Led by quarterback Cade McDowell, the Greencastle-Antrim football team was forced to stop on a dime in a game of Red Light, Green Light. Video by Lindsey Smith
Pressure is on, Demetrius Burton.
Greencastle-Antrim's football team returns just one starter, and while Burton certainly has a lot of experience under his belt, there will be a lot of new faces surrounding him.
"There's not too much pressure," Burton said. "I've played with this team before, so coming back out and playing with them is nothing new. We have really good chemistry, and I actually feel more part of the team because a lot of them are my class."
Burton has a lot of talent, that's for sure. He was the Blue Devils' leading rusher last year with 676 yards on 101 carries. He also had 106 receiving yards and scored nine touchdowns.
"I think Meach really matured this year," G-A coach Chuck Tinninis said. "He's not a rah-rah guy. That's not his personality; he's leading by example. He's in great shape, and he's one of our team leaders."
Burton will also help anchor a defense that has simplified quite a bit. Tinninis said the Blue Devils will run a 4-3 defense, and they have cleaned up some of their secondary issues. Joining Burton at safety will be Tyler Bain and Cade Marshall, while Antwoine Carter, Isaiah Peck and Seth Eberly will play on the corners.
"I think we simplified the scheme, and we're more athletic," Tinninis said. "Everybody back there can run, and that's the most important thing. We're a little smaller, but also perhaps a little bit quicker. The name of the game is the low guy wins, so you can't measure heart, and I think that's really important."
Although Burton is technically the only returning starter, Greencastle does return Logan Shifflet and Jacob Hockman, both of whom would've started if not for injury. Shifflet is a middle linebacker, and Hockman will likely start both ways at tackle.
"It feels good to be back," Hockman said. "We're just keeping things simple. I think being quicker will help a lot, but we just gotta stay aggressive and stay low."
Offensively, the Blue Devils will also have a whole new look in terms of personnel. Manning the ship will be quarterback Cade McDowell, who played just two full games under center last year after an injury to starter Spencer Meyers. In those two games, McDowell was 15-for-33 (.454) for 171 yards and two touchdowns.
"The speeds are completely different (from JV to varsity)," McDowell said. "It just takes a little bit to adjust, but now I'm fairly comfortable with the offense. Obviously there's more responsibility on the quarterback, but I've played it since fifth grade, so I'm kind of used to it."
Tinninis said, "He got his feet wet last year, and I think the success of the offense is going to be on his ability to throw the ball."
Complementing Burton in the ground game will be Isaiah Peck at running back and Caleb Schaeffer at fullback. Some of the targets in the air will be Cade Marshall and Antwoine Carter at wide receiver and Kyrin Zimmerman and Tanner Bain at split end.
"Zimmerman played last year on offense and had some receptions," Tinninis said. "I think he's a skilled guy. Bain was a stud on JVs last year. Our two guys at split end are new, but they're athletic and they can catch the ball."
Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils
Coach: Chuck Tinninis, 29th season, 153-136-3 (.529).
Returning starters: Demetrius Burton (jr., RB/S, 5-9, 175 pounds)
Other top players: Cade McDowell (jr., QB, 5-9, 158), Caleb Schaeffer (sr., FB/OLB, 5-10, 167), Isaiah Peck (jr., RB/CB, 5-9, 175), Tristan Valentine (sr., FB, 5-8, 195), Cade Marshall (jr., WR/S, 5-9, 158), Antwoine Carter (so., WR/CB, 6-0, 142), Tanner Bain (sr., SE/S, 5-10, 157), Kyrin Zimmerman (sr., SE, 5-7, 149), Ethan Van Scyoc (sr., C, 5-8, 243), Daryn Holdsworth (jr., G, 5-10, 183), Blake Mills (jr., G/DE, 5-10, 216), Jacob Reid (jr., LT, 6-0, 240), Jacob Hockman (sr., RT, 6-2, 266), Austin Lushbaugh (jr., DE, 5-6, 198), Cole Bonebrake (so., T, 5-11, 231), Jared Marshall (jr., T, 5-9, 234), Logan Shifflet (sr., MLB, 5-8, 207), David Shear (jr., OLB, 6-2, 187), Reese Kyler (sr., LB, 5-11, 175), Hayden Rhoe (jr., LB, 5-11, 152), Seth Eberly (jr., CB, 5-9, 145)
Predicted record: 5-5
In the huddle
Stadium: Kaley Field
Location: On the east side of the high school, which is on Ridge Avenue.
Ticket prices: $5 for adults, $2 for students.
Sept. 2 — at Chambersburg, 7 p.m.
Sept. 10 — at Milton Hershey, 1 p.m.
Sept. 16 — East Pennsboro, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 — at West Perry, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 — Mifflin County, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 — at Big Spring, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 — Shippensburg, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 — at Waynesboro, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 — Northern York, 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 — James Buchanan, 7 p.m.
W // Chambersburg // 32-29 OT
W // Littlestown // 53-21
W // West Perry // 56-21
W // Big Spring // 29-23
L // East Pennsboro // 20-16
W // Hershey // 41-31
W // James Buchanan // 49-0
L // Northern // 38-14
L // Waynesboro // 53-19
L // Shippensburg // 23-10