By Charlie Miller, Staff Writer
Gettysburg took their first loss of the season Saturday, as the Redhawks of Montclair State used explosive plays to outscore the Bullets 32-21. They were unable to establish the run, netting just 67 yards in the contest. However, the passing game fared better, as Rocco Abdinoor ’26 and Konrad Vandborg ’26 combined for 296 yards and two touchdowns. They used a dink-and-dunk approach to move down the field, which resulted in touchdown drives of thirteen and ten plays, while twelve and eleven-play drives set up Bullet field goals.
Montclair State, meanwhile, used quick strikes to score. They scored their first two touchdowns in five and four plays, respectfully, and built a 14-3 lead midway through the second quarter. However, Gettysburg played keep away, as they churned over seven minutes of the clock on one drive, which culminated in a big 3rd and 13 conversion, where Abdinoor found his safety blanket Ryan McAndrew ’24 for a touchdown.
The Bullets were in the game at halftime, down by just four points, but once again a big play from Montclair State shifted momentum. The Redhawks special team’s unit blocked a Bullet punt and recovered at the Gettysburg five, which set the tone on the first possession of the second half. Montclair State continued their red zone success, punching it in to make it 20-10.
Gettysburg cut it to a touchdown deficit after they ground out an 11-play, 76-yard drive, but Redhawk lightning strikes continued to plague the Bullets. Montclair State responded with a 66-yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive. The Redhawks stretched the lead to 32-13, threatening the Bullets, when another threat struck both teams.
Lightning in the area resulted in a 90-minute weather delay, that threw a wrench into a possible Gettysburg comeback. Nonetheless, the Bullets stayed focused and managed to punch the ball in to make it a 32-21 game. Unfortunately, the comeback fell short as the clock ran out on Gettysburg. While they wished the result was different, it was certainly nice to see Gettysburg show resilience and ability to control the clock and run the football.
Coach Maurice “Moe” Banks echoed this, as he found “some positives to build on.” He noted the impressive drives but now wants Gettysburg “to apply the pressure for all four quarters.” Banks was also impressed with the defenses’ ability to limit the Redhawk’s field position advantage. Despite some big plays, they were able to keep Gettysburg in the game for long stretches, but the offense could not quite keep pace.
Banks addressed his team’s adaptability to the weather delay, noting that during the offseason, they had a rain delay during practice, which gave them an opportunity to practice that situation. Banks was pleased that his players “regain[ed] focus before returning to the field.” It is not always easy to adapt to these sorts of situations, as players’ mojo and adrenaline are thrown off, and they must tap into it again when play resumes. Fans can point to any number of games where delays affected players’ mentalities and perhaps the action and outcome (see Penn State at Michigan State in 2018 and the power outage at the Super Bowl in 2012). Gettysburg will return to action, hopefully under clear skies, at Christopher Newport at 4:00 PM on Sat., Sept. 16.