Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley led the way as Surrey reached 172 for one in response to Yorkshire's 434 all out on day two of their LV= County Championship Division One clash at the Kia Oval.
The hosts made a solid start thanks to a first-wicket stand of 171 in 66 overs between Burns and Sibley, who shared in Surrey's most productive opening partnership of the season in four-day cricket - the previous best being 70.
Eighteen-year-old Sibley ended the day unbeaten on 81 from 203 balls, but just before the close a superb catch by Jonny Bairstow off Steven Patterson saw Burns depart for an equally resolute 82.
That was after Gary Ballance had hit 148 off 232 balls, including 20 fours and a six, as Yorkshire racked up their 10th championship total this summer in excess of 400.
Sibley, who has been granted leave from his A-levels at Whitgift School, was fortunate to survive a chance to second slip off Ryan Sidebottom when on eight.
But thereafter both batsmen played with increasing poise, underlined when Burns pulled Adil Rashid for six in the 25th over.
After tea, Sibley drove Rashid through extra-cover off the back foot for two boundaries in an over before Burns cut Sidebottom for four to move to a 121-ball half-century.
Sibley brought up his maiden first-class half-century, which came off 163 deliveries, by lifting Kane Williamson over long-on for six.
Four overs later, Sibley drove and pulled Rashid for two successive fours, although not before Burns had caressed Jack Brooks through extra-cover off the front foot.
The morning belonged to Yorkshire, who added a further 118 to their overnight score of 316 for six.
Rashid contributed 43 to a seventh-wicket stand of 72 in 19 overs with Ballance, the latter cutting Matthew Dunn viciously for four in the second over of the day before replicating the stroke a couple of overs later.
After Rashid departed lbw to Tom Jewell, Ballance reached across to cut a wayward delivery from Jewell for four to bring up his fourth championship hundred of the season, which came off 194 balls and included 14 boundaries.
The 23-year-old hit three consecutive fours square of the wicket off Jewell before Dunn was reintroduced and had Sidebottom caught low down in front of first slip by Steven Davies.
Just before lunch, Ballance lifted Zafar Ansari over deep midwicket for a maximum but perished attempting to repeat the dose, soon to be followed by Brooks - who was caught behind to give Ansari a championship best return of 4-70.