As if starting the season 0-2 wasn't enough adversity, York Suburban found itself trailing by two touchdowns less than five minutes into Saturday morning's YAIAA Division III game at York County Tech.
Perhaps making matters worse was those three Spartan scores came after the Trojans grabbed the early lead.
However, Suburban responded with three second-quarter scores and went on to post a 50-34 win.
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"It always feels good to win. I was happy for the kids. We needed that," Jones said. "It was good all around, our kids got to enjoy it, got to sing with the band."
Suburban senior Ch'aim Smith recovered a fumbled punt snap in the Spartans' end zone to open the scoring less than two minutes into the game.
Twenty one seconds later, York Tech quarterback Dalmar Dickson's dazzling fake hand-off resulted in his 72-yard touchdown run. The Trojans fumbled the kickoff, and it took just three plays until Calvin Savary sprinted in from 35 yards out and ran in a two-point conversion, putting York Tech (0-3, 0-2) up 14-7.
Dickson scored his second touchdown of the first quarter, giving his team a 22-7 lead after only 4:38 had been played.
"It might have been the worst thing that happened to us was the quick score," Jones said. "I told them coming in, 'If you take them lightly they are going to take it to us.' The next thing you know it's 22-7."
But the Trojans took advantage of great field position, and Liam McWilliams capped an eight-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown, slicing the lead.
Suburban forced a Spartan three-and-out, and a short while later, Manny McDowell adjusted to a Tom Merkle pass and ran into the end zone from 43 yards out. The touchdown, along with a two-point conversion, tied the score.
Another York Tech three-and-out followed, and one play after McDowell's 20-yard punt return, Steven Salcedo ripped a would-be interception away from a Spartan defensive back at the goal line for a 26-yard touchdown pass. The effort helped the Trojans take a 29-22 lead at halftime.
"My teammates helped a lot today, especially with some of my shaky throws, but we got it done," the sophomore Merkle said. "This shows this team can come back. We can battle through this adversity and keep it going."
At the end of the third quarter, Dajour Henderson closed out an 18--play, nearly eight-minute drive with a 1-yard run, and the Trojans extended their lead to 36-22.
York Tech drove right back, with the help of a 45-yard run from Savary (136 yards rushing). Dickson (109) cut the gap to 36-28 with his third score. However, McDowell picked up a bouncing kickoff and raced 74 yards for a back-breaking touchdown.
"Coach always talks about keeping your head," McDowell said. "After the first one I fumbled, I told him, 'The next one I am getting.' When I got the ball we told them to block right, everyone did their assignments, and I was gone."
Yet on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Dickson hit Stephuan Montouth on a 50-yard scoring strike, making it a game again.
"We went up by two scores, the next thing you know we give up a the long pass play. Then we got the kickoff return and I was like, 'OK,'" Jones said. "That is the way our season has been."
Nine plays later, aided by a 52-yard catch and a run by McDowell, Merkle punched in from 4 yards out to close the scoring.
York Suburban 7 22 7 14 -- 50
York County Tech 22 0 0 12 -- 34
YS -- Ch'aim Smith fumble recovered in end zone (Kyle Bulgarelli kick), 10:04.
YCT -- Dalmar Dickson 72 run (run failed), 9:43.
YCT -- Calvin Savary 35 run (Savary run), 8:05.
YCT -- Dickson 15 run (Nashid Bones run), 7:22.
YS -- Liam McWilliams 4 run (Bulgarelli kick), 8:15.
YS -- Manny McDowell 43 pass from Tom Merkle (Collin Mailman pass from Merkle), 3:00.
YS -- Steven Salcedo 26 pass from Merkle (Bulgarelli kick), :58.
YS -- Dajour Henderson 1 run (Bulgarelli kick), :40.
YCT -- Dickson 3 run (run failed), 9:37.
YS -- McDowell 74 kickoff return (Bulgarelli kick), 9:24.
YCT -- Stephuan Montouth 50 pass from Dickson (run failed), 9:15.
YS -- Merkle 4 run (Bulgarelli kick), 4:02.
-- YS -- YCT
First downs -- 16 -- 11
Rushes-yards -- 36-101 -- 41-252
Passing -- 10-21-2 -- 2-8-0
Passing yards -- 207 -- 69
Total yards -- 308 -- 321
Punts -- 1-31.0 -- 2-27.5
Fumbles-lost -- 6-2 -- 2-0
Penalties-yards -- 6-67 -- 7-60
Rushing -- YS, McWilliams 12-43, McDowell 3-23, Smith 5-20, Henderson 5-10, Merkle 11-5; YCT, Savary 14-136, Dickson 18-109, Nashid Bones 6-9, Montouth 2-(-1), Josh Matias 1-(-1).
Passing -- YS, Merkle 10-21-2-207; YCT, Dickson 2-8-0-69.
Receiving -- YS, Steven Salcedo 6-100, McDowell 3-96, Mailman 1-11; YCT, Montouth 2-69.