By Ethan Silverstein, Staff Writer
Last Saturday at Shirk Field, the Gettysburg College Football Team and the Gettysburg College Marching Band squared off. The game was off to an odd start when the PA announcer asked everyone to stand for the national anthem, but all the band musicians were on the field, which left no one to play the anthem.
The football team had a strong start against the musicians. The musicians’ sizes did not compare to the football team, and they took advantage of that. Behind the huge offensive line, running back Nick Rella hit his holes and put up the first touchdown of the day, while putting a trombone player on Injured Reserve.
“Last fall, I told The Gettysburgian that this was a virtuous group of musicians and color guard that would set a new level of excellence for the band. Well, I was right. I mean, Jared Barna is relentless with a drum – clearly he can plow through the entire football team to score touchdown after touchdown. Of course, it may have helped that we had 23 players on the field blocking, but, you know, as straight as the line was, the refs must not have been able to count them all. Don’t tell me band doesn’t teach useful life skills!” said Dr. Steven Marx, Director of the Bullet’s Marching Band.
After a punt, the football team’s offense marched back out onto the field. On 2nd-and-1, Quarterback Mike Welsh threw a 50-yard bomb downfield to a waiting receiver and flute player. Before the receiver could locate the ball, the flutist was leaping in the air to intercept it.
With the momentum on their side, the band marched down the field as the snare drum player dotted up the defense. The drive came to a sudden stop, though, as the band could not get it in the end zone. The French-horn player hit the field goal to make it 7-3.
After a menacing pep talk from Coach Kevin Burke, the football team was motivated to put the band away.
At the end of the half, the football team took over at the 20. The O-line pushed around the tuba players and created lanes for Rella and Welsh found his receivers breaking off from the flutists. The football team scored again on a pass to tight end Ryan Wagner, putting the team up 14-3.
Starting off the second half, the snare player kept everyone on offense on the beat. Every pass was on-target, and every run was positive. The 76-yard drive was capped off with a touchdown, making it 14-10.
The football team nervously took the field, holding onto the lead that was slowly disappearing. It was nearing the start of the fourth quarter as they managed to get past midfield.
After a quick fired slant to senior Wide Receiver Chase Fee for eight yards, the football team found itself at 4th-and-2. Burke sent out the field goal squad and Justin Geisel knocked it through to put the football team up 17-10.
Executing his offense to perfection, the conductor worked his offense down the field, finding one open player after another. The tension was mounting as the time ran down just as fast as the band moved towards the end zone. With 20 seconds left, the band stretched the ball across the goal line. The offense stayed on the field for the 2-point conversion. After doing the Philly special, the clarinet player found herself standing in the end zone with the winning catch in her hands.