GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Things didn’t look good for York at halftime against Grand Island Northwest on Friday night.
York trailed 16-7 after watching as Carter Terry threw a 51-yard laser through the cold air for a touchdown with less than a minute to go in the first half.
But then the second half happened. And the Dukes owned it en route to a 35-19 victory.
According to York coach Glen Snodgrass, the Dukes went back to what they’re good at on offense in the third quarter. That meant more sweep runs. That meant more power.
“For some reason, I kind of lost faith in our sweep game a little bit,” Snodgrass said. “And that was a big mistake because when we got back to our bread and butter in the third quarter, they had a hard time stopping it.
“It’s just our sweep game, our power game.”
The change worked as York outscored Northwest 28-3 in the second half. The Dukes improved to 5-2 and will travel to Seward — their fifth road game of the year — to play the Bluejays (6-1), who went to Hastings and won 55-10 Friday.
York, which had to deal with offensive and defensive line starter Gabe Miller getting injured in pregame warmups, cut its deficit to 16-14 early in the third quarter after a Jacob Diaz 26-yard touchdown run. The Dukes capitalized after Northwest kicker Jason Bachle missed a 44-yard attempt.
Diaz finished as the leading rusher with 17 carries for 146 yards and one touchdown.
“Jacob Diaz did an amazing job running the ball in the second half,” Snodgrass said.
With 3:57 left in the third, Northwest fumbled and the York defense recovered on the Vikings’ 37. One play later, senior quarterback and Husker football pledge Garrett Snodgrass took a snap under center and lobbed a play-action pass to Reid Hoffmann that went for a 37-yard touchdown to give York a 21-16 lead.
The Dukes’ defense bent but didn’t break on the ensuing drive. The Vikings went on an 11-play drive into York territory, but Terry threw an incomplete pass on third-and-6. Bachle connected on a 30-yarder to cut the Dukes’ lead to 21-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
The Dukes took seven plays to score their next touchdown on a drive that featured a first-down catch from senior wideout Brady Danielson on third-and-long. Snodgrass galloped into the end zone from 6 yards out to give his team a 28-19 advantage early in the fourth.
York’s defense did its job again on the next Viking series and forced a turnover on downs. Eleven plays later, Snodgrass plunged in for a 2-yard score and a 35-19 lead.
Northwest didn’t have a comeback in it.
York gained 373 total yards while the defense held Northwest to 298. The Vikings had entered averaging 392 yards and 33 points a game.
The Dukes rushed for 238 yards .
Snodgrass had 84 yards rushing on 24 carries with two scores. He also completed 9 of 14 passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Jeb Lucas caught York’s touchdown pass in the first quarter, a 15-yarder.
York (5-2)........................7 0 14 14—35
At GI Northwest (3-4)........3 13 3 0—19