Bullets football picked sixth in preseason poll
By Claire Healey, Sports Editor
After finishing 3-7 overall, and 3-6 in the Centennial Conference last year, the Bullets are looking to better their record for the 2017 season.
While not their strongest finishing record, there were several key strengths that the team will look to continue on this year.
Some of Gettysburg’s greatest moments came in games against big conference opponents like McDaniel College. On Homecoming Weekend the Bullets furiously stormed back in the fourth quarter to retake the lead and keep the Green Terror from scoring any more points.
Gettysburg achieved their Homecoming Weekend success with a well oiled offense and strong defensive plays. They carried the ball a season-high fifty-three times and completed ten third-down conversions.
To build off the success of last season, the Bullets will hope to utilize their strong offense again. Running the ball and allowing their strongest runners the space they need to come up with big plays. This will require a strong offensive line that will not collapse under pressure from strong defenses.
A unique feature of the Bullets offense has been their two quarterback system, which allows two different players to perform in the playmaking role. Senior co-captain Justin Davidov will hope to gain the lead spot in the two player system after having served as the backup last season.
Davidov finished the 2016 season as Gettysburg’s leading rusher with 108 carries for 657 yards and an impressive eight touchdowns. He also came away with 79 of 159 pass attempts for a total 1,050 yards, eleven touchdowns and only five interceptions.
Also competing for the quarterback role will be two returning sophomores, Marcus Josey and Kevin Martinez, and two new first-years, Matt Harris and Patrick McDermott. Martinez is the only other potential quarterback with experience in games for the Bullets.
Also dangerous on offense for the Bullets is senior Ty Abdul-Karim. He has been competing as one of Gettysburg’s top receivers since his sophomore campaign and was their top threat in the position.
He finished the season with 20 receptions for 521 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season against Moravian he came away with a season-high 214 yards while tying a program record of three touchdowns on just four receptions. That performance saw him be named the Centennial Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week and be named to the D3football.com Team of the Week.
On the defensive end, the Bullets will look towards a big defensive line and strong secondary line to keep opponents scoring low. Leading the secondary will be senior Kamau Bridges. As defensive back, Bridges finished fourth on the team in tackles, second on interceptions and first in pass break ups with seven and one forced fumble. One of his interceptions came in that fourth quarter against McDaniel.
Senior co-captain Brad Walker is hoping to improve on early season success from the first five games of last season. He missed the rest of the season but still finished the season with seven total tackles and a fumble against McDaniel.
Gettysburg has many key and veteran players returning to hopefully produce a strong 2017 season. In the Centennial Conference pre-season poll, the Bullets came sixth, which is where they finished last season. The Bullets will look to build on last years’ record and success for an even stronger conference finish.
Gettysburg’s schedule will see them face all conference opponents at least once and face some of their usual non-conference opponents, including Juniata College and Moravian College. Some highlights include defending conference champion Johns Hopkins University on October 20 and conference rival Franklin and Marshall College on November 11. They will begin their campaign at Bridgewater College on Friday, September 1 at 7:30p.m.