Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils don’t miss a beat in playoff opener

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Chad Miller pulls down a Hamburg runner Friday night. Miller had a good night on both sides of the ball as the leading tackler and scoring two touchdowns.

Greencastle-Antrim’s first step into the postseason landed pretty much like it had all season — with a dominating performance that produced a 42-6 victory over the Hamburg Hawks. The opening round win in the District 3-AAA Championships moves the still unbeaten Blue Devils to the district quarterfinals. As the top seed G-A will again host Friday, Nov. 19. The opponent will be Conrad Weiser with a 7 p.m. kickoff. The Scouts knocked off East Pennsboro 53-37 to advance.

The Devils took the opening kickoff and used five minutes off the clock to methodically drive the ball down the field. The opening drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Tyler Szaflarski at the 7:17 mark in the first quarter. Luke Bitner came on and made the extra point. He was perfect on the night.

As the first quarter was coming to a close, Hamburg went for it on fourth down with seven yards to go. They were unable to convert and the Blue Devils took possession of the ball. G-A wasted no time going to the endzone as the second quarter started. Szaflarski ran it in from 24 yards out less than a minute into the second quarter. Greencastle scored again with 5:32 left to play in the half when Chad Miller ran for 10 yards and a score. Hamburg returned the ensuing kickoff for a TD to get on the board. Miller blocked the extra point attempt. The Blue Devils came right back as quarterback Devin Schaeffer connected with Miller for a 20-yard completion and a score. Denver Cordell intercepted a Hawk pass with 18 seconds left to play in the half, sending the teams to halftime with the Blue Devils up 28-6.

In the third quarter, Hamburg drove to G-A's 4 yard line but the defense refused to let them into the endzone and the Blue Devils took possession of the ball on downs after pushing the Hawks back to the 12 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Denver Cordell ran for 88 yards and the score. Greencastle's defense held firm once again on Hamburg's next possession as passes were batted down and runners were taken down.

The Hawks lined up for a field goal attempt late in the third quarter. The attempt was blocked by Miller. but a personal foul call against Greencastle gave Hamburg a fresh set of downs inside G-A's 10 yard line. The Blue Devil defense again rose to the occasion. The fourth quarter began with Hamburg facing a fourth down and goal from G-A's 13 yard line. Hamburg lined up for the field goal attempt. A forward pass from the holder to the kicker was incomplete and G-A once again took possession of the ball. Austin Scott took over the quarterbacking duties for the Devils and handed off to Denver Cordell who ran in from 35 yards out. This carry put Cordell over 1,000 yards for the year.

The offensive line of Nate Hykes, Gerardo Juarez, Eric Metz, Denton Ensminger, Kevin Castellar and tight end Cody Ezolt got it done once again Friday night as G-A had 430 yards of offense. Denver Cordell carried the ball 11 times for 221 yards and two TDs. Szaflarski ran for 68 yards and two scores. Chad Miller had 50 yards rushing and a score and also scored on a 20-yard pass from Schaeffer. Denton Cordell had 19 yards receiving.

Szaflarski led the defense with eight tackles. Miller and Schaeffer had seven each while Ian Spencer had six.

Denver Cordell and Miller each had an interception for G-A.