Story and photo courtesy of Gettysburg Athletics
GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Gettysburg rushed for a school- and Centennial Conference-record 546 yards and the Bullets spoiled the inaugural football game for Misericordia University, winning 70-0 in front of a large crowd at a hot and humid Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium in non-conference action on Saturday.
The Bullets, who did not finish with a 100-yard rusher but had 14 different players with at least one carry, raced out to a 43-0 halftime lead against the Cougars, who were starting 18 freshmen. The previous Centennial Conference record was 532 yards by Dickinson College versus Gettysburg in 1994, and the previous school record of 525 yards was set just three yars ago against Juniata College.
Gettysburg’s 70 points were a modern school record and the most in program history in over a century. The Bullets last topped 70 points in a 72-0 win at Franklin & Marshall College on Nov. 30, 1905.
The Bullets outgained Misericordia 665-153 and held the Cougars to 36 yards rushing. It was Gettysburg’s first shutout since a 14-0 victory over Ursinus College on Oct. 23, 2004.
Senior tailback Ted Delia rushed for 94 yards and tied a career-high with three touchdowns while sophomore Eddie Hutchins added 90 yards on the ground.
Sophomore Freddy Caruso had a big overall day for the Bullets, finishing with 201 all-purpose yards. He took back the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown on his first kick return as a Bullet, and he also rushed for a career-high 63 yards and caught two passes for an additional 49 yards.
Senior Kody Smith started at quarterback for the Bullets and threw for 111 yards and two touchdowns on 8-of-12 passing.
Freshman Jeffrey Puckett passed for 113 yards for Misericordia, going 13-for-21. Classmate Paul Brace caught five passes for 52 yards. Freshman Corey Wall punted nine times for 308 yards for the Cougars.
Senior linebacker Larry DelViscio led all players with nine tackles for Gettysburg while junior linebacker Cody DiAmore made eight hits. Freshman safety Brandon Salazar led Misericordia with six tackles.
Caruso fielded the opening kickoff at the right hash mark and weaved his way through the defense while cutting to the left sideline, then outraced a final defender over the last 30 yards. It was the first kickoff return touchdown by a Bullet since Charles Curcio ’11 had a 92-yarder against Moravian College in 2008. Curcio’s runback also came on the opening kickoff.
The snap was bad on the extra point, but Smith, who took the hold, completed a two-point conversion pass to sophomore A.J. Hill. Freshman Robby Fay would go on to make eight consecutive extra points, tying the school record for PATs in a game, before having his final attempt blocked with 2:38 left.
Delia scored on rushes of 2 and 4 yards as the Bullets led 22-0 at the end of the first quarter. Smith connected with senior Kyle Davis for a 22-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter before Hutchins and Delia added TD runs of 1 and 5 yards, respectively, to give the hosts their big halftime advantage.
Smith found junior Matt Pennella for a 12-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, and freshman Kevin McCarthy streaked in from 16 yards out as Gettysburg’s lead swelled to 57-0 heading into the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Zach Miller peeled off a 19-yard touchdown run with 14:18 left before freshman Paul Lowry set the final score with a 7-yard scamper.
The Bullets play their Centennial Conference opener next Saturday, when they visit Ursinus College at 1 p.m.