Kicker’s Corner: Inside the Huddle
By Jared McCully, JV Kicker, Staff Writer
“The Bucket Stays Home!” exclaimed the victorious Gettysburg Bullets as we marched our way to the locker room after defeating the Dickinson College Red Devils 20-17. The victory occurred on Senior Day, where the Gettysburg seniors played their last downs on the Shirk. Despite an emotional day, the seniors wouldn’t have wanted to enjoy it any other way.
Coming off a three game losing streak Gettysburg (6-3) looked to incinerate the Red Devil’s and keep the Little Brown Bucket for the third consecutive year. With an opening drive featuring the work horse, senior tailback Kyle Wigley, the Bullet’s pushed ahead early 7-0 and had an impressive first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Red Devil’s looked to capitalize on ball possession and a Gettysburg offense that had some productivity troubles. Dickinson’s passing game was nothing notable with Billy Burger averaging 3.9 yards per passing attempt throwing for a total of 112 yards. Dickinson resorted to their run game, which pushed the Bullet’s defense back on several occasions. The I-formation lead by Cedric Madden maneuvered through gaps and controlled the ball for a total of twelve minutes in the second quarter. A failed fourth down conversion set Dickinson up for a closing twenty-eight-yard field goal to put the Red Devil’s ahead 9-7 going into the half.
A stern reminder from senior leaders and coaches motivated the Bullets to go out and show no mercy in the second half. The Bucket may seem silly to some, but the motivation it inspires is like none other. The Bucket represents a history of Gettysburg College’s greatness, as well as the hard work and grit it requires every season to call yourself a winner.
An early third quarter sixteen-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Sam McDermott to senior tight end Fred Pulzello gave the Bullets a 13-9 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, motivation came around the corner as senior kicker Robby Fay helped make a critical breakthrough to halt the Red Devils. Fay inspired many of his teammates in the process, showing that even the kicker is willing to take the hit in pursuit of the Bucket.
Fay was asked about his momentous play afterwards. He said, “When you talk about Bullets I am a Bullet! I will go through anything to eliminate my enemy. I’m saving the rest for F&M next week, just wait and see.”
After a Gettysburg fumble, senior defensive back Brian Calatozzo prevented the Red Devil’s from scoring by intercepting a half back option on the Gettysburg six-yard line. Another touchdown pass from McDermott to senior Ryan Thompson gave the Bullets a 20-9 lead.
A Cedric Madden touchdown and two point conversion, brought the game to a critical 20-17 with a little over two minutes remaining. A failed onside kick and smart ball movement by Gettysburg’s offense helped seal the Bucket for the Bullets.
The victory was sure to be one to celebrate, but the Bullet’s season is not over yet. Gettysburg will be taking on the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats, another fierce rival of the Bullets. Although the Bucket is a piece of history, the newly minted Lincoln Trophy will look to remain home at Gettysburg for its second year.
Besides the Lincoln Trophy, Gettysburg will be competing to earn a spot in the newly established Division III Bowl Series between the Centennial Conference and the MAC.
We are excited as a team to move forward towards earning our spot in the history books. Although the goal of a bowl appearance is within reach, the mission at task is to keep “The Hat” and destroy the Diplomats.