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YORK – The 2012 York Cougars’ homecoming was happy with a 49-6 Region III-AAAA win over Lancaster on Friday night.
The Cougars’ 43-point win turned in a key first-half sequence.
Lancaster, down 14-6 after spotting York a 14-0 lead, appeared to close the gap as LHS senior running back Terrell Rivers dashed 36 yards for a touchdown.
Rivers’ scoring run was nullified by a 15-yard penalty to the LHS 49.
The Bruins, facing a first and 25, were determined after being denied and worked for a fourth and two at the York 28.
LHS senior quarterback Kaderrious Jackson was stopped short on a keeper and the Cougars took over.
A snap later, York took control of the game as tough-running Ryan Moore dashed 73 yards with 2:29 left in the opening period. Moore ran for 134 yards and three scores.
“That was a back-breaker, a momentum changer,” said LHS coach Bennie McMurray. “Our players fought hard and gave good effort the rest of the way, but York made the most of the situation which a good team does. They have a heck of a football team.”
Cougars’ coach Bobby Carroll, who has guided his club to a 7-0 start, 3-0 in region play, noted Moore’s long scoring dash as a key part of the contest.
“Ryan Moore’s long run got us the momentum,” Carroll said. “Lancaster might be a 1-6 team, but those guys came out hard. We were a little flat early, but then we picked it up.”
Moore’s run staked the Cougars to a 21-6 lead and they steadily pulled away,
York scored on its next three possessions to put the game away.
Cougars’ quarterback Spencer Carroll, who threw for 212 yards, whipped a 12-yard touchdown pass to Markel Castle to give York a 28-6 lead after Buddy Anderson drilled one of his seven extra points.
York’s Lee Wright extended the Cougars’ spread later in the period as he returned a Bruins’ punt 90 yards for a 35-6 edge.
Moore capped a 59-yard, six-play drive with a seven-yard scoring run to give the Cougars a 42-6 lead with 4:09 to play in the first half.
Late in the third period, the Cougars capped their scoring as they went 36 yards in five plays with Moore bulling in from three yards out with 3:11 left in the period.
The Cougars, from the start, showed their might as they built an early 14-0 lead.
Lamin Yansanah opened the game with a 43-yard kickoff return to the Bruins’ 25 and three plays later, Carroll connected with Tay Neeley on a 23-yard scoring pass with 11:12 to play in the first period.
“We fought all the way, but falling into that early hole made it a tough hill to climb,” McMurray said. “We knew it would be tough if we allowed them to get the early lead.”
The Cougars drove 69 yards for their second score on Carroll’s passing.
The six-play drive ended with Carroll connecting with Yansanah on a seven-yard scoring pass with 7:45 to play in the first half.
Back came the Bruins behind the play of Jackson, who had a 47-yard run to the York 14 to set up Lancaster’s score.
“No 10 (Jackson) impressed me,” Carroll said. “We couldn’t similate him in practice.”
Jackson ended the 74-yard, five-play drive as he hit Tywon Anthony on a five-yard touchdown pass to slice the York lead to 14-6 with 5:45 to play in the first quarter.
LHS held the Cougars to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. The Bruins were on the move again when they scored the touchdown which was nullified in the key point of the game and it turned York’s way.
“The ball just bounced our way,” Carroll said.
McMurray, who has seen his club drop six straight, said the Bruins are still battling.
“We had some kids step up and play tonight,” McMurray said. “We’re still fighting. It’s frustrating for our players and coaches. We’re trying the best we can.”
Lancaster hosts Clover for Bruins’ 2012 homecoming on Friday night.
The Blue Eagles, 0-7, fell to Northwestern, 56-0 on Friday night in Rock Hill.
Contact sports editor Robert Howey at (803) 283-1157