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York, Aurora to meet for first time since 2017

York, Aurora to meet for first time since 2017

Dukes travel to Aurora, where dynamic senior quarterback Ethan Shaw awaits


News-Times file photo

York senior Ty Bartholomew delivered more blows than the Ralston defense gave during this 21-yard catch in the second quarter of last Friday’s game in Ralston.

YORK – The York football team opens its district slate this Friday with a road contest at the Aurora Huskies.

Both teams come into the game with a record of 2-2, but got there in opposite ways. York won its first two games against Crete (35-6) and Alliance (20-0) before dropping its next couple to McCook (10-7) and Ralston (33-12). Aurora, No. 10 in the Lincoln Journal Star’s Class B ratings, lost to North Platte (13-6) and Bennington (31-18) to start the season before consecutive wins over Scottsbluff (36-14) and Omaha Gross Catholic (35-21) last week.

The last time these two teams separated by just 24 miles got together was 2017.

“We’ve been playing each other for a long time, long before I got here,” York head coach Glen Snodgrass said of the matchup with the Huskies. “I think people in both communities like to see this game on the schedule and I think it’s an exciting game for the kids. It’s good to get them back on the schedule.”

Dual-threat quarterback Ethan Shaw will be the one York fans should keep an eye on. The senior has operated a spread offense that, through four games, has averaged 380 total yards and 23.7 points per game. After being held to just 6 and 18 points in their first two contests, the Huskies have scored 36 and 35 in their last two.

According to his Hudl stats, Shaw has thrown for 567 yards and five touchdowns while completing 58 percent (47 of 81) of his passes. Aurora’s coaching staff isn’t afraid to use him in the run game, too – Shaw has rushed for 464 yards and four scores, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.

Aurora has always done a great job of developing quarterbacks, Snodgrass said, and Shaw is the next good one.

The Huskies’ quarterback is just one part of a dynamic backfield that poses a lot of problems, however.

“They’ve got several weapons on that team for sure,” Snodgrass said. “They have an explosive backfield, a big and powerful fullback, and they have a running back who has really good speed and agility that can do a lot of things.”

Aurora’s offense has shown balance – it’s averaging 217 rushing yards and 162 passing.

“The offense is going to be difficult to defend. There are a lot of different things that we have to work on this week, a lot of different formations and option looks that we’ll have to be responsible for,” Snodgrass said. “It’ll present some challenges for sure, but our guys are excited about that challenge.”

Aurora’s offense will likely come out with spread looks, but it won’t be what the Duke defense saw last week in Ralston.

“It’s quite a bit different of an offense than what Ralston runs, there’s going to be a lot of option and RPO (run-pass option) looks,” Snodgrass said. “It’s a really good offense and it has been that way for a while now. We’ve played them with this type of offense in the past and it’s always presented issues with the defense, but it’s a very well-designed offense and their coaches do a great job with it over there.”

Although Shaw is dynamic, he has had some miscues this season. He’s thrown three interceptions and fumbled five times.

York will likely see a similar defense to its own on Friday night, a three-front look with two inside linebackers and two outside ‘backers. Aurora’s defense – led by sure tacklers Brady Collingham, Brekyn Papineau, Mack Owens and Bryce Barger – has allowed just 19.7 points per game.

“So far, up until this point in the season, they’ve stayed in their base defense for most of the year,” Snodgrass said. “They’ve made very few adjustments but they haven’t had to because their defense has been pretty good all year.”

The Dukes’ offense – which is averaging 284.7 total yards, 203.2 rushing and 81.5 passing – will try to get back on track after being held to 12 points in Ralston.

Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.

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