The York/Pavilion seniors did it all for the Golden Knights during their 28-0 victory to secure the program’s number one seed in Class D.
Bauer caught four passes for 136 yards and a touchdown and also picked off a drive-ending pass; Brady made five tackles and picked off two passes and Royce added eight tackles, forced a fumble, picked off a pass and scored a TD as the Knights pitched the shutout.
Don’t be mistaken, however, this game was much tighter than it appeared as Geneseo/MM did not fold up their tent despite coming into the game winless, and they played hard throughout the night.
But, with the top seed on the line, the night still belonged to the Knights…
It took a while for Y/P to get their motor running in this one as they fumbled the ball to Geneseo/MM on just their third play from scrimmage giving the Blue Devils the ball at the Y/P 39 as Jason Kingston jumped on the fumble for the blue and white.
A huge defensive play on fourth and one by Y/P’s Kasey Coffee would give the Knights the ball back.
It looked as if Y/P was going to cash that in when Parker Bonefede hooked up on a 55-yard bomb to Joe Bauer that gave them a first and goal inside the 10, but the Geneseo/MM defense wouldn’t budge forcing a fourth and goal from the nine where Bonefede’s pass would fall incomplete.
Geneseo/MM would begin to move the ball on their ensuing series, and when lefty QB Reece Byrnes hit wideout Kaden Torres for a 30-yard pass, the Blue Devils were set up in Y/P territory.
But a few penalties and some lost yardage would eventually force a third and long where Bauer eventually picked off a pass at the Y/P one.
Back came Y/P as a long Carl Szczech run, good for 45 yards up the middle, would keep the drive moving.
But when Y/P would get inside the 30, penalties and miscues would stymie them again and on a fourth and eight, Bonefede’s pass fell incomplete giving the Blue Devils back the football.
Enter Tyler Brady.
The senior would pick off a pass and return it deep into Geneseo/MM territory and after a late hit call, Y/P had the ball first down at the 12.
On the very next play, following a time-out, Szczech was a human pinball machine, bouncing between defenders on his way for the 12-yard TD run that gave the Knights the 6-0 lead with 3:57 left in the first half.
Y/P would get the ball back less than two minutes later at their own 40 where Bonefede hit Szczech for 23 yards followed by a nine-yard run by Bonefede that gave the Knights a first down at the Geneseo/MM 30.
Here comes Bauer again as the senior wideout caught a perfect throw from Bonefede, just inside the far pylon, for the 30-yard touchdown reception that made it 12-0 with just over a minute left until intermission.
Jake Pangrazio’s slant reception for the two-point conversion made it 14-0.
Bonefede finished a productive 7-of-10 passing for 156 yards and one TD while Szczech ran 15 times for 100 yards and two TD’s.
Bauer finished with four catches for 136 yards and one score while freshman Trent Englert added four touches for 45 yards/
On defense, Liam Ezard led the way with nine tackles while Royce had eight stops and a pick-six.
Tyler Brady had five tackles and two INT’s while Englert and Erik Rowe each registered five stops.
“We had a bit of a slow start, but I am really happy with the boys dialing it in and cleaning things up after the first quarter,” York coach Kurt Schneider said. “Credit to Geneseo, that’s a good young program. Obviously, we are happy winning the Valley Ball a second time and really proud of the regular season we had, but we are back to the grind next week and looking forward to football in November. “
Y/P defeated Geneseo 41-6 back in week three Sept. 16.
The victory for Y/P wrapped up the No. 1 seed in Class C and a bye next week with only six teams in the bracket.
Doug McFarland Photography