|(Gettysburg, Pa.) – The Dickinson College football team outscored Gettysburg 21-7 in the second half to post a 38-28 Centennial Conference win over the Bullets on Saturday. The game was billed to be an offensive shootout, and that's exactly what happened on Shirk Field at Mussleman Stadium.|
The teams combined for 808 yards of total offense. The Devils rushed for 231 yards while senior quarterback Ian Mitchell (Newtown Square, Pa./Malvern Prep) completed 16-of-21 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bullets received the opening kick-off, but immediately turned the ball over as Pat McNeal (Glen Mills, Pa./Archmere)intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage. Just four plays later, Mitchell connected with senior Joe Sandoe (Myerstown, Pa./Elco) for a 10 yard touchdown.
Gettysburg answered with a 64 yard drive, capped by a two yard run by quarterback Matt Flynn. The Devils tacked on a 29 yard field-goal from Gordon Craig (Grove City, Pa./Grove City) to lead 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The teams traded scores midway through the second. Anthony DeSalva gave the Bullets a brief 14-10 advantage before Mitchell hooked up with Cam Difede (Miami, Fla./Palmer Trinity) on two passes for 78 yards, including a 21 yard touchdown. That drive took just three plays and 45 seconds, putting Dickinson back on top, 17-14.
The Bullets closed out the half with a 69 yard drive and a Jamel Mutunga touchdown run to give Gettysburg a 21-17 lead at halftime.
The Devils sandwiched a pair of touchdown runs from Tim Wells (Baltimore, Md./Perry Hall) and Tim Smith (Hanover, Pa./Southwester) around a 14 yard score by Mutunga to put the Devils in front, 31-28, at the end of the third quarter.
The teams were both forced to punt to open the final quarter of play. Following a bad snap, McNeal blocked the Bullets' punt attempt, giving the Devils the ball on the Gettysburg 33 yard line.
Mitchell gave the Devils some breathing room, finding Craig Helfer (W. Caldwell, N.J./Newark Academy) in the corner of the end zone for a six yard touchdown to stretch the lead to 38-28 with just 7:46 remaining in the game.
McNeal again came up huge for the Devils, pulling in a tipped pass for his second interception of the day on Gettysburg's next possession. The Devils were able to run the clock down to 2:05 before punting the ball away. McNeal stopped Charles Curcio almost immediately at the Bullets' 21 yard line on the return.
The Devil secondary would come up big again four plays later when senior Matt DeStefano (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) stepped in to pick-off Flynn for the third time in the game. That would be enough as the Devils were able to run out the clock and retain possession of the Little Brown Bucket for the fourth consecutive year.
Wells led the Red Devils with 95 yards rushing while Smith finished the day with 67 yards on 16 carries. Smith went over the 1,000-yard mark for his career, joining Mitchell and Wells in that fraternity. The Red Devils have three players with over 1,000 yards rushing in their careers. Mitchell also holds the school records for passing yards and total offense.
Helfer pulled in eight catches for 92 yards with Difede adding 78 yards on his two receptions. Helfer added 61 yards on three kick-off returns as well.
Defensively, the Devils came up with big plays all afternoon. McNeal led the way with seven tackles, two interceptions and a blocked punt.
Kevin Wood (Westford, Mass./Phillips) recorded a team-high nine tackles. Jack Connolly (Wexford, Pa./N. Allegheny) tallied seven stops and assisted on a sack while Pete Hamill (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) chipped in with six tackles and a sack.
The Red Devils improve to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the Centennial Conference. They travel to Muhlenberg College next Saturday for a 1:00 kick-off.