GETTYSBURG, Pa. – With the score 55-54 in favor of Gettysburg in overtime, the Susquehanna football team made the gutsy call of going for the two-point conversion and the call worked out big time when Rich Palazzi (Newfoundland, Pa./Wallenpaupack) found Greg Tellish (Mount Airy, Md./South Caroll) in the end zone to hand SU the 56-55 victory.
SU (3-1, 2-1) not only captured its second-straight win, it also won its second OT game of the season, second conference game and dealt the Bullets (2-2, 2-1) its first league loss of the fall.
The first half saw 57 combined points, 627 yards of offense and 71 offensive plays. By the end of the game, there were 1123 yards of offense and 111 points.
Tellish had 100 yards in the opening half alone to go along with three touchdowns. He finished the day with 122 yards on 31 carries and three TDs. Spenser Ercole (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg Area) had five caches for a game-high 152 yards and two touchdowns.
Palazzi had an equally impressive performance, putting together a perfect first half (10-of-10 for 189 yards) and ended up racking up 430 yards through the air on a 24-for-37 day.
On the first drive of the afternoon, Gettysburg marched down the
field first thanks to a nine-play, 74-yard scoring drive that ended
in a Ted Delia touchdown. The Crusaders responded in exactly the
same way with their own nine-play, 74-yard scoring that drive that
Tellish capped off by running four yards into the Bullets end
The Bullets again found the SU end zone on their next possession, but Tellish picked up his second score of the afternoon after Mike Ritter (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) helped set him up with a 49-yard reception that put the ball on the Gettysburg three for a short run by Tellish. Spenser Hotaling’s (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove Area) PAT was blocked, preventing SU from tying the game.
Tellish scored his and Susquehanna’s third touchdown of the afternoon early in the second quarter to give his team its first lead of the game at 20-14. That lead lasted approximately 30 seconds because Delia ran the ball 83 yards down the SU sideline to put Gettysburg back ahead 21-20.
Hotaling came through with the game’s first field goal, a 30-yarder with 7:42 on the clock, for a 23-21 ballgame.
Another Bullets touchdown less than three minutes later put Susquehanna back in a hole at 27-23, but a QB keeper by Palazzi handed a three-point edge back to the Crusaders (30-27).
With only three minutes with which to work before halftime, Gettysburg nearly managed to put more points on the board, but a blocked field goal by Bill Mancini (Malvern, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) (recovered by Gettysburg), incomplete passes and a missed field goal kept it 30-27 at halftime.
SU punted for the first time in the game on its first second-half possession and in a rare occurrence, no points were scored for the first eight-plus minutes of third quarter. The Bullets’ snapped that scoreless stretch when Delia returned an Alex Patchin (Camp Hill, Pa./Camp Hill) punt 66 yards for a score and a 34-30 lead for his squad.
Palazzi found Ercole for a 33-yard completion on the opening
play of the ensuing drive. With the ball at the one-yard line,
Palazzi pushed his way into the end zone for his second score of
the game and a 37-34 Crusaders lead.
With 2:30 left in the third, Gettysburg’s Kody Smith called his own number and rushed into the end zone, making it 41-37. The Bullets brought in quarterback Kyle Whitmoyer and he added himself to the list of scorers with a five-yard touchdown run to make SU’s deficit 48-37 with 9:56 to play.
With 6:15 left, SU got the ball back thanks to a blocked punt and had its drive capped off by a 23-yard Hotaling field goal for a 48-40 score with 4:53 on the clock.
Susquehanna got the ball back with 3:01 to play. On second and 10, Palazzi found Ercole in the end zone for a 32-yard score that cut the Bullets’ lead to two, leaving SU no choice but to go for the two-point conversion. Palazzi connected with Patchin for a 48-all score and 2:03 on the clock.
Gettysburg went three-and-out on the possession but the Bullets caught a small break when Mancini was called for running into the kicker to push SU back to its own 25-yard line. After a 32-yard Knouse reception, Palazzi threw a costly pick and Gettysburg took over at their own 35 with 49.7 seconds on the clock.
The Bullets opted to run the clock down and force overtime. Gettysburg put seven points on the board as they had the ball first in overtime but Palazzi found Ercole yet again to make it 55-54 and se the team up for the successful two-point conversion.
Jalon Scott (Albany, N.Y./Albany H.S.) led all players with 11 tackles, six solo, while Mancini accounted for SU’s lone sack of the game. Five different players were credited with tackles for loss.
SU is back on the road next Saturday at Muhlenberg for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
- All three of SU's wins this season have been by three points or fewer
- These teams also combined for 111 points last season in Gettysburg (61-50 Gettysburg win)