The shootout at the Mustang Corral on Friday night proved to be an impressive chapter in the inter-divisional rivalry. Now that the dust has settled, we take a look back and hand out a few awards for the best performances of the night.
Best performance: Two different guys scored three touchdowns and another scored the game-winner so this was a tough category. But, Wade Laudeman takes home the award with 122 yards and three touchdowns on just nine carries. The most impressive part was that Laudeman did all of his damage in the first half. He didn't gain a yard on two carries in the second half while missing time with cramps. His average came out to 13.5 yards per carry.
Best defensive performance: Miles Francis came away with a fourth-quarter interception for the Mustangs, but the offense failed to capitalize. The Warriors' team defense wins this award for its fourth-down stand with less than a minute left in the game. Brady Thayer caught a ball near the right sideline just a few yards from the first donw marker and the defense swarmed him before he could extend the play.
Best performance in a losing effort: Brock Geiman deserves consideration for his play in his first start. But, sophomore Andrew Hartlaub scored in three different ways - kickoff return, rush and reception. His kickoff return in the first quarter helped stop the bleeding after Gettysburg had jumped out to a 13-0 lead. The Mustangs settled in after that play and kept it close the rest of the way.
Worst statistic: Before Gettysburg's last offensive drive, this award could have gone to the passing game, which stayed quiet for most of the night as the backfield ran wild. But, eight penalties, including three personal fouls nearly cost the Warriors in a big way. Coach Heiser will need his defense to be more disciplined as the season progresses.
295 rushing yards for the Warriors. Behind an offensive line that played bigger than its size, Laudeman, Nathan Sharrah, Tyler Lampe and Elijah Jackson had plenty of room to run for most of the night. Coach Heiser complimented his backfield's ability to step in and carry the load no matter whose number was being called.
Best "Are you kidding me?" moment: After Gettysburg's Kobe Wansel ran the opening kickoff back 93 yards for a score, it didn't feel like anything could top that...until Wansel got behind the defense for a 45-yard touchdown catch with less than two minutes left in the game. The press box and the Mustang crowd were in shock. It proved to be the game-winning touchdown after the Warriors defense stopped the Mustangs on the ensuing drive.
Best play that made you do a double take: A 27-yard pass from Geiman to Noah Staub in the second quarter that set up a Robby Harbison touchdown a few plays later. The ball was lofted deep down the middle of the field. Staub, in single coverage, went up with his defender and they both got a hand on the ball at its highest point. Staub seemed to gain control, then bobble it, then gain control again while hanging in the air.