By Michael Lindsay
The AP #1-ranked York Institute Dragons are back in the state semifinals following their dominant 56-13 victory at Hampton in Friday’s Class 2A quarterfinal round.
“It’s awesome and a great feeling,” said York head coach Derwin Wright. “Our kids went out and executed the game plan. We made that semifinal last game last year and I told our guys we wan to get back to that game and host it.”
York Institute (13-0) racked up 465 yards of offense at Hampton as they rushed for 286 and threw for 179.
All 179 York passing yards came via quarterback Myles Leffew as he was 5-9 for 179 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 28 yards and a score on the ground.
Riylin Miller and Logan Pannell each rushed for over 100 yards in the win as Miller tallied 116 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns while Pannell recorded 103 yards and a touchdown. Miller also had 101 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns while Will Beaty had 2 receptions for 70 yards.
“We’ve asked a lot of our kids,” Wright said. “We’re in a single-wing and double-wing and the next series we may have you spread out. It allows us to look at what our opponents want to line up in and what’s going to be more successful. We knew Hampton was going to stack the box and really try to stop our running game.”
The first quarter was neck-and-neck as Leffew rushed in a short touchdown followed by a Hampton score to tie the game at second after one period of action.
The second quarter was all York Institute as they scored 37 consecutive points in 12 minutes to take a commanding 45-6 halftime lead.
The avalanche started with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Leffew to Miller along with a 2-point conversion to give the Dragons a 14-6 lead.
The points only started there as Blake Voiles followed with an 11-yard touchdown run along with a Miller 68-yard touchdown to give York a 30-6 lead.
Miller had another highlight in the tank as he caught a 73-yard touchdown pass before Bryson Bilbrey caught the final touchdown of the 37-point second quarter to give York a 45-6 halftime lead.
Miller punched in a third-quarter touchdown before Pannell capped off York’s offensive explosion in the fourth quarter with an 18-yard touchdown run to put his team ahead 56-6. Hampton scored a late touchdown to make the final score 56-13.
The 13-0 Dragons will return to Jamestown for the Class 2A semifinals as they’re set to face East Robertson (12-1) next Friday.
“I remember in 2007 we hosted a third-round game and it felt like there were people hanging off the lights,” Wright said. “It’s going to be a wild atmosphere and a packed house.”