Gettysburg football shines against rainy conditions
By Maddie Brown, Staff Writer
With a wet turf under its feet, a gray sky above its heads, and damp, cold air encompassing Musselman Stadium, the Gettysburg College football team did not let Saturday’s conditions prevent it from defeating McDaniel College Green Terror 38-23.
“The weather did not affect our mindset or energy going into the game,” said senior Danny Thompson. “If anything, the rain heightened our intensity and energy levels.”
After a concussion took him off the field for a week, Thompson returned to his quarterback position Saturday.
Sophomore Justin Walsh and senior wide receiver Jordan Kelso set the pace for the Bullet offense during the team’s first possession. Walsh darted into the end zone on 3rd down to put the Bullets on the board at 11:42 in the first quarter. First year Justin Geisel would then convert this and every extra point attempt on the day for the Bullets.
Geisel’s onside kick during the next possession caused a fumble at the Bullets’ 46-yard line. Sophomore Matt McFadden and first year Kevin Benavente were then called to help Thompson get the ball up the field. But it was Walsh once again who touched the end zone for the Bullets, putting his team at a comfortable 14-0 lead with 9:23 left in the first quarter.
The second quarter began with a few back-and-forth possessions and a switch to junior Justin Davidov as quarterback and resulted on a Gettysburg takeover on its own 28-yard line. After a combined 45 yards of running by Walsh, the second quarter began with Gettysburg first and goal on the McDaniel seven yard line. Davidov then ran the ball through the end zone to give the home squad a 21-0 advantage.
The Bullets defense kept McDaniel at bay. While McDaniel’s quarterback, Will Koester, often attempted passes to his junior wide receivers Bamasa Bailor, Breon Herbert and Andre Henry, Jr., Gettysburg’s senior defensive back Derek Singer, sophomore Jake Skinner and junior Bradley Walker came up with multiple deflections to break the long pass attempts.
The Green Terror lit the guest side of the scoreboard for the first time with 4:30 left in the first half. McDaniel attempted a follow-up two-point conversion, but Gettysburg’s Skinner intercepted the pass.
Thompson returned to play during the Bullets’ final possession of the half, and his passes led Geisel to successfully add three points to his team’s tally.
The half ended with the Bullets leading 24-6.
The second half brought more rain and more offensive tactics from McDaniel. The Green Terror scored the first score of the latter half with a successful 31-yard pass by Koester to Henry. At 11:08, the scoreboard clicked to 24-13 with the extra point.
With five minutes left in the quarter, the Green Terror was able to add more points to its score. Capitalizing on good field position, Bailor caught a short pass from Koester, and the visitors improved to 24-20.
The Bullets reacted quickly. Walsh made up ground and junior Ryan Thompson hulled in a catch for a decisive Gettysburg first down. Sophomore Chase Fee then touched the end line off a Thompson pass at 12:17 in the fourth quarter.
“When Chase found the end zone, it capped off a very nice drive that we needed,” said Kelso.
The Gettysburg defense held McDaniel to only three more points in the remaining 12 minutes of play.
“Some injuries required that a few young guys step up on the defensive side of the ball, and they did,” said Kelso.
The final minutes of the match were touch-and-go. Two long passes by Davidov advanced the ball forward, but Green Terror senior Matt Quattrone intercepted the ball. On the very next play, junior Nolan Skirtich intercepted a Koester pass. With 2:44 left of play, Davidov sprinted for six yards and the game ended at 38-23.
“[The win this weekend] increased our momentum going into the bye week and onto to second half of our schedule,” said Thompson.
The Bullets rest with bye week this weekend but will return to battle at Muhlenberg College October 15 at 1:00p.m.