SHIPPENSBURG — The Greencastle-Antrim football team will not be going to the playoffs, but it was a pretty happy bunch of players Friday night.
The Blue Devils fell behind Shippensburg 19-0 early in the second quarter, but scored five touchdowns in the second half to claim a satisfying 42-26 Mid Penn Colonial football victory at Veterans Stadium.
Greencastle not only was able to finish .500 (5-5, 2-5 MPC) by putting an end to a five-game losing skid, but it also halted a losing streak against the Greyhounds that dated back to 2011.
“The kids are juiced,” G-A coach Devin McCauley said. “There’s been a lot of good things happening for the school this week (4 total win s in girls soccer and volleyball in the district playoffs), and there was a good vibe. This is a great way for the seniors to go out.”
Tavon Cooper put together a heck of a game to finish his fine career at Greencastle. He ran 35 times for 249 yards, caught two passes for 18 yards, scored five touchdowns and intercepted a pass in the final minute to end the game.
“Tavon ran hard, like he always does,” McCauley said. “The offensively line and the other backs really blocked well, too.”
Shippensburg (7-3, 4-3 MPC), which qualified for the playoffs — unofficially as the No. 8 seed in Class 5A — got long scoring runs from Amari Kerr and Trae Kater in the first period and a pass from Tucker Chamberlin to Kerr to lead 19-0.
Greencastle got on the board before halftime on a 5-yard run by Cooper to make it 19-7.
The Blue Devils got it going in the third quarter, with Cooper scoring on a 6-yard pass from Logan Alvey and on a 12-yard run, giving G-A the lead, 21-19.
“We gave up some big plays on defense, then we made some adjustments that worked,” McCauley said. “And we stayed with our game plan on offense and got some momentum going.”
A Cooper run of 10 yards pushed Greencastle’s lead to 28-19 early in the fourth. Chamberlin then ripped off a run of 75 yards to pull the Hounds to within 28-26.
On G-A’s next possession, facing a fourth-and-10 from inside Ship’s 30, Alvey and Seth Stouffer hooked up for a crucial completion of 20 yards for a first down. Cooper then finished off the drive with a 2-yard run.
The Blue Devil defense then made a huge play. Logan Shifflett stepped in front of a pass by Chamberlin and returned the interception 44 yards for a huge touchdown with about 2 1/2 minutes left.
Cooper got his interception on the Greyhounds’ final possession.
Devin McCauley said, “It was pretty much an offensive shootout, but with running instead of passing. We just stuck to what was working.
“We had some games this year where we were up at halftime and didn’t finish the game well. So it’s been a tough ride these last five games, even though we played well in spurts. This one we finished.”
NOTES: Carter McCauley and Jackson Eby had picks for G-A … Eby was 6-for-6 on extra-point kicks … Cooper finished the season (unofficially) with 220 carries for 1,593 yards and 14 touchdowns (4 more receiving).
Greencastle-Antrim 42, Shippensburg 26
Greencastle 0 7 14 21 — 42
Shippensburg 13 6 0 7 — 26
Sh — Amari Kerr 30 run (Noah Henry kick)
Sh — Trae Kater 85 run (kick failed)
Sh — Kerr 10 pass from Tucker Chamberlin (kick failed)
GA — Tavon Cooper 5 run (Jackson Eby kick)
GA — Cooper 6 pass from Logan Alvey (Eby kick)
GA — Cooper 12 run (Eby kick)
GA — Cooper 10 run (Eby kick)
Sh — Chamberlin 75 run (Henry kick)
GA — Cooper 2 run (Eby kick)
GA — Logan Shifflett 44 interception return (Eby kick)
Greencastle Individual Statistics
Rushing — Cooper 35-249, Darren Kline 6-25, Shifflett 2-8, Austin Wyand 1-3.
Passing — Alvey 3-5-0-38.
Receiving — Cooper 2-18, Seth Stouffer 1-20.
Interceptions — Carter McCauley, Eby, Shifflett, Cooper.
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