Needing a win to boost their playoff hopes, the New Kent Trojans ran into the stonewall defense of York, which boosted its own status in the 3A East seedings.
The Falcons held New Kent to 154 yards, while two fourth-quarter touchdowns by Adam Lytle cemented a convincing 41-15 win for the Falcons, who raised their record to 6-3 while keeping their No. 5 seed in the upcoming playoffs safe. New Kent (4-5) entered the evening seeded 10th and probably will be eliminated when next week’s rankings come out.
The first half was a defensive battle, with neither team scoring and only 66 total yards and four first downs earned between the Falcons and Trojans.
York churned out a 15-play, 54-yard scoring drive to start the second quarter but needed a New Kent penalty (running into the punter) to reactivate the drive. After the penalty gave York the ball back near midfield, the offense started churning.
Jayden Flood-Brown gained 12 yards to earn another first down, and six more Flood-Brown runs for 24 yards helped to set up a second-and-goal situation from the 1. From there, Josh Marteniez entered the game at fullback, and with his first carry, the 209-pounder burst into the end zone for the game’s first score.
The New Kent offense sputtered throughout the first half, gaining only 28 yards before two long passes in the final minute of the first half netted 46. However, the Trojans’ defense came through in a resounding manner. On the first play of another drive, a Ramsey Hayyat pass reached York’s Keiston Hutcherson. Hutcherson leaned forward but had the ball knocked away and picked up by New Kent’s Michael Gatling, who chugged 34 yards into the end zone. Adam Caldwell’s extra point gave the Trojans a 7-6 lead.
The Falcons wasted no time returning the favor. York took over the ensuing kickoff from its 22. Cole Edwards drove for a 9-yard run, and a 15-yard penalty on New Kent gave York first down at its 46. Hayyat found Adam Lytle on a slant route to pick up another 27 yards, while two Edwards runs added 17. With third-and-goal from the 1, and intermission quickly approaching, Flood-Brown crossed the goal line for York’s second touchdown to give the hosts a 12-7 halftime lead.
Facing third-and-goal on the 1 with 23 seconds remaining in the half and no timeouts, the Falcons likely needed to score on that play. Flood-Brown took the direct snap and broke through a hole in the right side.
In the middle of the fourth quarter and with the game in hand, York looked to run time off the clock.
Hayyat took a snap and swept to the left. Finding room and blockers, he turned the corner and sprinted 51 yards down the sideline, failing to score only because he stepped out of bounds at the 12. To the York homecoming crowd at Bailey Field, it looked like a 63-yard rushing touchdown, giving the spirited Falcons’ crowd more reason to cheer.
5: Before the game, York received the Hovis Cup, named for longtime York and Tabb football coach Charlie Hovis. The award goes to the York County team with the best record. This season marked York’s fifth win since the trophy’s inception in 2003.