By Chris Metcalf
BATAVIA – In their first match-up back in week one, York/Pavilion needed somewhat of a miracle to defeat Notre Dame on a long TD pass from Parker Bonafede to Joe Bauer to eventually pull out the victory.
No miracle was needed this time.
But there were some tense moments during York/Pavilion’s 25-18 victory Thursday night at GCC.
A huge play for the Golden Knights came on a fourth and eight from the ND 25 with 35 seconds left and Y/P holding a slim 19-18 lead when senior wideout Jake Pangrazio, who came up with a few shining moments in this one, grabbed the fourth-down pass in the middle of the field from QB Parker Bonefede and hustled in for the 25-yard touchdown to put the game on ice.
Pangrazio finished the night with five catches for 69 yards and one TD.
On that same final drive, the senior Pangrazio caught a huge 13-yard reception from Bonefede, this one coming on third and 10 near midfield that would end up forcing ND to call three straight timeouts with the clock running under two minutes.
Y/P took the opening kick-off and methodically went on a long scoring drive, mixing in both the pass and run to keep the ND defense guessing.
Chewing up more than eight minutes of clock, the sophomore Bonefede finished off the scoring march with a short touchdown run to push Y/P to the 6-0 lead with 3:46 left in the first.
But just 15 seconds later, ND would tie things up when Jaden Sherwood took the ensuing kick-off 90 yards for the score and a 6-6 game.
Y/P would go on another long drive, including a key reception from Ryan Brady, who made a nice grab to put the ball at the ND 40. A few plays later, Bonefede would connect with Joe Bauer on a long ball that put the first down marker at the ND five. But, a false start and an unsportsmanlike penalty, brought the ball back to the ND 26, where two plays later Pangrazio put the ball at the 14 with a 12-yard reception. Finally, Bonefede would find classmate Ryan Brady with the 14-yard scoring pass that put the score to 13-6 following Bauer’s PAT kick with 8:24 left in the first half.
ND would battle back again, this time on offense as scrambling QB Jay Antinore hit Ryan Fitzpatrick with the 24-yard strike to pull the deficit to 13-12 with 3:04 left until half.
But that 184 seconds was more than enough time for Bonefede and the high-powered Y/P offense which took the ball from their own 38, and following several positive runs from Carl Szczech, and a 30-yard strike to Ryan Brady, the Knights had the ball inside the 10 with 53 ticks left.
Bonafede would culminate the drive with a two-yard TD run that pushed the lead back to 19-12 with 30 seconds left.
The second half, although less offensive, was just as exciting as neither team could break away.
After both teams went three and out, ND’s Antimore would scramble from his own end zone to find Sherwood on a long pass that put the ball at the ND 43. Antinore would run for his life against the Y/P defense who had trouble throughout the night tackling him on several attempts and eventually moved the ball into Y/P territory at the 30. But, a huge sack would force a third and 23 but somehow Antinore would find Fitzpatrick once again, this time for a first down reception that put the ball inside the Knights’ 10. A few plays later Antinore would call his own number for the QB sneak that pulled the game to 19-18 after the PAT kick sailed right with 18 seconds left in the third.
Teams would once again trade possessions before Y/P would have a poor snap sail over punter Joe Bauer’s head, giving the ball to ND at the Y/P 41 with 6:29 left.
But the senior Bauer would get the ball back just a few plays later when he picked off the Antinore pass and returned it to the ND 40 with 4:00 left, a huge spark that the Knights desperately needed.
That’s when Pangrazio, on third and 10, would come up with the 13-yard reception that moved the sticks and forced the Fighting Irish to call three straight TO’s following short runs by Y/P.
Runs by Bonefede and Szczech would eventually set up a fourth-and-eight situation where Pangrazio beat his defender for the game-clinching 25-yard touchdown.
Bonefede was key on offense as he ran for two TD’s and was also 13-of-17 passing for 187 yards and two TD’s.
The scrappy Szczech ran for 91 tough yards on 21 carries while Ryan Brady caught four balls for 69 yards and one score.
On defense, Ryan Brady led the way with eight tackles while Liam Ezard was stout with six tackles and one sack. Bauer added four tackles and an interception while Austin Cummings added four tackles and one QB hurry.
Head coach Kurt Schneider was proud of his team for playing through periods of adversity and never letting up.
“It was another exciting night of football and another gutty performance from our guys,” Schneider said. “Super proud of their mental fortitude tonight. When we really needed a spark in the fourth, our senior leaders stepped up and made some huge plays for us just like they have been doing all season long. Joe Bauer had a huge interception and then Jake Pangrazio had a great catch and run to help close out the game. Again, we will enjoy it tonight, but then it’s back to the grind.”
Y/P is now riding a four-game winning streak as they host Oakfield-Alabama/Elba next week for both homecoming and senior night.
The Aggies defeated Y/P 41-6 back in week two. This time around, however, the Aggies will be the visiting team and will be competing without the services of their top player, Bode Hyde, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first match-up.
Expect the Knights to play with some payback in mind.
Doug McFarland Photography