by Rusty Ellis
The York Institute Dragons saw their deep playoff run come to an end on Friday in a 33-0 loss to Tyner in Chattanooga.
After the Dragons’ quick first possession, Tyner opened the scoring on their second play from scrimmage to take a 7-0 lead. Then on the ensuing kickoff, York fumbled on the return and the Rams recovered and took it all the way to the end zone, giving the home team a two-possession lead in a blink of an eye.
That was the closest it would be all night, as York just couldn’t get anything going against the Tyner defense. This led to a 33-0 deficit at the half, and that ended up being the final score from there.
Obviously not the outcome head coach Derwin Wright wanted for his team, he still made sure to emphasize that he was proud of everything they’d accomplished leading up to Friday night.
“I’m proud of our season, we didn’t play like we needed to tonight,” Wright said. “This is a really good football team we played…you can’t turn the ball over four times in the first half and expect a good outcome, but overall I’m really proud of this team and the season they had. Both schools showed a lot of class and it was their night tonight.”
One thing Wright mentioned to his team after the game was that this one loss shouldn’t overshadow the entirety of the season to that point, as they became the second team in program history to make it to the state semifinals.
“We were picked to come in fourth in our region and we won the region undefeated,” Wright said. “Nobody thought we would make it through the first, second or third round, and like I said, Tyner is a good football team…when you turn the ball over four times, you’re not going to win the game.”
For the Dragons to have the season they did, it took a reality check from Wright before the season began. Suffice to say, it worked.
“In our first meeting, I asked what we wanted to accomplish and someone said a 5-5 record,” Wright said. “I said that I was in the wrong locker room if those were our goals…that’s not what we’re here for. They’ve got us going in the right direction. They made the semifinal game, these seniors have nothing to hang their head about. We’re not proud of what we did tonight, but they played their hearts out and wanted it more than we did. We made it here, so next year we need to take the next step.”
The Dragons finish the season with a 9-5 overall record and a spotless 4-0 mark in region play.