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Blue Devils shoot for first playoff win

November 10, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

When Greencastle-Antrim lines up on either side of the football tonight against Susquehannock, it will be as if it's looking in a mirror.

Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis and Susquehannock coach Tom Waranavage grew up close to one another and come from the old school of football.

"We lived about 10 minutes apart in the coal regions (of Pennsylvania)" said Tinninis. "We both run the wing-T on offense and have a basic 4-4 on defense."

The Blue Devils (7-3) square off against the Warriors in the PIAA District 3 Class AAA first round, their first foray into the postseason since 1998. Greencastle will be looking for its first-ever playoff victory.

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In order to get it, Greencastle must erase the memories of last week's 27-6 loss to West Perry and overcome the loss of starting quarterback Adam Ritchey.

"This is a week of redemption," said Tinninis. "We had 180 yards of offense last week in the first half, but we had a fumble that set them up and penalties that killed drives."

Tinninis started the season without Ritchey in the lineup as he recovered from a shoulder injury. Senior Adam Butts stepped in and did a capable job.

"(Ritchey) will not play," Tinninis said Thursday night. "He's got a bad back. (Butts) will go and he gets another shot at having a good week."

Butts will do plenty of handing off to his backfield trio of Conrad Myers, Ty Thrush and Dustin Barry. The trio has accounted for over 1,500 yards of offense and 17 touchdowns.

Tinninis said Greencastle has a size advantage over the Warriors, but will have to put the turnovers and penalties in the past and also put the clamps down on a Penn State recruit.

Chaz Allen, a 6-2, 190-pound halfback, has rushed for 1,013 yards and 11 touchdowns on 116 carries and is a big-play breaker on returns.

"We see the wing-T every day, so we know what we have to do," said Tinninis. "Everyone has their own variations."

The Blue Devils averaged 20.3 points per game and allowed an average of 10.9. Susquehannock has averaged 19.0 on offense and 13.7 on defense. The Warriors, after a 37-0 loss to South Western in Week 2, have reeled off eight straight wins.

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