Blue Devils win battle of unbeatens

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Denton Cordell (11) and Chad Miller (10) go high in hopes of a block against Susquehanna Township Friday. (Bob Stoler Photos)

The Greencastle-Antrim football team hasn’t let anything sidetrack them yet and a trip to battle formidable Susquehanna Township on the Harrisburg-area team’s turf made no difference as the Blue Devils charged from behind to hand the Indians a 24-16 defeat.

The Devils (3-0) fought back from a deficit to topple the Indians.

“The comeback was an amazing experience, we left our hearts out on that field,” said senior lineman Gerardo Juarez.

Both teams came into the non-divisional Mid-Penn Conference tussle with unbeaten records. Township claimed round one, going up 13-0 on two passing touchdowns. Midway through the second quarter Chad Miller got G-A on the board with an 11-yard touchdown run. Luke Bitner tacked on the first of his three extra points of the night.

“Our offensive line really shined,” related senior Miller. “I was scared we wouldn’t recover to fight back.”

A mishandled punt by the Blue Devils late in the second quarter gave the Indians possession deep in Blue Devil territory. The miscue didn't hurt the Devils because Trentin Dixon picked off a Susquehanna pass at the 3:05 mark in the second to start G-A on its final scoring drive of the half. The offense moved the ball to the Indian 14. A timeout call by Township didn’t disturb Bitner. He kicked a 30 yard field goal with 16 seconds left in the half to bring G-A to within three at the break.

The third quarter was a defensive battle. At one point Susquehanna Township was on the G-A 10 yard line facing a fourth and two situation and had to turn the ball over on downs. The only scoring in the third quarter was an Indian field goal.

That still left the Devils behind by six, but G-A was staying on task and began to dominate in the fourth quarter. Tyler Szaflarski started off the stanza with a one-yard touchdown run. Bitner’s PAT finally brought G-A into the lead. With 8:40 left to play in the game, Susquehanna was driving when Denton Cordell grabbed the second pick of the night on the Indian quarterback and returned it 28 yards. Blue Devil quarterback Devin Schaeffer finished off the G-A scoring with a 16 yard touchdown run at the 4:55 mark. On Susquehanna's final possession, a fumbled snap on fourth and two was recovered by Frank Juarez and the Blue Devils just ran out the clock.

Head coach Chuck Tinninis said, “The kids played extremely well. There were times they could’ve folded, but they didn’t and they showed a lot of grit.”

G-A had 296 yards of offense. Szaflarski ran for 76 yards and a score. Denver Cordell carried the ball 48 yards. Schaeffer rushed for 35 and a TD while Miller added 33 yards and a score. Schaeffer threw for 104 yards. He hooked up with Cody Ezolt for 50 yards, Denver Cordell for 39 and Miller for 15.

Schaeffer and Ian Spencer each had seven tackles for the Blue Devils. Miller and Denver Cordell had five while Denton Ensminger, Szaflarski, Frank Juarez and Gerado Juarez had four apiece. Dixon and Denton each had an interception and Frank Juarez had a fumble recovery for the defense.

“Everyone played really well,” added Juarez. It was a good win, we’re all hoping for just as good of a game next week.”

The Devils return home Friday and will host West Perry at Kaley Field for Homecoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Junior varsity

The junior varsity rode a 20-point second quarter to a 26-8 victory over Township Monday on Kaley Field.

After a scoreless first, G-A let loose. Chris Roadcap grabbed a four- yard toss from quarterback Austin Scott for the first score of the contest and the scoring kept coming. Kareem Aiken ran 34 yards for a score and ran for another two on the PAT. With 2:16 left to play in the first half, Scott hooked up with Grant Murray for 14 yards to send the teams to halftime with G-A up 20 - 0.

Defense drove the third quarter. As the fourth began the Devils began a drive from the one. Aaron Bumbaugh  made it pay with a 28-yard run with 4:18 on the clock to seal it.

G-A had 247 yards of total offense. Aiken ran for 75 yards and a TD. Bumbaugh added 41 yards and a score. Scott threw for 37 yards and 2 TDs while Murray passed for 53 yards. Their leading targets were Roadcap with 25 yards, Hunter Szaflarski with 22, Young with 17, Murray with 14 and Gabe Fridgen with 10 yards.

Cameron Christman had six tackles for the defense. Stephen Ernharth had five and Zach Mowen had four.  Fridgen and Bumbaugh intercepted the Indian quarterback and Walker Kinsey had a fumble recovery.

Editor’s note: Jack Lukow contributed to this story.

Devin Schaeffer falls into the endzone. (Bob Stoler Photos)