WHITEMARSH >> In what was a classic game at Carey Stadium, the Germantown Academy Patriots came up huge in the last second of the game, returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown to seal a 23-14 victory over visiting Springside Chestnut Hill Academy on Saturday afternoon.
“I think the end of the game was the best outcome that I have ever seen,” said GA running back Trae Vance, who finished with 107 yards on 26 carries. “It was a total team ending and even though we were down at halftime, we just have to keep fighting and find a way to come back to win it.”
Springside Chestnut Hill had the lead for most of the first half when quarterback Aaron Gentile kept the football himself for a one-yard touchdown run to go up 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Both defenses came up big in the red zone to keep the game within one touchdown at halftime.
The hometown Patriots didn’t take long tying the game on their first drive of the second half, which ended with a two-yard run from Trae Vance to tie the game at 7-7.
Germantown Academy (6-1, 1-1 Inter-Ac) eventually took the lead in the third quarter when Nick Niemynski nailed a 24-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
With just under eight minutes left in the game, Springside Chestnut Hill (5-3, 0-2) came up big with a blocked punt that was recovered by Jack Gentile inside the 25-yard line that was taken into the end zone for a 14-10 lead.
The Patriots couldn’t get the ball in the red zone as the Springside Chestnut Hill defense tried to hold the four-point lead.
After a quick three and out from the Patriots defense, the Patriot offense got the ball back at midfield with less than two minutes left in the game.
The drive eventually ended with a huge 15-yard pass from Matt Brittingham to Tayshaun Mack to gain a 17-14 lead for the Patriots with 36 seconds left in the game.
“It felt amazing to make that play,” said Mack. “I just had so much emotion after making that play and Matt has a great arm and made a great play.”
“This moment is going to stay in my memory for a very long time,” added Mack. “Right now this was the best game of the year and hopefully we’ll have bigger ones later.”
Springside Chestnut Hill did everything they could to get down the field as quickly as possible to hopefully tie the game with a field goal.
With exactly four seconds left in the game, a potential 31-yard field goal from Springside Chestnut Hill was blocked by the Patriots defense and returned for a 79-yard touchdown as time expired to seal the thrilling 23-14 victory.
“After that touchdown catch by Tayshaun, that’s when we started to get hyped up,” added Vance. “I’m pretty sure I was crying a little bit on that play because I was so happy.”
Germantown Academy head coach Matt Dence was thrilled for the way his team played against a high scoring offense from Springside Chestnut Hill.
“To hold a high scoring team down to just one offensive touchdown was pretty special for our guys,” said Dence. “Every time we play Springside Chestnut Hill, it’s a great game and I can’t remember one time when the game is a blowout.”
“It comes down to the last play every time we play this team,” added Dence. “It’s a good feeling when everyone contributed to this win and they are all excited afterwards.”
With the win, the Patriots bounced back after suffering their first loss of the season last week against Haverford School.
The Germantown Academy football squad will look for another big win on Friday when it visits EA.
Germantown Academy 23, Springside Chestnut Hill 14
SCH 7 0 0 7 -14
GA 0 0 10 13 -23
SCH- Angelos 1-yard run (Greenberg kick)
GA- Vance 2-yard run (Niemynski kick)
GA- Niemynski 24-yard field goal
SCH- J. Gentile blocked punt return (Greenberg kick)
GA- Brittingham 15-yard pass to Mack (Niemynski kick)
GA- 79-yard blocked field goal return
First downs 15 15
Rushing yards 183 120
Passing yards 160 197
Total yards 343 317
Passing 12-19 15-26
Penalties 6-55 3-25
Fumbles lost 1 1
RUSHING – Germantown Academy: Vance 26-107, 1 TD; Snowden 13-68; Brittingham 5-8. Springside Chestnut Hill: R. Gentile 7-61; Rascoe 10-46; Williams 3-24; Elliott 1-3; Angelos 3-(-14), 1 TD.
PASSING – Germantown Academy: Brittingham 11-18, 143 yds, 1 TD; Snowden 1-1, 17 yds. Springside Chestnut Hill: Angelos 15-26, 197 yds.
RECEIVING – Germantown Academy: Vance 4-50; Mack 3-38, 1 TD; Adames 1-29; Brittingham 1-17; Hsu 1-12; Ruth 1-8; Snowden 1-6. Springside Chestnut Hill: Williams 12-159; J. Gentile 1-20; R. Gentile 2-18.
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