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No. 8 York falls short in drama-filled fourth against No. 9 McCook

No. 8 York falls short in drama-filled fourth against No. 9 McCook

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LEDE

News-Times/Steve Marik

McCook senior linebacker Alec Langan grabs York senior quarterback Jake Erwin for a tackle for loss during the first quarter of Friday night’s game at East Hill Stadium in York.

YORK — Last year, the York Dukes started the year 2-0 before dropping their next seven. McCook was the team that started that slide.

This year, the Dukes began the 2020 slate with wins at Crete and Alliance — a 2-0 start. On Friday night at East Hill Stadium, they hosted the team that began last year’s losing streak.

York, No. 8 in the Omaha World-Herald’s Class B ratings, sought revenge in its home opener, but the No. 9 Bison had other plans. Behind a strong defense that kept the Dukes out of the end zone for the first three quarters, McCook won 10-7 in a game that gave fans plenty of drama late.

With York trailing 10-0 to start the fourth, the Bison pinned the Dukes on their own 2 yard line with 10:08 left. After not doing much offensively the first three quarters — the Dukes rushed for just 19 yards in the first half but passed for 70 — senior athlete Wyatt Collingham provided a spark.

Following a few runs that gave the Dukes some breathing room, Collingham got lost in the McCook defense and senior quarterback Jake Erwin found him downfield for what turned into a 47-yard touchdown pass to cut the hosts’ deficit to 10-7 with 5:39 left in the game.

Despite a controversial running-into-the-kicker penalty that extended McCook’s next drive, the Dukes’ defense came up clutch again, forcing a second Bison punt.

Thanks to a first-down catch by wideout Cooper Koch and some canny running from Erwin, the Dukes were in business with under a minute left. York’s drive continued when Erwin connected with tight end Chase Collingham for a 19-yard gain to the Bison 12 with just 10 seconds left.

With ample time remaining for one last pass to the end zone before a field goal attempt, York took it. But Erwin was picked off by McCook senior corner Ty Stevens, who had solid one-on-one coverage against Chase Collingham.

It was a gut-wrenching way to lose, but York head coach Glen Snodgrass saw something in his team with its finish.

“I told the guys I don’t want that last play to define this game. This is a team that, in the past, maybe last year in those tough situations, we didn’t always rise to the occasion,” Snodgrass said. “And I don’t care about the last play — that last drive and that last six minutes of that game told me all I needed to know about this team. That this is a team that’s gonna fight every game, they’re not going to give up and they’re not going lay down when things get tough. I was very proud of the way we continued to fight.

“We were down by 10 points with five minutes to go and had a chance to win it at the end. The last play sucked, but boy, if it weren’t for a couple turnovers we probably win that game.”

York fumbled twice in the third quarter, but only one of them stung the Dukes on the scoreboard.

On the first Duke fumble, the Bison took over from the York 39. The York defense stood strong and held the Bison to a field goal attempt — a 30-yarder that Luke Maris drilled to give his team a 10-0 lead with four minutes left in the quarter.

After the second fumble, which came on the ensuing kickoff return, York dodged a bulled when McCook missed a long field goal.

McCook took its opening series 11 plays for 61 yards and a touchdown — a 1-yard run from big fullback Alec Langan. The Bison converted three third downs during that drive.

Other than that, McCook didn’t get close to the end zone. York’s defense forced a turnover — Erwin picked off a Mark Arp pass — but the Dukes couldn’t cash in and gave the ball away on a loss of downs after a Ty Bartholomew catch fell short on a fourth-and-3.

York outgained McCook in total offense 274-157. The Dukes passed for 192 yards and rushed for 82. The Bison were charted with 108 rushing and 49 passing.

York travels to Ralston (1-1) next week.

McCook (1-1) 7 0 3 0 — 10

At York (2-1) 0 0 0 7 — 7

M: Alec Langan 1 run (Luke Maris kick)

M: Maris 30 field goal

Y: Wyatt Collingham 47 pass from Jake Erwin (Thomas Ivey kick)

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