GREENCASTLE — Greencastle-Antrim went for broke and came up just short.
However, the Blue Devils earned a second chance and made the most of it, with Nate Kirkwood drilling an 18-yard field goal with 0:09 left to propel G-A to an exciting 23-21 Mid Penn Colonial football victory over East Pennsboro on Friday night at Kaley Field in its last game of the season.
“It was big-time kick, and, fortunately, we have a good kicker,” Greencastle coach Devin McCauley said.
The Panthers (3-4, 2-4 MPC) took a 21-14 lead in the fourth quarter when quarterback Keith Oates found Joshua Wortherly for a 70-yard scoring pass.
But the Blue Devils, who finish 2-5 (2-5 MPC), came back with just enough time to spare. First, quarterback Zach Cole hit his favorite target, Adam Root for a 17-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left to make it 21-20. The G-A staff (McCauley was home under COVID-19 quarantine) made the decision to go for two points and try to win the game.
Unfortunately, David Niebauer’s rushing attempt came up up just a half-yard short.
G-A’s last resort was to try an onsides kick, and the Blue Devils made it work, recovering the ball in East Penn territory.
Cole then completed a pair of passes to Tevon Cooper to move the ball. Root made another catch and broke a couple of tackles to take the ball down to the Panthers’ 2-yard line with 0:13 left. With no timeouts, the staff elected to kick the ball then, and Kirkwood’s attempt spun through the uprights for the win.
McCauley, watching from home, was certainly feeling the stress.
“I was excited when we scored and then I sat on the remote, which turned the TV off, so we missed the two-point conversion,” he said. “We rewound it, to see what happened. But when we did that, we missed the onsides kick. So we had to rewind it for that, too.”
In the second quarter, Greencastle scored a pair of touchdowns — Levi Bingaman on a 47-yard pass from Cole, and Niebauer on a 19-yard run. Niebauer racked up 17 carries for 125 yards, while Cole connected on 13 of 25 passes for 170 yards. Root (4-71) and Bingaman (4-65) were the leading receivers.
McCauley said, “The kids fought hard in every game this year — a couple of plays here and there and the record would have been different.
“But to go out with a win, especially for the seniors, is a pretty big deal. It’s always nice to win the last game because it carries over into the offseason.”
Greencastle-Antrim 23, East Pennsboro 21
East Pennsboro 7 7 0 7 — 21
Greencastle 0 14 0 9 — 23
EP — Keith Oates 1 run (Dakota Campbell kick)
GA — Levi Bingaman 47 pass from Zach Cole (Nate Kirkwood kick)
GA — David Neibauer 19 run (Kirkwood kick)
EP — Sy Burgos 73 run (Campbell kick)
EP — Joshua Wortherly 70 pass from Oates (Campbell kick)
GA — Adam Root 17 pass from Cole (run failed)
GA — Kirkwood 18 field goal
First downs 8 23
Rushes-yards 32-187 35-180
Passing 2-5-0 13-20-2
Passing yards 70 170
Total offense 257 350
Fumbles lost 1 1
Punts-average 4-40 1-40
Penalties-yards 1-5 5-40
Rushing — EP, Burgos 8-97, Devin Shepherd 12-40, Jacob Shermeyer 11-38, Oates 1-1.GA, Niebauer 17-125, Cameron Medina 9-37, Cole 1-9, Isaiah Toney-Mayhugh 5-5.
Passing — EP, Oates 3-6-0-89. GA, Cole 13-20-2-170.
Receiving — EP, Wortherly 1-70, Burgos 1-19, Shermeyer 1-0. GA, Root 4-71, Bingaman 4-65, Tevon Cooper 4-15, Toney-Mayhugh 1-10, Medina 1-9.