Warriors hang 70 on Golden Knights in blowout
After a first quarter that saw both teams score two touchdowns, it looked as if Gettysburg found itself in a good old-fashioned shootout at Eastern York on Friday night.
Thankfully for the Warriors, they kept on scoring, while the Golden Knights couldn’t maintain the pace and Gettysburg ran away with a 70-26 blowout victory.
“We started out a little slow. I wasn’t really abundantly happy about starting out slow, but then we cleaned things up and got in the flow of the game and everything else,” Warriors’ coach Matt Heiser said afterward. “The boys responded well, we had a good talk at halftime, and they definitely listened at that time, too.”
After winning the coin toss, Gettysburg (4-2 overall, 3-0 in YAIAA-2) elected to receive the opening kick, a choice that was immediately validated when Andrew Gastley returned the kick 82 yards to put the visitors up 7-0 just 15 seconds into the game.
The Knights (0-6, 0-3) had an immediate response, though, as quarterback Austin Billet hit wideout Bryce Currier in stride on third-and-long for a 77-yard touchdown to tie the game just over a minute later.
On the following drive, the Warriors were just a tad more methodical. A good kickoff return again put them out near their own 40-yard line. Landon McGee, who finished with nine carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns, then moved the ball across midfield and a horse collar penalty put the ball at the Eastern York 39. Just a few plays later, Gettysburg quarterback Brady Heiser snuck the ball in from a yard out to put the Warriors back ahead, 14-7.
That lead, like the first, did not last long. After picking up a fourth-and-short in their own territory, the Knights got a chunk play as Billet hung in and took a big hit while delivering a deep ball to Currier deep into Gettysburg territory. Billet briefly came out of the game, but it was no matter as Levi Ayala took a handoff up the middle for a 4-yard scamper to tie it back up.
“We just said ‘don’t let it get to your head,’” Gettysburg lineman Frankie Richardson said of early defensive struggles. “Football is a mental game. You can’t let one drive get into your head and ruin the rest of your game for you. So we just took that on the chin and went out there and did our thing.”
Whatever “our thing” is, it worked for the Warriors in the second quarter. Heiser’s 23-yard carry on a read option moved the ball into the Knights’ side of the field before he took it into the red zone with an 11-yard scurry. Jayden Johnson, who rushed for 85 yards on just 11 carries, finished the drive with a 7-yard score on the ground to make it 21-14 with 7:39 left to play.
After the Gettysburg defense produced its first three-and-out of the night, the offense went right back to work on the ground. McGree ripped off carries of 16 and 15 yards to move the ball deep into Eastern York territory, then finished the drive off shortly thereafter with a 10-yard touchdown run.
Again the Warriors were able to force a three-and-out on the following possession, giving the Gettysburg offense the ball back on its own 20 with 2:04 left to play in the half. The ball never had to go in the air. First it was Tanner Newman with a 14-yard carry before Johnson took one 18 yards into Eastern territory. Johnson then ripped off another big run of 30 yards into the red zone, and McGee capped the drive with a 19-yard touchdown run to make it 35-14 headed into the half.
“It’s perfect, because we’re never tired,” Johnson said of the Warriors’ stable of ball carriers. “We’re just keeping up with the pace and doing our own thing.”
The momentum continued for Gettysburg out of the half as on the third play from scrimmage, Wyatt Heistand picked off Billet’s pass to give the ball back to the Warriors at the Knights’ 39-yard line.
Brady Heiser immediately went for the jugular, dropping back to pass and layng a perfect ball into the hands of Gastley for a 39-yard touchdown that made it 42-14.
On the following Eastern York possession, Newman got in on the act defensively, intercepting Billet again, this time at the Gettysburg 30-yard line. Heiser then snapped off a 47-yard run down to the Knights’ 25-yard line before hitting Newman in the corner of the end zone for another touchdown, his second of the night through the air and third overall. That brought the score to 49-14 and induced the mercy rule.
The Warriors added a 2-yard touchdown from Johnson to cap a 42-0 run across the second and third quarters, while Heistand added a 25-yard touchdown run and McGee capped his sterling performance with an 85-yard kick return for a touchdown with just 1:04 left in the contest.
In total, the Warriors’ gaudy effort netted them numbers to match. Gettysburg outgained Eastern York 482-316, it had 22 first downs to the Knights’ 10, and it didn’t commit a turnover while taking the ball away three times.
The win was the third in a row for Gettysburg and leaves the Warriors in a tie for the division lead with Kennard-Dale, who they’ll host in one week after the Rams knocked off New Oxford on Friday night.
“We’ll go home, talk about it, and see what we need to clean up,” Matt Heiser said of what his team needs to improve upon before that meeting.
Clay Sauertieg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gettysburg 14 21 21 14 — 70
Eastern York 14 0 0 12 — 26
G-Andrew Gastley, 82 kick return (Jermaine Gondwe kick), 11:45.
EY-Bryce Currier, 77 pass from Austin Billet (Cameron Wolf kick), 10:24.
G-Brady Heiser, 1 run (Gondwe kick), 5:38.
EY-Levi Ayala 4 run (Wolf kick), :21.
G-Jayden Johnson, 7 run (Gondwe kick), 7:39.
G-Landon McGee, 10 run (Gondwe kick), 3:26
G-McGee, 19 run (Gondwe kick), 1:04
G-Gastley, 39 pass from Heiser (Gondwe kick), 10:54.
G-Tanner Newman, 25 pass from Heiser (Gondwe kick), 8:09.
G-Johnson, 2 run, (Gondwe kick), 3:08.
EY-Simon Lipsius, 6 pass from Billet (pass failed), 8:49.
G-Wyatt Heistand, 25 run (Gondwe kick), 5:41.
EY-Billet, 19 run (run failed), 1:21.
G-Landon McGee, 85 kick return (Gonde kick), 1:04.
First Downs 22 10
Rushing 39-365 31-136
Passing 6-8-0 7-18-2
Passing yards 117 185
Totals Yards 482 316
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 3-15 0-0
Punting 0-0 2-34.5
Rushing: G-Cody Furman 4-11, Tanner Newman 3-39, Landon McGee 9-94, Jeremiah Scott 1-2, Brady Heiser 6-80, Jayden Johnson 11-85, Wyatt Heistand 5-59; EY-Maddox Crumling 16-43, Austin Billet 4-22, Levi Ayala 7-54, Bryce Currier 1-4, Zachary Holtzinger 3-13.
Passing: G-Heiser 6-8-0-117 ; EY-Billet 7-18-2-185.
Receiving: G-Newman 1-25, Andrew Gastley 4-88, Tyler Seigman 1-4; EY-Currier 3-122, Brody Hinkle 1-13, Johnathon Rose 1-7, Simon Lipsius 1-6, Talan Knaub 1-37.