HERSHEY — The way the game between Greencastle-Antrim and Lower Dauphin played out Thursday night was eerily reminiscent of G-A’s narrow loss to Chambersburg last Friday.
But this time, after squandering a 14-0 lead for the second straight week, the Blue Devils scored a late touchdown and held on to best the Falcons, 21-14, in a non-league football game at Hersheypark Stadium.
“It felt so similar to last week,” G-A coach Devin McCauley said. “We had a 14-0 lead at halftime and then we came out sluggish in the second half. But this time we had a nice drive at the end to the game. We had been there before, but we finished the game off this week.”
Lower Dauphin (0-1) scored twice after the halftime break to tie the game 14-14. But with 3:51 left, Greencastle took over at its own 23-yard line. Tavon Cooper ran for 11 yards on the first play and David Niebauer added 12 on the next. After Cooper added 8 more yards, quarterback Taylor Conrad turned a near sack into a 23-yard gain with some nifty moves to put the ball at the Falcon 23.
McCauley said, “That scramble by Conrad was huge.”
After a Conrad keeper was stuffed, Niebauer ripped off 12 yards and a first down at the LD 11. G-A then used up some clock with Neibauer running twice for 9 yards total and Conrad getting a first down at the Falcon 1. On the next play, Conrad bulled in from a yard out for the go-ahead points.
Lower Dauphin had less than a minute to tie it up, but even though G-A gave up 30 yards in penalties for a pass interference and unsportsmanlike conduct on the same play, the Falcons could not get close.
“The kids dug down deep and played their best when it mattered most,” McCauley said.
In the first quarter, the Blue Devils scored on a 11-yard pass from Conrad to Brady Diller.
As the first half neared, Greencastle went for broke instead of going conservative. From its own 20-yard line, McCauley called a trick play that worked like a charm.
Conrad handed off to Austin Wyand on a jet sweep and Wyand uncorked a long pass toward Ethan Shank. An LD defender was right on the spot, but Shank outfought him for the ball and was suddenly free, taking it about 40 yards for a touchdown.
McCauley said, “Niebauer got us some hard yards and Conrad played well. Our special teams did well, too. (Nate) Kirkwood was 3-for-3 on extra points and drilled the last kickoff into the end zone, giving them a long field. And Anthony Brown had some good stops on kick coverage.”
Greencastle (1-1) plays at Delone Catholic next Friday at 7 p.m.
Greencastle-Antrim 21, Lower Dauphin 14
Greencastle 7 7 0 7 — 21
Lower Dauphin 0 0 7 7 — 14
GA — Brady Diller 11 pass from Taylor Conrad (Nate Kirkwood kick)
GA — Ethan Shank 80 pass from Austin Wyand (Kirkwood kick)
GA — Conrad 1 run (Kirkwood kick)
First downs: 13
Total yards: 270
Rushing: Neibauer 12-71, Conrad 12-31, Cooper 4-15, Diller 2-5.
Passing: Conrad 8-for-11, 68 yards, 1 int.; Wyand 1-for-1, 80- yards
Receiving: Shank 1-80, Cooper 5-45, Diller 2-16, Jackson Eby 1-8.