GREENCASTLE – Gettysburg's combination of athleticism and physicality proved too much for Greencastle-Antrim Friday night, as the Warriors pulled away for a 48-16 non-league varsity football victory at Kaley Field.
Gettysburg (8-2) entered battling for playoff seeding in District 3-4A, trying to move into the top six and earn a first-round bye. While several calculations were still being done, the win had moved the Warriors to No. 6 in the 4A power ratings as of 11 p.m. Friday.
Leading just 6-3 at the end of the first quarter, Gettysburg's wealth of playmakers began taking over in the second quarter, ultimately racing out to a 34-3 lead behind a four-touchdown frame.
G-A did hit a few big plays during the game, adding some highlights on senior night. With the loss, the Blue Devils finish the season 1-9 overall.
– Greencastle opened the night with a sensational hook-and-ladder play on its first offensive snap. Quarterback Zach Cole fired a quick pass to Adam Root, who then flipped the ball to David Niebauer. Niebauer found running room along the sideline, resulting in a 36-yard gain.
After two more nice runs by Niebauer, and a conversion on fourth down by Taylor Conrad, Nathan Kirkwood kicked a 31-yard field goal to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead.
– Gettysburg answered by going to work on the ground, splitting carries between Charles Warren, Ruger Pennington and Gunner Pennington. Both Penningtons ripped off rushes of 20-plus yards before Ruger scored from 13 yards out. The point after failed, giving the Warriors a 6-3 lead.
– A holding call negated what would have been a huge gain for Niebauer early in the second quarter. G-A was later forced to punt, setting the stage for the Gettysburg scoring barrage.
– The Warriors needed just three plays after taking over at their own 25, with quarterback Zach Ketterman connecting on two nice completions including a 56-yard bomb to Warren for a 13-3 advantage.
– Capitalizing on good field position after a G-A three-and-out, Gettysburg added to its cushion on a 12-yard touchdown run by Ruger Pennington with 4:30 remaining in the half.
– With nothing to lose, Greencastle went for it on fourth-and-short deep in its own territory. Gettysburg held, forcing a turnover on downs inside the Blue Devil 30. Three plays later, Warren scampered in for a 23-yard score, extending the margin to 27-3.
– Another G-A three-and-out ensued, giving the Warriors the ball back near midfield with 58 seconds left in the half. Four completions from Ketterman later, Gettysburg was again in the end zone, this time with Gunnar Wilson making an 11-yard touchdown reception for a 34-3 lead at the break.
– Receiving the second-half kickoff, Gettysburg put together a methodical drive to briefly implement a running clock, capped by Ketterman finding Shane Brockett for a 22-yard score and a 41-3 advantage.
– Starting to air it out, Cole found Root for 18 yards prior to a 13-yard completion to Mason Bowers. The G-A signal caller then lobbed a beauty for Root along the sideline, with Root making the grab for a 39-yard score to cut the deficit to 41-9. The point after failed.
– Gettysburg went back to work on the ground, stringing together a 12-play drive ending with a 2-yard touchdown for Christopher Wagner, pushing the lead to 48-9.
– Greencastle capped the scoring in the closing seconds, as Cole hit Root in stride for 56 yards before finding Bowers for a 13-yard touchdown and the 48-16 final following a Kirkwood extra point.
Contact Ben Destefan at firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-762-2151 or on Twitter: @bdestefan_RH