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Postseason win would be a boon for Devils

November 09, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The film exchange showing the last three regular season games seems to have revealed enough for Greencastle-Antrim and Daniel Boone to develop a good synopsis of the other teams' weapons and tactics.

With the mystique gone, it will come down to the execution of what will surely be sophisticated game plans to determine the winner of tonight's District 3 Class AAA first-round playoff game at Kaley Field.

"They like to pound the ball a little bit, but they can also throw the fade routes for some long gains," Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis said. "Defensively, they run a 50, and I think they like to bully you up."

It will be up to the Greencastle players to prevent the long gains and avoid being bullied on the field. Consistent with the regular season, the Blue Devils (8-2) will be outsized against the Blazers (7-3), making their third playoff appearance in four years.

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"They're bigger than us, but just about everybody is bigger than us," Tinninis said. "I think we might be a little bit quicker than them, and we're going to take what they give us. If they crowd the line, we'll throw the ball. If they try to play us even, we'll mix and match. We'll see how it goes."

Boone coaches seem well-versed on the Blue Devils' offensive arsenal, which includes - though certainly is not limited to - quarterbacks Adam Ritchey and Brett Myers and backs Dustin Barry, Rusty Cordell and Stephon Walker.

Knowing the attack is one matter, stopping it is another.

"They present some defensive problems for us," Boone coach Dave Bodolus said. "The backs run well and they have a lot of diversity. When (Ritchey) lines up at quarterback, he's a run-pass threat, and when (Meyers) takes over, he can move the ball, too."

Tinninis said the quarterbacks will once again share snaps Friday. Meanwhile, the Blazers counter with shifty quarterback Andre Heimbach, who has passed for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Behind him is running back Nate Greene, who has rushed for 931 yards, but just 345 in his last six games.

"(Heimbach) is fast and he can throw, so we're going to have to find a way to contain him," Blue Devils senior linebacker Matt Copenhaver said. "I didn't think their running backs were all that fast or anything like that, though."

Heimbach has completed passes to more than 10 receivers this year, but it's no secret that his favorite targets are receivers Zach Keeley and Josey Orr. Keeley leads the team with 32 catches for 487 yards and Orr has caught 25 balls with six touchdowns - three in the regular-season finale against Exeter.

For Greencastle, it is the first home playoff game in school history - the Blue Devils are 4-1 at Kaley Field this season. It's the second straight playoff berth for the Blue Devils, and a win would be the first in school history, tying the record for wins (9 in 1998).

"It's definitely the biggest game of my career," Copenhaver said. "We want to be the first team to ever win a playoff game. Last year, we were more focused on just making the playoffs. This year, we're completely focused on winning."

"We're shooting for history," Tinninis said.

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