Catawba Ridge’s Tyler Jones carries the ball in a first half play as York hosts Catawba Ridge Friday night. Photos by Jeff Sochko

YORK – A two-yard touchdown run by the York Cougars with 46 seconds left in the game was enough to knock off the Catawba Ridge Copperheads as they fell 19-13 in the Cougars’ Den Friday night.

After dropping the region opener last week to South Pointe, the Copperheads was in a must win situation against York. York came in the game with a 1-0 region record and 4-1 overall. The loss now drops Catawba Ridge to 0-2 in the region and 3-4 overall.

Catawba Ridge offensively struggled for most of the game, but defensively was able to hold York to just one offensive score for the first 47 minutes. Copperheads quarterback Jadyn Davis went 16-for-31 for 142 yards, but threw three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

“York is a great team,” said Catawba Ridge head coach Zac Lendyak. “Our defense played really well for the vast majority of the night. We just couldn’t put enough points on the board. We had too many missed opportunities inside the goal line two weeks in a row. When you miss opportunities like that you aren’t going to win too many ball games. We didn’t run the ball well and we were forced to throw it. We couldn’t get that run game going which makes everything else difficult.”

Catawba Ridge entered the fourth quarter down by 10 and then struggled to get the ball in the end zone. They got the ball down to the one-yard line but had to end up settling for a 21-yard field goal by Kohen Kozel to make it 13-6. The Copperheads recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and then was able to tie the game with 3:39 as Tyler Jones ran in for the Copperheads first touchdown of the game from 12-yards out to make it 13-13. Jones rushed for 79 yards on 20 carries unofficially, but was the majority of offense for Catawba Ridge when it came to the ground game.

Neither team did anything on their first series of the second half, but York completed just its second pass of the game at that point on its second series as York’s quarterback Aiden Davis hit Jevon Long for a 71-yard touchdown reception to put the Cougars up 13-3 with 8:47 in the third quarter on a one-play drive. 

Catawba Ridge struggled with their offense as their quarterback Jadyn Davis threw his second and third interceptions of the game giving the ball back to York again on back-to-back series. 

Penalties hurt Catawba Ridge in the opening quarter as two touchdowns were taken off the board for the Copperheads as penalties pushed them back. The Copperheads on three occasions got to the one-yard line, but couldn’t get it in the end zone. Despite the three efforts, Catawba Ridge came away with just three points on a 33-yard field goal by Kozel. 

Defensively, the Copperheads were keyed in on the Cougars and did a good job keeping them contained as they held York to just one first down through 16 minutes of the opening half. Asa Johnson was too much for York to contain as he kept Aiden Davis on the run consistently flushing him out of the pocket and getting multiple tackles for losses on the Cougar runners. Offensively, York was held to 16 total yards in the first half, with 10 of that coming from a run near the end of the first half. 

The difference in the first half was a mistake by Copperheads’ Jadyn Davis. York got on the board with a defensive play as the Cougars’ Debo Hall returned an interception 62-yards with 4:41 left in the second quarter to take the lead at 7-3 over Catawba Ridge. 

Catawba Ridge got about as close to a touchdown as one possibly could as they turned the ball over on downs on fourth and goal on their second drive of the opening quarter. Wake Forest commit Andre Hodge picked off York’s Aiden Davis and scored, but a holding called wiped it off the board.

York didn’t waste any time going to work as the recovered a fumble by Catawba Ridge on the opening kickoff giving them great field position at the 15-yard line. The Copperheads’ defense was able to get to York’s Aiden Davis early and keep the Cougars from scoring despite the turnover. 

Next week, Catawba Ridge traves down to Lancaster to take on the Bruins at Memorial Stadium.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep

The Catawba Ridge defense stuffs the York run in early play during their game Friday night.