GETTYSBURG, Pa. – Sophomore receiver Aden Twer caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Kody Smith as time expired and Gettysburg held off a furious Ursinus rally to win 40-34 in the Centennial Conference opener for both teams at Shirk Field at Musselman Stadium.
Gettysburg (1-1, 1-0 CC), which was also playing its home opener, led 34-10 midway through the third quarter before Ursinus (0-2, 0-1 CC) rallied with 24 unanswered points, scoring three touchdowns and converting the two-point conversion on all three. Quarterback Chris Curran capped the rally with a 1-yard touchdown run – his second of the game – with 47 seconds left before running in the conversion himself, setting up a wild finish.
On just five catches, Twer finished with 179 yards and three touchdowns on distances of 81, 43, and 32 yards. Smith threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns – both career highs – on 13-of-22 passing while junior tailback Ted Delia rushed for a career-best 86 yards on 12 carries for Gettysburg, which never trailed.
Win the victory, the Bullets won both their home and conference openers for the first time since 2007.
The two teams continued their history of shootouts after Ursinus won 49-39 last season and 55-50 in 2009.
“We needed a touchdown,” said Twer. “Kody came into the huddle and said ‘This is what’s going to happen. I’m throwing a fade, and I’m throwing it to you, Twer.’
“As I turned back for the ball and tried to get into the air, I think the defender hit me a little bit and I fell down, so I caught it down low,” Twer explained.
“It was just excitement,” he said, later about his big catch. “We had just won the game, and that was the most important thing. My teammates came running and piled up on me. It was great.”
Bryan Ellis rushed for 130 yards on 30 carries for the Bears while Curran finished with 183 yards and one touchdown on 16-of-36 passing.
Gettysburg outgained Ursinus 461-307.
“It was exciting – probably the biggest play of my life,” said Smith. “I got to the line and saw that the cornerback pressed on Aden, and I thought in my mind, ‘we’ve got this.’ The o-line gave me time, I threw it up, and Aden caught it.”
“He’s the fastest guy on our team,” said Gettysburg head coach Barry Streeter on Twer. “He has good hands, and he had already made some big plays. The ball was up high enough that he could get up over the top and make the catch. That’s a big, big play – if that goes to overtime who knows what happens.”
Information used in this story was provided by Gettysburg College.