High School Football: Blue Devils scare off Bulldogs

October 19, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI |

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — On a night when Kaley Field was more suited for a Halloween video than Homecoming, Greencastle-Antrim running back Hunter Szaflarski was The Thriller.

With a fog rolling across the field, looking like something out of a cemetery scene, Szaflarski darted for four touchdowns — including one on a punt return — to allow the Blue Devils to scare off Big Spring 44-27 on Friday in a Mid-Penn Colonial matchup.

Szaflarski finished with 102 yards rushing — the lowest of three Greencastle 100-yard performances — but notched scores of 28, 42 and 10 yards to go with a 67-yard punt return. The first two scores came on his first two carries of the game, while the final one sealed the victory.

But in reality, it was the Blue Devils (3-5, 2-3) who should have been scared to death in this game, considering they needed to scramble for a 17-point win despite piling up 630 yards of offense for a decided advantage in the game.

Greencastle made it look easy in the first quarter as Szaflarski scored twice to give the Blue Devils a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

In fact, the Blue Devils had a 189-18 yard edge in the first quarter along.

But what Big Spring didn’t collect in numbers, the Bulldogs (1-7, 1-4) picked up in big plays to make the game more competitive than it probably should have been.

After Luke Bitner hit a 22-yard field goal with 4:52 remaining in the half for a 17-0 lead — basically giving Greencastle its final margin of victory — Big Spring played the Blue Devils even the rest of the way.

Quarterback Isaiah Grier connected on his first of three touchdowns — a 52-yard connection across the middle to Hunter Katzmoyer — right after the field goal with 2:52 left in the half to signal that the Bulldogs were in the house and knocking at the door at 17-6.

It started a fast and furious completion to the half as Greencastle quarterback Austin Scott scored his first of two touchdowns with a 38-yard run before Big Spring’s Tyler Pion pulled in a 21-yard scoring pass — again across the middle — with 36 seconds remaining to make the score 23-13 at the half.

Greencastle had 371 yards of offense in the first half — including 358 rushing — but only a 10-point lead. Big Spring managed just 165 yards, but 73 of them came on the two scoring passes.

Greencastle got a working margin as the fog rolled back in after halftime as Szaflarski darted up the left sideline — virtually unseen under the overcast cover — with a punt to give the Devils a 30-13 lead at the 10:10 mark of the third quarter. Scott padded the lead on the next possession with a 15-yard run for another score 4 1/2 minutes later for a 37-13 lead.

Grier brought the Bulldogs back from the dead, though, with a 51-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play to bring Big Spring back to within 37-19 with 3:54 in the quarter.

Kotzmoyer took a short pass in the fourth quarter and turned it into an 87-yard touchdown and added a conversion run to bring the Bulldogs within 37-27 with 7:45 remaining.

Szaflarski capped the ensuing eight-play, 48-yard drive with his 10-yard sweep to ice the game with 3:52 remaining.

Grier threw for 259 yards — 163 coming on the three touchdowns — and rushed for 69 yards — 51 coming on his TD run — to top the Bulldogs.

Ashtin Byers led the Blue Devils with 146 yards rushing, while Scott added 132 yards.

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