York can't reverse fortunes on Day 2

 
By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/6/2018 3:43 PM
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It's been an up-and-down season for the York football team, and the microcosm of that might have been Friday's game at Oak Park-River Forest.

The Dukes got 233 yards passing from senior quarterback Danny Dunn and one touchdown apiece through the air and on the ground.

The defense sacked Huskies sophomore quarterback Jaden McGill 4 times, for combined losses of 47 yards. They also intercepted him once.

Yet the Dukes dropped a 42-21 decision to fall to 2-5 overall and 1-3 in the West Suburban Silver. It also eliminated York from playoff contention.

York couldn't take advantage of 5 OPRF fumbles -- 2 lost -- and it gave up 186 yards rushing on 17 carries to junior Nazareth Bryant, along with a touchdown. McGill also threw for 81 yards and rushed for 84 and two touchdowns.

And like the rest of the Chicago area Friday night, a perturbed Mother Nature lit up the sky with lightning and dumped copious amounts of rain, which prompted the game to be suspended with 10:59 left in the third quarter and the Dukes down 21-7.

When the game picked back up at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, the Dukes appeared ready. Dunn finished off a 77-yard drive that started the night before, on 11 plays, culminating in his own 1-yard scoring run that pulled his team within 21-14.

But on the ensuing kickoff Bryant returned it for a touchdown that got called back due to a holding penalty. No matter. A 62-yard drive highlighted by a 28-yard run from Bryant and a 25-yard scoring scamper from teammate Keith Robinson essentially sealed York's fate.

"Just like I told the kids, results are never going to define us," first-year York coach Mike Fitzgerald said. "I mean, obviously (the playoffs were) one of our goals, but that's not going to define who we are. I think we're playing for something for something more than playoffs, and that's pride and respect. That's something that can never be taken away."

At times Dunn looked like a video-game quarterback, tabbing six receivers. His favorite target was fellow senior receiver Michael Pedote, who had 8 catches for 74 yards. Junior Owen Pechous checked in with 57 yards on 7 receptions.

"I just feel like it goes to our week of practice -- everyone was on board," said Dunn, who completed 23 of 34 passes. "Our receivers, I give a lot of credit to them, because they were making tough catches. They were out there trying to get every catch they could get."

But when the rain threw a wrench into things, Dunn took it as a time to reflect.

"I went home and thought about ways we could come out here, different plays we could use to take advantage of what we already saw, because it's a second game," he said.

Another receiver, senior Joe Orrico, who had 7 catches for 49 yards, all on Friday night, said he battled a tough case of insomnia after the game was suspended.

"To be honest with you, sleeping was tough," he said. "I had a lot of energy. Waking up this morning, I was like, Oh, I'm hyped. I was trying to get with my teammates out there and get the hype out to try to get another win, but stuff ends up happening and we played to the best of our abilities."

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