Gettysburg uses special teams wins to beat Dover
Dover outgained Gettysburg by more than a 3-to-1 margin on Friday night, held the Warriors to seven first downs and didn't lose the turnover battle. But the Warriors were still able to turn little into a lot, thanks to some very special special teams.
Gettysburg parlayed a long kick return into an early TD and recovered three fourth-quarter onside kicks to squeak by Dover on the road, 21-19.
"It's just paying attention to that one phase that sometimes you've got to prepare for," Gettysburg coach Matt Heiser said.
Wesley Gayle's 78-yard kickoff return to open the game paid dividends for the Warriors (2-2, 1-0 YAIAA Division II), who capped off the 12-yard drive with Bryce Newman's 1-yard touchdown run to take a lead they would not relinquish.
Dover, which racked up 198 passing yards in the fourth quarter, rallied with three touchdowns in the stanza to twice get within two points. But Gayle came up big at the end, recovering an onside kick that had rolled all the way to his team's 20-yard line with 24 seconds left in the game.
Up 21-12, Gettysburg was set to run out the clock, but fumbled the ball back to Dover (1-3, 0-0) inside of two minutes. Quarterback Alan Hansel threw to Derek Arevalo for 33 yards, and Brandon Lawyer scampered 15 yards to close the gap to 21-19.
"We had our breakdowns and they capitalized on it, so if we get rid of the mistakes, we'll look better," Heiser said.
A big swing within a 49-second span earlier in the fourth quarter was also crucial for Gettysburg. Lawyer scored to close the Dover gap to 14-12, but the 2-point conversion to tie it up failed. Gettysburg's Codi Hower got a jump on the onside kick and returned it to the Dover 38, which set up a TD two plays later for a two-score lead.
Gettysburg hosts Susquehannock next Friday, while Dover that night travels to Eastern York.
Gettysburg — Bryce Newman 1 run (Jake Bridel kick), 10:01
Gettysburg— Ferrious Ashford 13 pass from Josh Clapsaddle (Bridel kick), 1:18
Dover — Cole Jesmer 5 pass from Alan Hansel (kick failed), 8:57
Dover — Brandon Lawyer 5 run (pass failed), 5:39
Gettysburg — Edny Celius 36 run (Bridel kick), 4:48
Dover — Lawyer 15 run (Zach Noll kick), :24
Rushing — Gettysburg, Edny Celius 10-68, Bryce Newman 14-37, Ferrious Ashford 3-21, Chad Auchey 1-(-3), Wesley Gayle 3-(-17), Josh Clapsaddle 6-(-29). Dover, Brandon Lawyer 14-73, Derek Arevalo 9-(-4), Alan Hansel 8-(-39).
Passing — Gettysburg, Clapsaddle 2-10-0-37. Dover, Hansel 21-42-0-345.
Receiving — Gettysburg, Laion Shelton 1-19, Ashford 1-13. Dover, Cole Jesmer 6-146, Arevalo 9-89, Brady Bowman 2-50, Andrew Hoffman 3-41, Amari Peterson 1-9.