G-A falls to Waynesboro in overtime
For the second straight week, the Waynesboro Indians played into overtime.
And, for the second game in a row, the Tribe found a way to win when playing from behind.
Mason Frampton ran around right end and slithered his way through the Greencastle-Antrim defense and into the end zone to propel Waynesboro to a 27-24 victory at a packed Kaley Field on Friday night in a Mid-Penn Colonial Division thriller.
The win gives the Indians (6-2, 5-0 MPC) a share of the division title for the second straight season. A win at Mifflin County in two weeks would give Waynesboro the outright championship.
The loss dropped G-A to 2-6 overall, serving as another close defeat within the division.
It was an insane ending to a game that almost didn't reach overtime. G-A quarterback Cade McDowell reached for a two-yard plunge to tie the game with 35 seconds left to play in regulation, and the Indians ran out the clock.
Waynesboro won the coin toss and chose defense. On G-A's first possession, Seth Eberly ran seven yards to the three on second down. Isaiah Peck picked up two, making it fourth down from inside the one. The Blue Devils opted for the field goal, giving them a 24-21 lead.
On the Tribe's first play of overtime, Frampton followed his blocking and made an inside move and straightened his body again into the end zone, setting off a frantic celebration.
"I'm proud of our kids, they gave it everything they had, they took these guys into overtime and it could have went either way," G-A head coach Chuck Tinninis said. "Football is a game of inches, and that's the way it went."
The Indians needed a spark in the second half. The first half ended with G-A's Kody Wykoff pouncing on a loose ball in the end zone to give the Blue Devils a 14-7 lead with 4:42 to play in the second quarter.
Earlier in the first half, G-A's Brad Shear scored standing up from the one to tie the game at 7.
To throw salt in the wound, a promising Waynesboro drive was short circuited when Cade Marshall stepped in front of an under-thrown pass and returned it to near midfield. The Indians had run the ball on every play during the drive, which began at their 29 and ended on the G-A 18.
Waynesboro's defense provided the catalyst for an offense that had sputtered since Tom Drumsta raced 74 yards for the game's first score. Drumsta, the Indians "Mr. Inside," started running straight ahead but found all kinds of room down the G-A sideline en route to the touchdown.
Tribe tackle Daniel Worthy gave his teammates a shot in the arm when he knifed through for two straight tackles in the backfield. Drumsta nearly intercepted the third-down pass, and the Indians took over at the Blue Devils' 40 yard line following a punt.
While Waynesboro was making strides in figuring out G-A's tricky Wing-T offense, the Tribe's offense was calling the right plays against the Blue Devils' ball-hawking defense. Still, it took an 11-yard run by Kershner to keep the drive going.
Two plays later, facing 3rd-and-7 from the 24, Kershner found Jay Alvarez in single coverage down the left sideline and lofted a picture-perfect fade pass to an awaiting Alvarez, who reached high and came down clean with the pass for the touchdown. George Souders made the extra point to tie the game 14-14.
G-A fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Waynesboro's John Hoffman made the clutch recovery on the run. He ran it back around 10 yards to put the Indians in business at the Blue Devils 18.
The game took a bizarre turn as Waynesboro lined up for the go-ahead field goal. The Indians lined up at the 19 to attempt a 36-yard field goal, but G-A was offsides, moving the ball up five yards but not close enough for the Indians to try for the first down to the eight.
Souders made the 31-yard field goal, but the Blue Devils roughed the kicker. Waynesboro accepted the penalty, which gave the Tribe 1st-and-goal from the eight. On third-and-goal from the one, Kershner stretched into the end zone to give Waynesboro a 21-14 lead following Souders' PAT with 3:16 left in the third quarter.
G-A went three and out on its next possession. The Indians started out in good field position but, after picking up one first down, punted back to the Blue Devils. Souders angled the punt and it went out of bounds at the 15, giving G-A a long field.
Once again, the Tribe's defense held its ground, forcing another three-play drive and another favorable starting field position.
On third-and-10 from the Waynesboro 41, Kershner scrambled out of the pocket and found Damian Swisher nestled by the sideline for a 14-yard gain. Two plays later, Frampton ran 15 yards for another first down at the G-A 30. The Indians gained three yards on the next three plays, and Kershner was sacked for a seven-yard loss on fourth down, giving the Blue Devils a first down at their 34.
From there, McDowell engineered an impressive drive. Peck picked up 28 yards on first down. After short runs by McDowell and a Waynesboro offsides that gave G-A a first down at the Tribe 24, Peck took off for 16 yards for a first-and-goal at the 8. McDowell ran straight ahead for six yards, and after a no-gainer, McDowell plunged into the end zone for a dramatic game-tying touchdown.
"I know we're 2-6, but this is still one of my favorite teams in 30 years of coaching," Tinninis said. "We come out and play. Our kids show up, practice hard and want to play football. One of these days we're going to finish and have it go our way."