Gettysburg defeats F&M in season finale

GETTYSBURG, PA - Gettysburg College scored 23 second-quarter points and held on for a 38-30 win against Franklin & Marshall in Centennial Conference action on Saturday at Gettysburg. The win snapped the Diplomats (3-7, 2-4 CC) four-game win streak over the Bullets (5-5, 3-3 CC).

Franklin & Marshall junior quarterback Kyle Turner completed 15 of 26 passes for 203 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. Six of his completions went to sophomore wide receiver Paul Sousa for 113 yards. Senior running back Curtis Varner carried 21 times for 98 yards. Senior linebacker Chris Smyth led all players with 14 tackles. He had 1.5 tackles for two yards in losses.

For Gettysburg, quarterback Matt Flynn was 17-of-25 for 241 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Both scoring passes went to junior wide receiver Matthew Welsh, who hauled in three passes for 104 yards. Senior halfback Dusty Green had 83 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries and caught six passes for 68 yards. Senior defensive tackle Rob Brassell led Gettysburg with nine tackles, while junior safety Kyle Luciano had eight tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception

On the Diplomats opening drive and third-and-5, Turner completed a pass over the middle to Sousa, but he was immediately met by a Gettysburg linebacker who knocked the ball loose. Gettysburg recovered the fumble and seven plays later ran it in for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked by outside linebacker George Farrell, leaving the Bullets' lead at 6-0.

F&M then marched right down the field in the other direction to tie the game at 6-6. The Diplomats covered 67 yards on 10 plays and chewed up 5:01. The big blow was a 24-yard strike from Turner to wide receiver Bobby Freiler on second-and-6 from midfield. Freiler had four catches for 51 yards in the game. Junior running back Paul Fix evened the game on a one-yard run, the first of his three touchdowns on the day, all of which were scored by the 10:55 mark of the second quarter.

Fix scored again on the next Diplomats' possession, capitalizing on an interception of Flynn by safety John Weber. The Bullets would even it at 13-13 on the next possession, however, when Flynn hit Welsh for a 10-yard score.

On the second play of Franklin & Marshall's ensuing drive, Varner broke free up the middle for a 40-yard gain. He was finally tracked down at the Gettysburg 15. Two plays later, Fix was in the end zone again to make it 20-13 in favor of the visitors. But Franklin & Marshall would not score again until the first play of the fourth quarter, at which point the Bullets had a 38-20 lead.

After the Diplomats took the lead, the teams traded punts before Gettysburg embarked on a 10-play, 79-yard scoring drive. A missed extra point left the Bullets with a one-point deficit at 20-19.

Franklin & Marshall's next drive featured a 17-yard completion from Turner to Sousa on first down, but three plays later, Gettysburg intercepted the ball at the Diplomats' 47-yard line with 1:33 to play before halftime. On third down, Flynn hit Welsh for a 45-yard touchdown for a 26-20 lead. The Bullets picked off Turner again two into the next drive and tacked on a 28-yard field goal as time expired on the first half with Gettysburg up 29-20.

Gettysburg opened the second half with a 21-yard field goal, and following a F&M punt broke a 49 yard run from scrimmage for the Bullets' final points of the day.

The Diplomats would not go quietly however, as Turner connected with tight end Matt Mondonedo in the right corner of the end zone after a great play fake froze the Gettysburg defense on the first play of the fourth quarter. Franklin & Marshall got the ball back after a punt and drove 69 yards in 17 plays and settled for a 27-yard field goal by Sousa to cut the lead to 38-30.

The Bullets were able to grind down 4:54 on their next possession. When the drive stalled at the Franklin & Marshall 47-yard line, Gettysburg boomed a 42-yard punt that rolled out of bounds at the five-yard line. With just 11 seconds left and needing to go 95 yards, Turner dropped back and heaved a pass that was picked off to seal the win.

The loss ends the season for the Diplomats.