York Suburban secures back-to-back division crowns
Before last season, York Suburban hadn't won a division title in football in 33 years.
But the Trojans are back-to-back YAIAA Division II champions after Friday night's 28-22 victory against Gettysburg on at Dick May Field.
For now, though, they've only clinched a share of this season's title. They would earn the outright crown if they can defeat Eastern York on the road next week.
"We have a lot of talent back this season that I don't think a lot of people realized that we had," Trojans senior Jadon Haynes said. "When we won the division last year, our goal immediately after that was to repeat this year."
Things didn't start off great for Suburban's 2016 campaign, though, as the Trojans fell to Lancaster Catholic and York Catholic in the first two games of the season. But a 36-14 win against Columbia in Week 3 set Suburban onto a seven-game winning streak, including Friday's win.
"We played two very tough teams to start the season and we only had three days of practice before school started. So we had to work hard to catch up with other teams," Suburban coach Andy Loucks said. "We've improved a lot since then."
Friday, the Trojans faced a stiff test in Gettysburg, which entered the game averaging 240 yards per contest on the ground and the fourth-leading rusher in the conference in Gettysburg's Edny Celius. But Suburban limited Gettysburg to 114 yards rushing and kept Celius to 47 yards on 13 carries after he began the night averaging 136 yards per game.
"They can really run the ball and Celius is as good of a running back as there is in the conference," Loucks said. "With his speed, he's a threat from anywhere on the field if he finds a crack in the defense."
Things didn't start well for the hosts on senior night as Gettysburg recovered an onside kick to start the game. But following a three-and-out, Suburban marched 99 yards in 12 plays and took a 7-0 lead when Ben Igo scored on a quarterback keeper from 16 yards out.
Suburban (7-2, 5-0) took a 20-7 lead into halftime, but the Warriors did not quit after intermission.
Gettysburg scored on the first drive of the second half when Bryce Newman rushed it in from 10 yards out with 8:16 to play in the frame, and Suburban stayed in front, 20-14, until late in the fourth quarter.
To keep its lead, Suburban stopped Gettysburg on a fourth down at the Trojans 3-yard line with eight minutes to go. A missed field goal ended the next Suburban drive, but the Trojans recovered a Gettysburg fumble at the Warriors' 41-yard line with two minutes to play.
Haynes rushed for a 3-yard touchdown with 1:08 left, seemingly putting the game out of reach. However, Gettysburg had one last gasp as Josh Clapsaddle found Ferrious Ashford for a 40-yard touchdown catch with five seconds to play.
But Gettysburg (5-4, 3-2) saw its onside kick attempt go out of bounds, and the Trojans knelt on the ball to end it.
"Andy had a good game plan and his kids executed it," Gettysburg coach Matt Heiser said. "Our boys didn't give up, and they fought hard tonight. But you can't turn the ball over twice against a team like this and expect to win."
The coaching matchup featured two coaches who had played together in college at Lock Haven University in the mid-90s.
"I've known Matt for 25 years, and his team has his personality. They never give up, they keep coming at you," Loucks said. "Even though they were behind at halftime, I knew that they would keep fighting us for another two quarters."
The back-to-back division crowns for Suburban is the first time the Trojans have captured division titles in consecutive seasons since 1961 and 1962.
Gettysburg _7_0_7_8_ — _22
York Suburban _13_7_0_8_ — _28
YS - Ben Igo 16 run (Zach Weinstein kick) 4:55
YS - Willie Batty 9 pass from Igo (kick failed) 1:34
Get - Brady Fouchie 43 pass from Josh Clapsaddle (Jake Bridel kick) 0:44
YS - Jadon Haynes 26 pass from Igo (Weinstein kick) 3:55
Get - Bryce Newman 10 run (Bridel kick) 8:16
YS - Haynes 3 run (Colin Deardorff pass from Igo) 1:08
Get - Ferrious Ashford 40 pass from Clapsaddle (Clapsaddle run) 0:05
First Downs _17_19
Passing Yards _195_184
Total yards _309_414
Rushing - Gettysburg, Edny Celius 13-47, Newman 10-39, Ashford 3-11, Wesley Gayle 3-9, Clapsaddle 2-8; York Suburban, Teague Hoffman 14-84, Haynes 7-57, Janner Torres 9-57, Igo 7-28, Savion Harrison 2-4.
Passing - Gettysburg, Clapsaddle 10-21-195-1; York Suburban, Igo 13-19-184-0, Evander Harris 0-1-0-0.
Receiving - Gettysburg, Ashford 6-114, Fouchie 3-70, Gayle 1-11; York Suburban, Deardorff 4-62, Hoffman 4-60, Haynes 2-47, Batty 2-15, Torres 1-0.