Devils Bring Back Bucket in Dramatic Fashion, 21-20
(Gettysburg, Pa.)- The Dickinson College football team rallied from a 14-0 deficit to overtake Gettysburg 21-20 and regain possession of the Little Brown Bucket. The Devils scored 21 unanswered points and blocked the Bullets' extra-point attempt in the final minute to hold on for the win.
The Devils won the toss and went on offense first. The drive stalled on the Bullet 15 yard line, forcing a 32-yard field-goal attempt. The kick went wide left and the Gettysburg took over on the 20 yard line.
The Bullets drove 80 yards on 10 plays, scoring on a pass from Kyle Whitmoyer to John Pesce to take a 7-0 lead. Pesce scored on the Bullets' next drive as well, breaking free around the right side for a 16 yard touchdown run with 5:47 remaining in the first quarter.
The Red Devils were moving once again before Peter Hak stepped in to intercept a pass at the Bullets' 15 yard line to give Gettysburg possession to start the second quarter with a 14-0 lead.
The Red Devils put together a strong drive at the end of the first half, capped by a 38 yard touchdown run from sophomore fullback Kyle Smith (Easton, Pa./Easton Area) with less than a minute to play.
Gettysburg looked to add to its 14-7 lead before the end of the half. They moved the ball to the Devils' 25 yard line with the help of a Dickinson penalty. Ross Johnson (Bridgeton, N.J./Cumberland Regional) stripped the ball and sacked Kody Smith to push the Bullets back.
A desperation pass into the end zone was intercepted by first-year Mitch Helmandollar (Glenolden, Pa./Interboro) with five seconds to play in the half. The Devils took a knee, heading into the break trailing, 14-7.
Senior linebacker Julian Rosen (Brecksville, Ohio/University School) picked-off a pass to give the Devils possession early in the third quarter. The Devils put together another strong drive. Senior Mike Shimkin (Solebury, Pa./Princeton Day School) broke free for a 46 yard run, taking the ball to Bullet six yard line.
First-year quarterback Cole Ahnell (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson) dove in from the one to pull the Devils even at 14-14 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The teams traded possessions with punter David London (Chevy Chase, Md./Maret School) just missing the corner as he tried to pin the Bullets inside their own five yard line. The ball just rolled inside the pylon for a touchback.
The Devils put together one of its best drives of the afternoon to open the fourth quarter of play. Ahnell led the Devils on a 93-yard drive, scoring on a four yard pass to tight-end Matt McDonald (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Twp.) with a little over seven minutes remaining in the game.
The Devils held on the next possession, forcing a three-and-out as Michael Miller (Hainesport, Pa./Bishop Eustace) and Mike McKee (Malvern, Pa./Malvern Prep) combined to sack Whitmoyer and force a fumble. The Bullets recovered but were forced to punt the ball away.
The Devils were forced to punt as well. London's punt skipped into the end zone once again for a touchback. Whitmoyer choreographed a great drive, connecting with Aden Twer on a 43-yard bomb to the Dickinson four-yard line. Whitmoyer scrambled in for the touchdown with just 46 seconds remaining. The extra-point was blocked by the senior Corwyn Gordon (Hanover,Pa/South Western), keeping the score, 21-20.
The Bullets had one more card to play, attempting an on-sides kick, but senior wide receiver Cam Di Fede (Miami, Fla./Palmer Trinity) fell on the ball and the Devils would then run out the clock for the win.
Following a slow start, the Devils racked-up 383 yards of offense on the afternoon. Gettysburg totaled 390 on the day as the teams combined for 773 yards of offense. Two Red Devils went over the century mark. Shimkin led all rushers with 139 yards on 18 carries while Smith covered 115 yards on 17 attempts. Ahnell finished the day with 58 yards rushing and 77 through the air, connecting on 30-yard strikes to DiFede and senior tight-end Tyler Rosa' (Carmel, Calif./Stevenson School).
The Red Devils received outstanding play from the offensive line as they had their most productive output of the season, rushing for 306 yards on the day. Gordon turned in a strong performance in the trenches, in addition to the blocked extra-point. Seniors Michael Tucker (Pottstown, Pa./Pottstown) and Eric Lopez (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) anchored a solid effort, playing a key role as the Devils rattled of over seven minutes on their final drive to take the lead.
Senior Scott Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) led the Devil defense with 10 tackles, including eight solo stops on the afternoon. Rosen and Miller each added nine tackles while Johnson finished with seven stops, a sack and a forced fumble.
Ted Delia ran for 99 yards while Whitmoyer and Smith combined for 227 yards passing to lead the Bullets. Mark Covington and Larry DelViscio each recorded a game-high 11 tackles. Covington also forced and recovered a fumble.
The Red Devils improve to 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the Centennial Conference. They return home next weekend to face Ursinus College in the season finale. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.