Ian Desenberg said he and his Central York boys lacrosse teammates could be called a second half team.
Friday night, under the lights at Dallastown, the Panthers showed plenty of reason that statement can be made. Because of it, Central can now be called YAIAA Division I champions.
The Panthers fell behind by two goals, but rallied behind a five-goal barrage and went on to post an 11-9 victory over the Wildcats.
"It was their senior night. They had a lot of momentum in the first half," Desenberg said. "Our coach said we got lucky and were down by (only) one in the first half. And we just came back trucking in the second half.
"That's what we do. Our coaches do a good job of getting us pumped up at halftime. They said a lot of good speeches tonight and it got us rolling and rolling."
Central finished its league season unbeaten and is 14-2 overall. Both of Dallastown's YAIAA losses came at the hands of the Panthers. The Wildcats fell to 13-4.
As the final seconds ticked off, the Panthers tossed their sticks in the air and dog-piled on winning goalie Shane Walker. The team even drenched coach Wade Noonan with the icy water coolers during the postgame handshake.
The wet and cold Noonan said he expected the challenge from the Wildcats. He made slight modifications from the first time the teams played earlier in the season.
"We did little things here and there. We came prepared, we got our kids prepared," he said. "These kids were ready. They are always ready to play Dallastown. Dallastown is a well-coached team with good, athletic players. It's always a battle every single time we play them."
Tanner Ierley put Dallastown up 6-4 less than two minutes into the second half, but Desenberg and Collin George scored just 1:08 apart tying the game.
A short while later, Desenberg executed a perfect 2-on-1 with CJ Belker and scored the fourth of his five goals on the night, giving the Panthers the lead for good with 5:03 left in the third quarter.
Ian Johnson ripped home a man-up goal with only 18 seconds left in the third and Belker opened the fourth quarter scoring by banging home a rebound for his second of the game, giving Central a 9-6 lead.
"That's the way lacrosse is. It's a game of momentum and we couldn't flip the switch back," Wildcats coach Chris Andrews said. "They have a lot of firepower."
Ierley's third of the night, followed less than three minutes later by Jake Mitchell second on the power play, cut the lead to 9-8 with 4:39 left in regulation.
However 48 seconds later, Max Haldeman wristed a long shot home and Desenberg's spectacular behind-the-back goal put the finishing touches on the game.
"He's one of those kids when he needs to step up, he does," Noonan said of Desenberg. "He doesn't have to carry the team on his back. He gets everyone in good position to get him in good position to score."
With Mitchell, Tanner Bogacyzk and Ierley hitting the twine, the Wildcats scored three times in a 2:20 span of the second period to take a 5-3 lead.
But with the help of middie Sherief Sutton, the Panthers were able to shut down Dallastown's scoring punch after the intermission.
"Sherief Sutton is the unsung hero of our team. He is an amazing long-pole middie," Noonan said. "I like to keep him in the shadows. He's a great player. He's the workhorse on our team."
Joe Didusch opened the scoring for the Wildcats, which was answered by Belker 1:33 later. Kyle Andrews put Dallastown up 2-1 before Desenberg notched his first, tying the game with less than minutes remaining in the first quarter.
CENTRAL YORK 11, DALLASTOWN 9
Central York 2 2 4 3 -- 11
Dallastown 2 3 1 3 -- 9
First Quarter -- 1. Dt, Joe Didusch (Jake Mitchell), 9:21. 2. CY, CJ Belker, 7:48. 3. Dt, Kyle Andrews (Tanner Ierley), 7:02. 4. CY, Ian Desenberg (Jake Villier), 1:58.
Second Quarter -- 5. CY, Desenberg, 10:59. 6. Dt, Mitchell, 6:38. 7. Dt, Tanner Bogacyzk (Max Lohss), 5:50. 8. Dt, Ierley (David Dygert), 4:18. 9. CY, Max Haldeman, 3:15.
Third Quarter -- 10. Dt, Ierley (Mitchell), 10:17. 11. CY, Desenberg, 8:40. 12. CY, Collin George, 7:32. 13. CY, Desenberg (Belker) 5:03. 14. CY, Ian Johnson (George), :18.
Fourth Quarter -- 15. CY, Belker, 10:19. 16. Dt, Ierley (Dygert), 7:20. 17. Dt, Mitchell, 4:39. 18. CY, Haldeman, 3:51. 19. Desenberg (Haldeman), 2:13. 20. Dt, Bailey Haines (Didusch), :25.
Shots -- Central York 21, Dallastown 18.
Goalies -- Central York, Shane Walker (9 saves); Dallastown Jack Marks (10 saves).
JV Score -- Dallastown 11, Central York 5.