York knew what was coming but simply couldn’t stop the potent running attack of the Cheverus Stags in a Class C South season opener Saturday afternoon at Boulos Stadium.

The Stags gained over 300 yards on the ground, including 211 yards and four scores from senior running back Joe Osei and another 86 yards and two touchdowns from junior fullback Matt Baker, as they pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 41-14 victory.

“I love running the ball,” said Baker. “Cheverus has always been a run-heavy team. All preseason into this week, we practiced hard and knew this is what we were going to do. It defines our program. We just run right up the gut and play hard.”

The Stags set the tone by driving 68 yards on 10 plays in just under six minutes, going in front to stay on a 4-yard touchdown run by Osei. The extra point was no good.

Late in the first quarter, Cheverus took over at its 6 and was backed up to the 3 after a motion penalty, but the Stags marched the length of the field and made it 14-0 on a Baker 2-yard run and a 2-point conversion pass from Gio St. Onge to Preston Fallon.

York answered behind the arm of junior quarterback Peter Martin (9 of 17, 131 yards) and cut the deficit in half when Martin hit Ben Brown on a 9-yard slant.


Cheverus opened the second half with a 62-yard, 11-play drive that ended with an Osei 5-yard scoring run. On the ensuing kickoff, though, Brody Gullison raced 84 yards for a touchdown as York again closed to within seven, 21-14.

The Wildcats then finally got a stop but immediately gave the ball right back, as a bad snap was recovered by Cheverus at the York 20.

The Stags broke it open with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Osei scored on runs of 5 and 51 yards.

“I think I’m not the main guy. I’m part of a greater force,” said Osei. “We drove as a team. It was fun. The line is a bunch of hogs. They gave me amazing blocks. That made it way easier to get downfield.”

Baker added the exclamation point with a 1-yard run.

“Overall, it was a good showing for the first week,” said Cheverus Coach Mike Vance. “We want to possess the ball and we did a good job of that today. (Baker and Osei) run hard. They’re both strong ball carriers. They got a lot of yards after contact and took care of the football. They’re experienced. They’ve been around. It’s not their first rodeo.”

York Coach Matt Nelson lamented his team’s lack of possession.

“We had one offensive play in the third quarter and it was a fumble,” Nelson said. “Self-inflicted wounds hurt you when you play a team like (Cheverus) because they hold the ball forever. We had to take advantage when we could and we didn’t do that today.”

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