‘Burg overtakes ‘Boro on Homecoming, 21-10

Waynesboro defensive back Rayshawn Frazer-Hewitt matches up with Gettysburg wide receiver Landon Keefer. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS

WAYNESBORO – The Waynesboro Indians came close to taking a 10-point lead on the Gettysburg Warriors early in the second half.

But an 11-yard touchdown run by Mikel Holden was called back because of a holding penalty.

Gettysburg bided its time after being denied by a stubborn Waynesboro defense, using one big play to turn the game in its favor. A mistake-filled fourth quarter cost the Indians a win, and they lost to the visiting Warriors, 21-10 in the annual Homecoming game at Buchanan Automotive Stadium.

“What we saw was the difference between and established team and a developing team,” said Waynesboro head coach Josh Sprenkle, whose team missed two field goals and couldn’t extend drives to get back in the game. “Once they got momentum, they kept it. That was one thing we were not able to do is keep the momentum going. Obviously, we had it and that holding penalty on Mikel’s touchdown was the turning point.”

The cool, fall night “in the valley” was about much more than football. The game was preceded by the ceremonial Homecoming parade, with floats being escorted by the Waynesboro Area Senior High School marching band.

The girls’ volleyball team won the prize for Best Float, and senior Anna Hoffman was crowned Homecoming Queen by last year’s queen Jasmine Frazer-Hewitt at halftime. It was also Gold Rush night, as evident by the student section all decked out in gold colors, including a few with gold hairpieces.

Gettysburg remains atop the Mid-Penn Colonial Division with a 4-0 league record (they’re 6-1 overall). Waynesboro slipped to 1-3 in the division, 2-5 overall.

The Indians are on the road next Friday against Mechanicsburg. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

It’s hard to point to one play, but the erased touchdown had a devastating effect on a team that has had a lot going against it this season. Even so, the only game the Tribe has not been competitive in (and that in the second half) was against Spring Grove in the season opener when the Rockets won 46-14 in Spring Grove.

“They haven’t quit. They don’t give up. We shot ourselves in the foot sometimes, but they haven’t quit. It’s a challenge to the seniors. Do you want to be .500 or do you want to be the first losing team in a long time. Certainly, we are in a rebuilding mode, but we have the talent to have a better record.”

Waynesboro’s last losing season (not counting a 5-6 record in 2019 after losing in the opening round of the District 3-5A playoffs against Manheim Central) was an 0-10 campaign in 2013.

And, with the exception of a 61-yard scoring play early in the fourth quarter that gave Gettysburg the lead it would not lose, the Tribe’s defense was gritty, resilient and very physical.

The Warriors took the opening kickoff and worked the ball down the field with relative ease. Led by quarterback Brady Heiser, Gettysburg used seven plays to chew up 56 yards. Running back Jayden Johnson ran it in from three yards, and Jermain Gondwe kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with less than three minutes elapsed on the game clock.

Waynesboro missed a chance to tie the game on its initial possession, but on Gettysburg’s ensuing offensive series, Tribe defensive back Robert Howard recovered a fumble at the Waynesboro 46-yard line.

A roughing the passer penalty got the ball closer, and after a 6-yard run by quarterback Jaylon Bean put the ball at the 31, the Indians settled for a field goal by Andrew Soffe to make the score 7-3.

In the second quarter, Gettysburg missed two field goals and Waynesboro punted twice. The defense held firm. Linebacker Rakim Gibbs sacked Heiser twice with the Warriors driving in Indians territory, including on a fourth-down play that brought the ball back to midfield.

Waynesboro pulled one out of the hat with 23.5 seconds left in the first half and with Homecoming ceremonies about to take place. Bean set up the Tribe’s version of the Philly Special – a halfback pass to the quarterback – by scampering 33 yards to the Gettysburg 18. Holden, a senior running back whose style is all his own, ran another five yards to the 12.

On the next play, Holden took what appeared to be a handoff to the right side of the field. Instead of running toward the line of scrimmage, Holden backpedaled, pivoted to his left, spotted Bean all by himself near the front corner of the south end zone, and threw the ball high towards Bean. Bean saw the ball into his body and backpedaled for the touchdown for a 10-7 lead after Soffe’s extra-point kick.

“He fights for every yard,” Sprenkle said of his senior back who gained 100 yards on 26 carries.

Trailing 14-10 in the third quarter, Waynesboro moved the ball from the 50 to Gettysburg’s 30-yard line. On fourth down and 11, Bean scrambled 10 yards to the 20, one yard short of a first down.

The Warriors used the opportunity to score a proverbial insurance touchdown on a 9-play, 80-yard drive. The key play was a 35-yard run by Johnson to the Waynesboro 10. The drive was aided by two unsportsmanlike penalties on the Indians.

Buchanan Automotive Stadium was packed for Friday night’s Homecoming Game. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS
Waynesboro’s Cody Tharp runs after the catch during the first quarter. LEE GOODWIN/LOCAL.NEWS
aynesboro quarterback Jaylon Bean backs into the end zone after catching a halfback option pass from Mikel Holden. LEE GOODWIN.LOCAL.NEWS
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