Moravian Greyhounds tackle Gettysburg 32-35, Senior Quarterback Sam McDermott breaks single-season passing touchdown record
By Meredith Tombs, Staff Writer
The Saturday of Halloween brought no treats for the Bullets as they faced off against Moravian College at Rocco Calvo Field in Bethlehem, PA. Gettysburg put up a tough battle but came up short against the Greyhounds, unable to overcome the initial twenty-one-point deficit of the first quarter. The men rallied against their opponents but ultimately fell 32-35 for their third consecutive loss of the season.
An incomplete pass, a sack, and a blocked punt helped to set up Moravian College for their first touchdown within the first three minutes of the game. Another blocked punt and some tough defense against the Bullets set the Greyhounds up for their second and third touchdowns.
The Greyhounds are 6-1 within the Centennial Conference, sporting an impressive 7-1 overall record.
Senior tailback Paul Lowry helped to lead the Gettysburg offense with a season-high fifty-nine rushing yards. The Bullets looked to step up their game with the start of the second quarter, showing their resilient spirit.
“In a few [other] games, we’ve been down early, but we haven’t given up,” said Lowry. “We have confidence in ourselves and each other. Trusting your teammates helps you to stay calm and focused even if the scoreboard isn’t in your favor. This has helped us comeback and win games like against Juniata and Susquehanna.”
While the Bullets never led on the scoreboard, Gettysburg met a number of successes on the field this past Saturday.
Senior quarterback Sam McDermott set a school record with twenty completed touchdown passes on the season. McDermott found ten discrete receivers throughout the game for a total of 240 passing yards against the Greyhounds.
McDermott, co-captain and quarterback, has been a strong leader this season. The entire team and especially the seniors are realizing that their season is nearing its end.
“As a senior class, we realize our time to play football is coming to close to an end,” said Lowry. “[You’re pushed] to work a little harder because you know you won’t have a chance to do it again.”
Senior tailback Kyle Wigly still leads the team in rush yards with 141 this season, even though he was out with an injury and could not contribute to the Bullet effort.
Junior defensive end Danny Speca forced a fumble at the start of the Moravian drive in the second quarter, leading to a Bullet recovery. First year Mike McKnight had an interception on the next Moravian drive, entering his first statistics of his college career with fourteen-yards off the interception, and boosting the Bullet morale.
Three minutes into the second quarter, McDermott hit sophomore Ryan Thompson for the first Bullet touchdown, and senior Chris Amicone scored on a catch from McDermott six minutes later.
Junior linebacker Chris Miller sacked Moravian quarterback Mike Hayes for loss of eight, forcing a fumble. Miller had two sacks against the Greyhounds and totals seventy-nine tackles this season.
A field goal by senior Robby Fay closed out the half, working to close the 17-28 gap.
Junior linebacker Joe Vegso sacked the Moravian QB in the third quarter. Vegso has been a strong contributor to the Bullet defense this season with twenty-four tackles.
McDermott hit senior Brandon Sparks near the end of the third quarter for another Bullet touchdown, and found senior Kevin McCarthy halfway through the final quarter to bring keep Gettysburg in the game 32-35.
With under a minute left, Gettysburg forced a turnover, but could not capitalize. Two failed pass attempts and two subsequent sacks left Moravian with the ball in the final seconds of the game.
“We just put ourselves into too big of a hole at the beginning,” said Lowry. “We started slow and let them get up big by the end of the 1st quarter, and it was just too much to come back from…You use that knowledge to push you to get better in the upcoming week.”
The close loss, along with the previous two games, will motivate the Bullets as they prepare for their next contest.
“The team is still confident,” said Lowry. “The results haven’t been there the past few games, but we know we have talent on both sides of the ball. We just need to improve our consistency in executing our assignments and we will be fine… our focus is one-hundred percent on improving for [the Dickinson] game.”
The Gettysburg team started off with an incredibly strong 5-0 streak, and the Bullets are looking to turn around their current 5-3 record with the upcoming match against Dickinson. This rival game will be played this Saturday, Nov. 7 at 1:00, marking the final home contest of the 2015 season. Come out and support the Bullets at Shirk Field this weekend!