(Carlisle, Pa.) – The Dickinson football team turned in one of its best performances of the season, running past visiting Gettysburg, 23-13, at Biddle Field on Friday night. The Red Devils kept possession of the coveted Little Brown Bucket, a symbolic trophy the teams have been battling for since 1938.
The Red Devils put together a solid game plan, rushing for 247 yards on the night. Sophomore quarterback Cole Ahnell (Rockville, Md./Walter Johnson) led the charge, rushing for 158 yards and one touchdown. He also completed 7-of-10 passes, finding senior Matt Wood (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) with a key touchdown pass to close out the third quarter.
The Red Devil offense spent a lot of time of the field, stringing together a number of clock-draining drives. Dickinson maintained possession for 24-of-30 minutes between the second and third quarters, and finished with 41 minutes of possession.
That proved to be a key factor as the rested Red Devil defense showed its appreciation with three fumble recoveries and an interception on the night.
The Red Devils capitalized on a short field, putting three points on the board on its initial drive. Sophomore Adam Kaminski (Exton, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) split the uprights from 39 yards to give the Devils a 3-0 lead with 11:25 to play in the first quarter.
Linebacker Shane Mitchell (Whitehaven, Pa./Crestwood) recovered a fumble and returned it 16 yards, leading to a seven yard score by Ahnell. The extra-point was off the mark, giving the Devils a 9-0 lead with 9:46 to play in the opening quarter.
The Bullets answered early in the second, sparking some life with a 59 yard touchdown pass from Kody Smith the Aden Twer with just 10 seconds off the clock in the second period.
Holding a slim 9-7 lead, the Devils grinded six minutes off the clock before losing possession on the Gettysburg 20 yard line. The defense wasted little time regaining the football as Connor Thompson (Jenkintown, Pa./Father Judge) dove on a fumble on the next play at the Gettysburg 19.
Ahnell tossed a pitch to first-year Shawn Wilson (Philadelphia, Pa./Malvern Prep) for a five yard touchdown, stretching the Devil lead to 16-7.
The Dickinson defense came up big once again, forcing a fumble on the Devils' 39 yard line. Ahnell would lead another clock eating drive, finding Wood to cap a 10 play drive that took over five minutes off the scoreboard. The Devils went up, 23-7, with 50 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Smith would take the Bullets on an 87 yard drive, scoring on a five yard run to keep the Bullets' hopes alive, pulling within 10 points with 7:22 remaining. The Devils held on the two-point conversion as Smith scrambled and tried to find a receiver in the end zone but Matt Miller (Hainesport, N.J./Bishop Eustace) knocked the ball away.
Dickinson managed to drain another 4:56 off the clock before the Bullets took over on downs at their own 21 yard line. Gettysburg was unable to move the football, turning the ball over to the Devils.
With no timeouts remaining, all the Bullets could do was watch Ahnell take a knee to secure the win and retain possession of the Bucket.
Smith finished 13-of-25 for 130 yards passing and ran for a team-high 55 yards to lead the Bullets as they slip to 6-3 overall and 5-3 in the Centennial Conference. Cody DiAmore recorded a game-high 14 tackles while Larry DelViscio added 13 stops and forced a fumble.
In addition to Ahnell's 158 yards rushing, Wilson covered 65 yards on the night. Tight-end Todd Smolinsky (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) added a pair of key receptions for 26 yards.
The Red Devil offensive line had one of its best outings of the season as Dickinson racked up 292 yards of offense. Ahnell found plenty of holes to run through, completing 70 percent of his passes while being sacked just once on the night.
Seniors Mike Byrnes (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick School) and Schuyler Simpson (Potomac, Md./Bullis) each recorded eight tackles. Thompson added eight tackles as well to go with his fumble recovery. Sophomore Linn Worthington (Garrison, Md./Gilman) returned an interception 13 yards. Kaminski averaged 41.6 yards on five punts, launching his first of the night, 69 yards to the Gettysburg 15 yard line.
The Red Devils improve to 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference. They travel to Ursinus College next Saturday for the season finale. Opening kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 pm in Collegeville.