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Devils get a tougher test

November 14, 2008|By Tim Koelble

In Greencastle-Antrim's 42-39 District 3-AAA playoff victory last Friday over Kennard-Dale, the Blue Devils faced a mostly one-dimensional team.

Tonight, Greencastle will play host to Garden Spot in the quarterfinals of the District 3 playoffs and it will see a Spartans team that has the ability to move the ball on the ground or through the air.

"They have some weapons and can put up some numbers," said Greencastle coach Chuck Tinninis. "They are the most balanced team we'll have faced yet this year."

Kennard-Dale racked the Greencastle defense for 341 yards on the ground and 449 overall, figures the Blue Devils defense hadn't allowed all season.

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"It seemed (Kennard-Dale) just kept driving and running the option and we weren't used to seeing that (option)," said Tinninis.

What the Blue Devils will likely see from Garden Spot solidifies the need to dig deep defensively.

Garden Spot (7-4) is led by tailback Andersan Beamer, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior who picked up 210 yards rushing in the Spartans' 46-34 win over Lebanon. Fullback Joe Strangarity added 116 yards as the Spartans came back from a 34-10 deficit with 7:30 left in the third quarter to win.

The Spartans' quarterback is Weston Martin, a senior who has completed 51 percent of his passes and thrown 24 touchdown passes. His favorite receiver is senior Tyler Eby, who has caught 44 passes for 910 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"Their tailback is a home run hitter and they throw the ball deep," said Tinninis. "They've got lots of quick stuff and then they go downfield."

Greencastle's win over K-D set a school mark for wins in one season and gave the Blue Devils their first playoff victory.

None of that matters now.

The Blue Devils had an early 21-6 lead and fell behind 31-28 in the fourth quarter before rallying to stay alive.

"We had a chance early to take control of the game and didn't and I wasn't happy about that," said Tinninis. "But after you break it all down, you just come back out and I know one thing, we'll come out, line up and play football."

Adam Ritchey and Seth Shindle were instrumental in the late heroics. Ritchey threw for 117 yards and two scoring passes and also scored once rushing. Shindle added 119 yards on the ground.

"They're two kids that stepped it up ... they've really been like that all year and so has the offensive line," said Tinninis.

The Blue Devils will continue to march forward again without running back Dustin Barry, who is still out with an injured ankle.

"I'm impressed with the size of Greencastle up front," said Garden Spot coach Matt Zamperini. "They seem to line up and say, 'Here we come, try to stop us.' On film, they look like a solid team all around. We've got our work cut out for us."

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