Controlling the ball with time-consuming multi-play drives, a number resulting in field goals or touchdowns, was a big reason the Yorktown Patriots enjoyed a successful 6D North Region Tournament.
The No. 3 seeded high-school football team (11-2) had its 2019 season end with a 35-7 road loss to the top seed and undefeated Westfield Bulldogs (13-0) in the Nov. 30 championship game.
In that loss, a 75-yard, 14-play scoring drive that consumed 8 minutes and 24 seconds gave the Patriots a 7-0 lead, a march that impressed Westfield coach Kyle Simmons.
"They had us back peddling on that drive," he said.
Yorktown, though, could not duplicate another such drive in the region final.
That wasn't the case in its first two region-playoff victories.
In Yorktown’s 25-10 semifinal triumph over the host and second-seeded Madison Warhawks, the Patriots’ scoring drives consisted of 12, eight, seven, seven and four yards. There was another nine-play drive resulting in a punt.
Combined, those possessions gained some 260 yards and consumed nearly 24 minutes.
Yorktown’s initial postseason possession set the ball-control tone for the Patriots. In a first-round 28-23 victory over the No. 6 seed Marshall Statesmen, Yorktown kept the ball for 14 plays and 70 yards, resulting in a botched field-goal attempt, because of a bad snap.
Later in the contest, Yorktown converted scoring drives of 12 plays (80 yards), nine plays (52 yards) and six plays (64 yards), taking up some 13 minutes.
Yorktown’s total yardage numbers were modest and nearly the same against Madison (277) and Marshall (278). Yet, it was being able to convert drives into points that was the most significant accomplishment and statistic.
On defense, Yorktown limited the number of total yards allowed to 251 for Marshall and 212 for Madison, which also were keys to the victories.