Gettysburg takes down Juniata 30-25, Frazee hauls in winning touchdown
By Meredith Tombs, Staff Writer
This past Saturday, the Bullets headed to Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, with two victories on their record. The men refused to allow the success of previous games to detract from their focus and were determined to go into the contest ready to compete.
“We had a good mentality and knew that we couldn’t let our record affect how we play,” shared co-captain Brian Calatozzo. “You have to take each game as they come and have a confident mindset, but not a cocky one.”
The senior defensive back intercepted a pass in the final quarter, marking his third interception in three games this season.
Gettysburg led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, ending with a 22-yard field goal from senior Robby Fay. The Eagles were unable to put points on the board until the last few minutes of the second quarter, but they put up a tough fight throughout the entire game and beat down the lead little by little.
In the final minutes, both teams stepped it up and gave the crowd an exciting end to what had been a scoreless fourth quarter. The Bullets’ defense was able to keep Juniata out of the endzone, but the Eagles put up a 39 yard field goal to take the lead 25-24. Gettysburg, unfazed, sent out their offense for an incredible trek up the field into the Eagles’ endzone in the final seconds of the game. Senior quarterback Sam McDermott found first year Tyler Frazee, who had 39 receiving yards, for the game-winning touchdown.
The two-point conversion was no good, but the Bullets were able to hold on for the 30-25 victory. Junior defensive back Derek Singer snagged an interception on the last play of the game, preventing a Juniata touchdown in the final seconds.
Junior defensive end Danny Speca was confident in his teammates’ ability to perform. “We knew the offense had our back,” he stated. “They did an incredible job keeping their composure and executed to perfection.”
Speca came up with a sack against the Eagles to end the first half of the game. An additional stop for a Juniata loss by Speca marked his seventh tackle this season.
“Conference games like Juniata are always very important,” shared Speca. “Going into the game, we wanted to play tough, physical football and establish ourselves within the Centennial.”
The Bullets certainly came to win, competing with high intensity throughout the entire contest.
Co-captain Kodie McNamara led the Bullets in tackles with 12 stops against the Eagles. Senior defensive back Michael Kornegay added 8 tackles to his 28 on the total season, and junior Chris Miller contributed 7 stops.
Senior offensive lineman Pierce Frauenheim ran for 32 yards into the endzone off a pitch from quarterback Sam McDermott, giving the Bullets crucial momentum in the opening minutes of the second quarter.
McDermott, Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Week, rushed for a team-high 83 yards and threw for a career-high 349 yards.
Kyle Wigley followed McDermott with 55 rushing yards. First year Matt McFadden proved to be another asset this past Saturday with 130 return yards against the Eagles, giving the Bullets great positioning on the field.
Calatozzo is extremely pleased with the way his team has been performing this season. “We have had so many big plays this year already, and in extremely crucial situations,” he shared. “[McDermott] gets it done on his feet and when we need him to make a throw, he always finds a way to do it.”
McDermott hit junior wide receiver Jordan Kelso for two touchdowns in the first and second quarters. Kelso added 177 yards to his phenomenal season.
“He is a threat every time the ball is in his hands,” added Calatozzo about Kelso. “The kid continues to make plays whenever we need him to.”
Penalties have been plaguing the Bullets this season, with 9 in the Juniata game alone. Thirty penalties in the last three games resulted in a total loss of 325 yards. “We keep hurting ourselves in crucial situations,” said Calatozzo. “However, penalties are something that can be easily fixed. We need to keep our heads and be more focused.”
While the Bullets have been met with success thus far, the men look to take the season week by week, focusing on building the team both on and off the field. “We’re extremely team-oriented, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve seen success so far,” said Speca. “We’re going to keep working and having fun every day, taking advantage of the chance to play this game.”
Calatozzo concurred,“You only have a limited amount of time to play college football. This is an opportunity that only comes around once in a lifetime…we have a good thing going this year. We need to keep that momentum going and continue to win.”
Cheer on the Bullets as they take the next step into the season and host Susquehanna this upcoming Saturday at 1:00pm on Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium.