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Blue Devils ousted in overtime

November 10, 2007|By CHRIS CARTER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Hopes of making history for the Greencastle-Antrim football team were dashed at the 1-yard line Friday night at Kaley Field.

Junior Stephon Walker was stopped just shy of the goal line on fourth down in overtime as the Blue Devils fell 17-10 to Daniel Boone in the first round of the District 3 Class AAA playoffs.

Boone advances to play Northern in the district quarterfinals, while Greencastle - still winless in the postseason - ends its season at 8-3.

Despite the loss, Blue Devils coach Chuck Tinninis said he will remember this season and this group of players as a success.

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"It (ranks) up high," Tinninis said. "I don't like to compare records because every class is special in their own way. This might be one of the tightest teams."

The Blue Devils rallied from a 10-0 third-quarter deficit to force overtime - Christian Hoover kicked a 30-yard field goal to tie the game with 34 seconds left in regulation.

The break in between the regulation and overtime gave Boone enough time to regroup and the Blazers (8-3) scored on the first possession of the extra period for a 17-10 lead.

Nate Greene opened overtime with an 8-yard run. Boone took advantage of an offsides penalty as Greene plunged in from the 1 to steal any momentum the Blue Devils gained in the final minutes of regulation.

"When you give up eight yards on first down it puts you in a hole," Tinninis said. "Then we have a penalty and it puts us in an even bigger hole and they score."

Needing 10 yards to score and set up the tying conversion, the Blue Devils only gained nine, ending their chances for the school's first-ever playoff win and the team's most wins in eight years.

"On offense, we just came up a yard short," Tinninis said.

The Blue Devils gained 63 of their 195 offensive yards on their final drive of regulation. With 2:03 remaining in regulation, the Blue Devils ran seven plays to get within range of Hoover, who ignored the pressure and made good on his first attempt of the season.

Earlier in the game, Hoover lined up for a 23-yard attempt, but the Blue Devils faked the kick and went for the lead. Adam Ritchey rolled right and overthrew Walker in the end zone.

"It was there. It's a call like any other call," Tinninis said. "A football game doesn't come down to one play."

Instead, the Blue Devils went into halftime trailing by a field goal. Boone got the ball to open the second half and drove 62 yards on 12 plays in 5:55, capped by Greene's 6-yard touchdown for a 10-0 lead. Greene led the Blazers with 136 yards rushing.

Greencastle answered on the ensuing drive, starting with Walker's 29-yard gain to put the Blue Devils at the Boone 21. Ritchey scrambled 10 yards to convert on fourth down to keep the drive alive. Ritchey scored from the 5 to cut the score to 10-7 with 2:01 left in the third quarter.

Ritchey scrambled for 59 yards - 25 on the tying drive - but was sacked five times for minus-36 yards, often near the sidelines.

"You need to see somebody in the area before you throw it away. There was nobody," Tinninis said. "What I thought was great was (Ritchey) always came back and got ready for the next play."

Ritchey, who took all the snaps, completed 4 of 13 passes for 79 yards - 52 on the tying drive. Dustin Barry totaled 107 yards of offense.

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