - Garrett Stadler 32 pass from Mort (pass failed) 4:19
First Downs _15_9
Passing Yards _164_180
Total Yards _319_167
Rushing - York Tech, Josiah Smallwood 18-101, Tyrese Smallwood 11-31, Ben Jackson 3-17, Isaiah Colon 5-6, Terence Romey 1-0. Fairfield, Charlie Burnett 11-18, Stadler 1-0, Team 2-(-14), Mort 6-(-17).
Passing - York Tech, J. Smallwood 12-24-164-3. Fairfield, Mort 13-30-180-1.
Receiving - York Tech, Romey 6-91, T. Smallwood 2-29, Chris Sams 2-21, Tavon Williams 1-13, Manuel Spells 1-10. Fairfield, Stadler 4-69, Joey Quealy 3-33, Trystan Griffith 3-28, Wheeler 2-49, Burnett 1-1.