WESTMINSTER, Md. – Woody Butler (Smithsburg, Md./Middletown) made his only catch of the game count most, catching a 10-yard touchdown from Tom Massucci (Tabernacle, N.J./Seneca) to cap a Homecoming thriller and lift McDaniel to a 36-30 Centennial Conference (CC) football three-overtime victory over Gettysburg on Saturday.
It was freshman Joe Rollins (Temple Hills, Md./Surrattsville) who did the lion's share of the work for the Green Terror (5-4, 4-4 CC), capping his 34-carry, 294-yard rushing day with a 15-yard carry in the third overtime to set up the Massucci-to-Butler score two plays later.
Rollins, who had already secured his second consecutive 100-yard rushing day at halftime, racked up 192 yards after intermission to turn in the second-best rushing day in program history. Only Joe Brockmeyer's program-record 311 yards against Johns Hopkins on Nov. 21, 1970 was better.
It was first time since Broderick Maybank capped the 2004 season with 230 yards that any McDaniel back had even crossed the 200-yard barrier. In total, McDaniel racked up its first 300-yard rushing day (Catholic) and first 500-yard total offense (Gettysburg) outing since that same season.
Jamel Mutunga rushed for 190 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bullets (5-4, 4-4 CC), who built a 23-9 lead looking for a fifth consecutive victory before Chris Kolb (Keymar, Md./Francis Scott Key) had his second PAT return for two points in three weeks to make a 14-point game at the intermission.
For the second straight week, Rollins started his team's second half off on the right note, breaking the first play from scrimmage for 65 yards and a touchdown. Jake Nichols's (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson) extra point trimmed the deficit to 23-16 just 17 seconds into the third quarter.
A Gettysburg three-and-out netted zero yards and the Green Terror took over at its own 38,
Three Rollins runs for a combined 24 yards and a Bullet personal foul moved the ball to the Gettysburg 23. Rollins ripped off another 22-yard burst before Massucci dove one yard for a touchdown for the second week in a row. Nichols drew the hosts even with 12:11 to play in the third quarter.
From there, neither team was able to penetrate the other's defense inside the opponent 40 before the Bullets took over at the McDaniel 40 with 7:24 on the fourth-quarter clock.
Backup quarterback Kody Smith hit Greg Namrow on the first play for 28 yards to move his team to the Green Terror 12. Three more plays netted a gain of just negative-3 yards before Michael Barrett, who his a career-long 45-yard field goal in the second quarter, pushed the 32-yard attempt wide left.
McDaniel took over with 5:33 to play and used a methodical 15-play drive to move to the Gettysburg 1.
Facing a third-and-goal inside the one-yard line, the Green Terror opted to take a timeout with 19.7 seconds on the clock. Massucci could not connect with Matt Cahill (Broomall, Pa./Haverford Twp.) in the back of the end zone and Nichols pushed the ensuing 17-yard field-goal attempt wide left.
Gettysburg elected to take a knee, sending the game to overtime.
The Bullets had the ball first in the first overtime but Kolb made his eighth interception of the season at the one-yard line three plays into the possession.
The Green Terror was only able to muster eight yards on its first possession before Nichols had his 34-yard field goal attempt blocked to send the teams to a second extra period.
Massucci wasted no time, finding Cahill in the end zone on the first play of the second overtime for a 30-23 advantage.
Mutunga responded, however, taking the second play of Gettysburg's possession down the right sideline for a 22-yard score and force the third overtime.
Barrett's 38-yard field goal attempt in the Bullets' possession sailed wide left once again before Rollins rushed for 15 yards on the Green Terror's first play of the third overtime.
Two plays later, the 10-yard strike to Butler ended the game and gave McDaniel its first overtime victory since a two-overtime victory against Catholic in 2005.
Gettysburg scored on its first two series of the game. Starting quarterback Kyle Whitmoyer capped a long opening drive with a three-yard run before Mutunga broke a 68-yard run on the third play of a drive that started at the Bullet 10.
The 14-0 burst in the game's first 7:13 gave Gettysburg 48 unanswered points in 25 minutes, 10 seconds of game action.
A 24-yard connection between Massucci and Cahill snapped that Bullet stretch on the Green Terror's third play of the second quarter.
Barrett stretched the lead to 17-7 with 11:07 showing before a 21-yard Charles Curcio reception netted a touchdown for 23-7 advantage.
A bad snap on the ensuing PAT allowed Kolb to pick up the miscue and start the comeback.
Cahill finished with six catches for 68 yards and two touchdowns to take over sole possession of the all-time career receptions record with 151, breaking a tie with Teron Powell.
Chad Bucur and Larry DelViscio led the Bullet defense with 14 and 13 tackles, respectively, while Aaron Slaughter (Baltimore, Md./Loyola) and Sam Cox (Towson, Md./Towson) paced the Green Terror defense with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively.
McDaniel, which assured itself a second consecutive non-losing season, concludes the season at Johns Hopkins on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.