Reactions from West York-Central York
Got back a little while ago from West York High School, where I had the pleasure of taking in one of the county's best rivalry games between West York and Central York.
No, it wasn't the prettiest game you'll see -- the nine combined turnovers certainly reflect that -- but some sloppiness is to be expected from the first game of a season. In the end, I thought a 20-6 scoreline in favor of the Bulldogs was a fair representation of how the teams played.
Let's keep in mind, this is just the first game of the season. A lot can change in the next two months -- we could look back at this game and go 'Huh?' But in the meantime I'll take a stab at offering some observations and reflections from this contest.
1. Both these team should have pretty good defenses. West York coach Ron Miller said going into Friday's game that defenses are generally a little of ahead of offenses at this time of the year. That certainly seemed to be the case. But even with that in mind, these teams both look like they have the athletes to have -- at the very least -- good defenses this year. West York's 'D stood tall during the third quarter, when the Bulldogs committed four turnovers and on three occasions gifted the Panthers the ball inside the Bulldog 30-yard line. All Central got out of those three trips was a field goal.
On the other side, Central's defense was really good through most of the game. Let's not forget, West York's first two touchdowns came via turnovers which gave the Bulldogs the ball at the Central 11- and 22-yard lines, respectively. Yes, Corey Harris' 90-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was a miscue, but that was after the Panthers' fifth and final turnover of the game. You have to wonder if that many giveaways takes a toll on a defense mentally.
2. Corey Harris can play. Before we start, let's not even mention Brandon Real. What Real did as the Bulldogs' tailback last year was incredible, without a doubt. But to make comparisons this early would be unfair to both players. Harris looks like he could be a really good back. He seems like a patient runner, but he has plenty of explosiveness and speed. Despite being plagued by cramps throughout the second half (Harris' was toting a hefty limp after the game), he still showed outstanding breakaway speed during his 90-yard touchdown run. He has the tools to put together a great year. Oh, and he's a pretty darn good safety, too.
On the other side, I was pretty impressed by Central tailback Charles Anderson, as well. He may not have Harris' speed, but he hits the hole hard and is a strong runner between the tackles. He had some fumbling problems Friday that need to be fixed, for sure. But I'd take him on my team any day.
3. West York looks like a very good TEAM. I know, I know. It's a huge cliche. But how else you explain a team that loses a 52-touchdown tailback and hardly misses a beat? How else do you explain a defense with six new members in its front eight standing so tall? And how do you explain a player like sophomore Jerrin Toomey, making his first varsity start, intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter to set up Harris' game-clinching run (he also had a pair of catches)? The Bulldogs looked like a team that had played in big games before. They made mistakes, but always rose to the occasion when necessary. Now we'll see if they can do it the rest of the year.
Again, take these for what you will. It's still too early to know for sure where these teams fit into the YAIAA picture. These aren't profound conclusions I've come up with. They're just the thoughts of some guy sitting in the press box.