Team injuries damper Bullets’ record: Juniata College reflects Gettysburg football 41-35
By Maddie Brown, Staff Writer
Revved up by a loud and partisan crowd, an energetic marching band, and a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Shirk Field, the Gettysburg College football team seemed to have it all, even the ball in their own end zone. The Bullets lost to the Juniata College Eagles 35 to 41 in the afternoon match-up.
The Eagles were led by tailback David Vidovic, who finished with 172 yards and 3 touchdowns.
The first half of the game was highlighted by impressive offensive football for both teams. The first turnover on downs did not occur until the second quarter.
On the Bullets’ opening drive, senior quarterback Danny Thompson, sophomore wing back Matt McFadden and sophomore tailback Justin Walsh all contributed to a 65 yard scoring drive, culminating in a touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Tyler Frazee and a 7-3 lead.
First year Justin Geisel took every extra point and kickoff of the game.
“The offense really kept us in the game; they played extremely well and consistently put points on the board,“ said senior lineman, Danny Speca.
Juniata quickly struck back with Vidovic’s runs, taking the lead at 5:15 in the first quarter.
The Bullets retaliated quickly, with a pass by Thompson for a hard third down run by first year Charles Clewis. Thompson’s eight-yard toss to Clewis ended the quarter in a score of 14-10.
The Eagles scored a touchdown early in the second quarter to take the lead 17-14. The Bullets’ next drive ended with a fumble, and the Eagles took over at the Bullet 26 yard line, scoring quickly on another Vidovic touchdown run.
Juniata managed a field goal on their next possession, and while it that the Eagles were taking control of the game, Thompson and Walsh mixed throws, runs and shovel passes to earn a Gettysburg touchdown with 4:17 left in the second quarter, bringing the game 21-27.
The Gettysburg defense held Juniata on the next possession, and a shanked punt of only 24 yards allowed the Bullets to start the next drive on their own 35-yard line.
“We were excited about our chances,” said Speca. “We never felt like we were out of the game whatsoever. In the end we just couldn’t stop them on defense.”
The first four minutes of the second half proved that both teams were still hungry for points. McFadden ran the ball down the sideline, helping Gettysburg to take a 28-27 lead.
While the battle continued, the Gettysburg bench started to fill up with a series of injuries in the game. Senior captain Chris Miller left the field with a serious knee injury, joining junior Frank Olmo, who left with a shoulder injury in the first half, and 15 other ununiformed Bullets.
Juniata scored again with 6:34 left in the third quarter bringing the score to 28-41.
A big kickoff return by junior Ryan Thompson put Gettysburg at the 45-yard line, and only a minute later McFadden touched the end zone just to have the points called back.
After an early first down in the fourth quarter, Thompson was struck down hard by the Juniata defense and taken from the field for a suspected concussion.
Junior Justin Davidov replaced Thompson as quarterback for the remainder of the game.
Davidov led the team to score another touchdown in the final 2:23 of the game with a pass to sophomore Chase Fee.
Gettysburg’s onside kick failed, and Juniata received the ball on the 44-yard line. Vidovic put the icing on the cake for the Eagles with a first down run at 0:09, ending the game 35-41.
The Bullets will face Susquehanna University in Susquehanna, PA at 1 p.m. on Saturday.