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'Next Generation' backfield leads Devils

October 07, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - There may not be an "I" in team, but there sure is a cast in Greencastle-Antrim.

And on Friday, it was the supporting cast which did the yeoman's share of the work to put the No. 3 Blue Devils over the top.

With starting running backs Conrad Myers and Ty Thrush missing from the offense with injuries on Friday, Greencastle put the game in the hands of an all-sophomore backfield of quarterback Adam Ritchey and running backs Dustin Barry and Demetrius Myers, and they combined to carry the Blue Devils to a 19-6 Mid-Penn Colonial victory over Susquenita.

"You know what? ... This is a team sport," said Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis. "One guy gets hurt and the next ones go in. The all-sophomore backfield did well."

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Barry led the way with 21 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns, while Ritchey hit Jared Tinninis on a 25-yard scoring pass at the end of the first half for all the Blue Devils' scoring. Demetrius Myers had only 25 yards, but got some tough yardage for first downs.

Conrad Myers didn't dress for the game, walking the sidelines in jeans and his jersey, while Thrush only played in the secondary for the Blue Devils.

Both are scheduled to return to the offense next week at East Pennsboro.

"We were missing Conrad and Ty, but those guys who came in are good players too," Chuck Tinninis said. "In other years, they would be starting for us."

Greencastle (4-2, 2-1) moved the ball readily while the Blue Devils' defense held Susquenita to a standstill for all but one play.

The Blackhawks tried to run a variation of an option offense, but managed just 10 yards rushing on 20 carries. Susquenita finished with three first downs and 100 yards of offense, the majority coming on Dan Weldon's 75-yard touchdown catch from Tim Wagner on the first play of the fourth quarter.

"I thought the defense played well the whole game, with the exception of one play," Chuck Tinninis said. "We had one kid looking back on the play, but that is going to happen."

Greencastle rolled up 302 yards of offense, 256 coming via the run, but could have broken the game open earlier. As effective as the "Next Generation" backfield played, there was still room for improvement.

"I think we did what we needed to do, but I thought we should have executed better and looked sharper," Chuck Tinninis said. "We got Barry and Meet in there and they are good athletes, too. Yes, we won, but we have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, Ty will get healthier and Conrad will be back next week."

Greencastle took a 7-0 lead in the second quarter after Susquenita botched a punt attempt to put the Blue Devils in business on the Blackhawks 16. Five plays later, Barry fought in from the 3 for the score.

The Blue Devils erased the rest of the first-half clock with a 5-minute, 47-second drive, culminating in Ritchey lofting a 25-yard pass to Jared Tinninis on the goal line for a score with 11 seconds remaining for a 13-0 halftime lead.

Greencastle put it out of reach with its first possession of the second half when Barry cut back on a run around right end and busted loose for a 52-yard scoring run and a 19-point lead until Susquenita's bomb.

"The line controlled the game to get yardage and first downs, but we should have got more scores," Chuck Tinninis said. "We have to finish. I'm happy, but to be good we have to finish."

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