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Column: Is York County Tech football for real?

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Maybe it’s time to take York County Tech a bit more seriously.

A week after the Spartans shocked Eastern York, they did it again by downing Kennard-Dale handily in the third week of the season. While the Golden Knights and Rams – along with the rest of Division II – have had their struggles to start the season, those are two teams the 2015 Spartans couldn’t defeat.

York Tech head coach Charlie Troxell isn’t shy about talking up his often overlooked squad, and they’ve given him plenty to talk about.

Quarterback Josiah Smallwood has been a gunslinger for the Spartans and sits towards the top of the league in passing yards after a 193-yard performance on Friday night against Kennard-Dale. His go-to receiver, Jordan Ray, has racked up 350 yards on nine receptions – which includes 127 receiving yards and a 75-yard touchdown catch to open the scoring against the Rams.

It’s been a while since York Tech has had a start like this. Their back-to-back victories is the first time the Spartans have won consecutive games since 2012, and reaching two wins in a season three weeks in is the quickest they’ve accomplished the feat since the 2009 season.

The Spartans have certainly shown enough to at least give teams pause when approaching games against the York Tech team, but it won’t erase the doubt some have in the team.

Especially with a tough divisional matchup with Littlestown on the horizon. Division III teams have shown that they’re a force to be reckoned with, going a combined 17-7 through the first three weeks of the year, and Littlestown heads into Week 4 as one of three teams that remains undefeated in the division.

Still, the offensive prowess that York Tech has and the momentum the team is riding is enough to see the program moving in the right direction after Week 3.

Central York gets quality lesson ahead of divisional schedule

A dramatic win over Hempfield may have been just what the doctor ordered for the Panthers as they head into divisional play.

Central was a bit of a question mark heading into the season. They’re young and under new head coach Josh Oswalt, and it wasn’t quite clear how this year’s incarnation of the Central York Panthers would perform. So far they’ve won in a blowout, lost in a blowout, and now — most importantly — learned to win a game that came down to the wire.

They saw a 30-14 halftime lead nearly disappear but weathered the storm, a skill they’ll need to have under their belt heading into Week 4.

They’ll be facing Division I favorite Northeastern, a team that had easily dispatched their opponents by a combined score of 109-13 through the first two weeks of the season. So the Panthers are sure to see some adversity ahead when the two teams meet, or when they see the other top teams in division.

Red Lion has a talented offense led by Sam Emig — and a shutdown defense — and Dallastown has yet to lose. Learning to win with the enemy at the gate was a good lesson for Central to get out the way before the meat of the season.