Head coach Ryan Carr described the game as a "must-win," and his side more than delivered with a clinical display in front of a raucous home support.
Featherstone produced a near-faultless opening 30 minutes, conceding just one penalty while keeping the ball in the Knights half for lengthy periods.
It was the first meeting between the sides for almost six years, while York's 13-year wait for a victory in Featherstone goes on.
Rovers now have just two days to recuperate before a mouth-watering clash against Toronto Wolfpack on Monday.Featherstone were deservedly 14 points ahead in the first period, with debutant Dane Chisholm - who moved from Bradford Bulls during the week - stamping his authority on the contest.
The French international played a crucial part in the opening score, providing the pass for Alex Sutcliffe who burst through a gap to plant down out wide.
The lead was doubled when John Davies broke from halfway and off-loaded to Jack Render who found Josh Walters on his inside and the makeshift centre raced clear to finish.
Chisholm added a penalty goal on the half hour, maintaining his 100 per cent record with the boot.
York had hardly threatened but hit back with their first real attack six minutes from the interval.
Former Rovers captain Tim Spears ducked under the tackle and stretched out to score next to the posts.
Nerves were settled early after the second-half restart as Sutcliffe raced onto a Chisholm grubber to score his second of the game.
Featherstone continued to dominate the early parts of the second period and made the pressure pay as Davies crashed onto a short ball from Jack Bussey extend the lead.
Josh Hardcastle then had the home fans jumping for joy as he claimed a six-minute brace to put the game beyond York's reach.
Chisholm sealed a brilliant debut moments later when he picked up a loose ball and sped 40 metres to finish acrobatically under the uprights.
A superb victory was dampened slightly when Sam Scott raced clear to score a consolation for York, with Davies pulling up clutching his hamstring and was forced from the field.
Chisholm added the final points with a penalty goal after the hooter.
Featherstone Rovers: Render, Hardcastle, Walters, Sutcliffe, Carey, Bussey, Chisholm, Cooper, King, Makatoa, Day, Davies, Lockwood. Subs: Ormondroyd, Wheeldon, Harrison, Boas.
York City Knights: Marsh, Whiteley, Salter, Hey, Bass, Heckford, Robinson, Teanby, Jubb, Horne, Jordan-Roberts, Scott, Spears. Subs: Brining, Baldwinson, Dixon, Stock.
Referee: John McMullen.