Bullets Rally to Claim Bucket, 28-24
(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson College football team stormed out to a 17-0 lead against rival Gettysburg on Friday night, but a strong second half surge led the visiting Bullets to a 28-24 win in a key Centennial Conference match-up.
The Red Devils scored in their opening drive as junior quarterback Jordan Kaufman (Somerset, Pa./Somerset) ran in from the one yard line to put the Devils on the board just 4:18 into the game.
The Devils then capitalized as the Bullets fumbled their first snap from scrimmage. Dickinson scored from the Bullets' six yard line, but a penalty negated the touchdown and forced the Devils into a field-goal. Senior Gordon Craig (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) split the uprights from 32 yards to stretch the lead to 10-0.
The Red Devil defense held on fourth-and-seven, taking over on downs. The Devils would add another touchdown to take control of the game early, 17-0, on a 46-yard halfback option pass from Tim Smith (Hanover, Pa./Southwestern) to Craig Helfer (W. Caldwell, N.J./Newark Academy).
The Bullets regained some composure and the offense started to click behind solid play from junior quarterback Kyle Whitmoyer and senior tailback Jamal Mutunga. The Bullets went 66 yards on 10 plays and finished off the drive with a Mutunga touchdown to put Gettysburg on the board with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter.
The teams traded punts in the second quarter before the Devils would answer with a 24 yard touchdown run from Smith, putting the Devils in front 24-7, with four minutes remaining in the half. Whitmoyer led another solid drive, finding Greg Namrow in the end zone for a six-yard TD pass, cutting the deficit to 24-14, with just 42 seconds to play in the first half.
The Devils forced Gettysburg to punt on its first possession of the second half. The Bullets regained possession on a fumble recovery by Mark Covington at the Dickinson 41 yard line. Whitmoyer would run in from four yards out, eight plays later, to pull Gettysburg within a field-goal at 24-21.
Gettysburg forced the Devils into a three-and-out, and would take the lead with a 12-play, 68-yard drive, pulling in front 28-24, with what would prove to be the final points of the game at the 3:40 mark of the third quarter.
Following another Dickinson punt, Gettysburg would burn over six minutes on a 72-yard drive. The Dickinson defense came up huge, blocking a 25-yard field-goal attempt to take over on the 20-yard line with 10:15 to play in the game.
The Devils were stopped again and forced to punt, but almost immediately regained possession as first-year Michael Miller (Hainesport, N.J./Bishop Eustace) forced a fumble that was recovered by Scott Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) on the 47 yard line.
On fourth-and-eight, junior punter David London (Chevy Chase, Md./Maret School) tucked the ball and ran for the first-down. He was stopped just shy of the marker, as the Bullets took over with exactly six minutes on the clock. Remarkably, the Bullets would keep the chains moving, running off the entire remaining time to secure the win.
Smith finished the night, rushing for 90 yards while Kaufman ran for 58 yards. Helfer caught two passes on the night for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Senior captain Kevin Wood (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) had a monster night on defense, tying a pair school record with 21 stops, including 15 solos on the night. He also recovered a fumble. Sullivan made 13 stops, including 10 solos, adding a fumble recovery as well while Jack Connolly (Wesford, Pa./N. Allegheny) made 11 tackles, including two for losses.
Craig became the school's all-time leader in field-goals made with the 34th of his career.
The Bullets improved to 4-3 overall and 3-3 in the Centennial Conference. They take over possession of the Little Brown Bucket Trophy. The Red Devils had not lost the Bucket since 2005 and had not lost to the Bullets on Biddle Field in the last 11 meetings. The Devils slip to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in the CC. Dickinson is home again next Saturday, hosting Muhlenberg College on Homecoming weekend. Kick-off is set for 1:00 pm.