Big third quarter carries Gettysburg to 38-9 win

WESTMINSTER, Md. – Nick McConnell ran for 99 of Gettysburg’s 267 rushing yards, adding two touchdowns to lead his squad to a 38-9 Centennial Conference (CC) football victory at McDaniel on Saturday.

Matt Flynn, who entered the game as the CC’s leading passer at 244.8 yards per game, was held to 96 yards through the air on 11-for-21 passing.

The Green Terror (2-7, 1-6 CC) pulled within 7-6 late in the second quarter but Josh Huson hit a 47-yard field goal as the first half came to an end and the Bullets (4-5, 4-3 CC) outgained McDaniel 249-67 in the second half, including a commanding 124-44 in the third quarter.

Thomas Massucci (Tablernacle, N.J./Seneca), making his first collegiate start, hit on 14 of his 33 attempts for 150 yards with three interceptions but became the first Green Terror quarterback this season to play every down in a game.

Behind 24 of Jamel Mutunga’s 79 rushing yards and starting field position at its own 46, Gettysburg used eight plays and 3:54 to take its opening possession to the end zone for a 7-0 lead. Flynn capped the drive with an 11-yard pass to David Rodriguez.

After the two teams traded punts, Travis Wenrich (Wernersville, Pa./Conrad Weiser) took the Rob Pennella punt at the Bullet 42 and returned it 30 yards to the 12-yard line.

Massucci on a pair of receivers on the ensuing possession but both were ruled out of bounds when the made the catch, forcing the Green Terror to settle for a 29-yard Jay Leonard (Westminster, Md./Westminster) field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 with 6:18 remaining in the opening quarter.

Five punts on the next five combined possessions gave McDaniel the ball on its own 42 with 9:51 showing in the second quarter.

A mix of run and pass plays that netted no more than 12 yards on any snap contributed to an 16-play drive that consumed 8 minutes, 40 seconds – the longest the Green Terror had held the ball on any one possession all season, eclipsing the previous long of 6:40 at Catholic in Week 3.

With 4:01 on the game clock, McDaniel took a timeout facing third-and-5 at the Gettysburg 7. Out of the timeout, Massucci hit a diving Nick Giusti (Frederick, Md./Linganore) at the one-yard line to set up first-and-goal.

Three consecutive runs netted a loss of one yard, forcing a 19-yard Leonard field goal from the right hash to pull the hosts within 7-6 with 1:11 to play.

Taking over at its own 23 with 1:05 on the clock, Flynn amassed 48 of his passing yards to move the Bullets to the McDaniel 30, setting up first-and-10 with fewer than 10 ticks remaining.

After a pair of quick incomplete passes forced the Bullets – visiting Westminster on Homecoming for the second consecutive trip – to attempt a 47-yard field goal at the same end of the field they were beaten by a 48-yarder with 2.7 seconds remaining two years ago. Josh Huson did his best Leonard impression, splitting the uprights as time expired for the second longest field goal of his career. The senior’s long is a 48-yarder set against the Green Terror as a freshman.

McDaniel muffed the opening kickoff of the second half and the Bullets needed just five plays and 2:03 to cover the 26 yards, making it a 17-6 game.

A three-and-out gave the ball back to Gettysburg but Wenrich nabbed his fourth interception of the year.

An Anthony Pastore interception on the very next play off a Josh Jerrold tip gave the Bullets possession at the Green Terror 42.

After two Mutunga runs, Ricky Manigat broke off a 33-yarder down the far sideline to push the lead to 24-6 with 8:20 on the third quarter clock.

Ryan Quinlan blocked a Wenrich punt on the next McDaniel possession to give Gettysburg another short field.

Flynn scrambled left then right and found a Mutunga for a 21-yard score to cap the 1-minute, 20-second drive that covered 37 yards in three plays.

A 49-yard Massucci-to-Pat McCarrick (Myersville, Md./Middletown) connection on third-and-10 once again put the Green Terror inside the 10-yard line. McDaniel lost nine yards on three plays, settling for a third Leonard field goal. The 32-yarder pulled the hosts within 31-9 with 54.9 seconds showing.

McConnell accounted for 70 of the 90 yards on the ensuing Gettysburg possession, including a 12-yard rush for the score to set the final margin with 12:54 to play.

Mike Weick (Holland, Pa./Penn Charter) reached double-figure tackles for the sixth consecutive game with 13 while Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) and Paul Smith (Woodlawn, Md./Western Tech) each made 10 stops. Cox added a sack while Smith had two tackles for loss.

McDaniel concludes the season at Johns Hopkins on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.

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