3/19: Rhinos vs. York Silver Bullets
The Rhinos renew acquaintances with the York Silver Bullets as the 2016 home slate opens. The teams competed for the now defunct York County Cup in 2013.
SERIES HISTORY: Hanover leads 3-1 (tied 1-1 on the field). The Rhinos accepted two York forfeits in 2014. Hanover has outscored York 19-16 overall.
RHINOS IN HOME OPENERS: Hanover is 1-3 in home openers, with the only win coming vs. York, 6-0, in 2013.
LAST MEETING: Hannibal Flores’ 20- yard touchdown reception with about 3 minutes left in the fourth quarter propelled the Silver Bullets past the Rhinos 16-13 on 4/13/13. York tight end Shawn Brady was getting good releases in the passing game all night, but was used as a decoy on the deciding touchdown.
Hanover led 13-6 thanks to two touchdowns by Zac Carrick. With Hanover up 13-9 in the final minutes, Carrick fumbled deep in York territory, leading to the game-winning drive. After starting the season 0-2, York ran off 6 straight wins, edging Hanover by 1/2 game for the North Division title.
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: After graduating New Oxford high school less than 10 months ago, quarterback Jordan Gardner made his first AFA start last week at Franklin County. He went through ups and downs, but came through when the chips were down. He completed 3-of-3 passes on the winning drive, including a 28-yard touchdown to Michael Small.
Gardner’s favorite target, Alex Isennock, tallied 102 receiving yards vs. the Tigers. He ranks second in the league in receiving yards, behind only the Southern Maryland Gladiators’ Demarcus Sweat (139).
The offense went 2-for-10 on third downs, and was slowed by 5 sacks allowed for a loss of 35 yards.
Aside from DeAnte Weldon’s 24-yard run in the fourth quarter, the Rhinos rushing attack mustered just 43 yards on 18 carries (2.4 YPC).
Similarly, Hanover’s rush defense allowed a 33-yard touchdown run to Matt Wade, and a 25-yard scamper by Reggie Russ, but otherwise bottled up the Tigers’ ground game, holding it to 73 yards on 24 carries (3.0 YPC).
Linebacker Jeremy Renoll and defensive tackle Richard Settle led the charge with 14 and 10 stops respectively.
Alex Elliott averaged 47.5 yards on 4 kickoffs.
SCOUTING THE SILVER BULLETS: York had a bye last week, so this will be its season-opener, and its first game since the 2013 season.
The Silver Bullets have 13 players on their roster that made a statistical contribution with the Rhinos last year. The most-notable ex-Rhinos are starting quarterback Chase Scharf, and top receiver Jay Collins.
The Bullets are built around a big, mobile offensive line that is anchored by super-smart center Ben Teijaro. Ex-Rhinos Billy Stratton and Andrew Thomas-Judge combine with Ron Kennedy and Steve Miller to form the starting five.
Standing at 6’0″, receiver Hannibal Flores returns for another season, and provides a great complimentary option to Collins in the passing game.
The defense is headlined by cornerback BaShawn McFadden, who was named an AFA all-star in 2015 with the Rhinos. McFadden was fifth on the team in tackles, and second in pass deflections, last year.