3/26: Rhinos vs. Germantown Gladiators
The Rhinos look to avenge a lopsided loss in December’s Santa Bowl in a game that will be very emotional for a number of reasons.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at 7:00 PM, Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park, Silver Spring, MD.
SERIES HISTORY: Tied, 2-2, including 1-1 in the Santa Bowl. Germantown has outscored Hanover, 67-61.
LAST MEETING: Five turnovers derailed the Hanover Rhinos, as they fell 31-6 in Santa Bowl IV on 12/5/15. Roma Michael threw touchdown passes to Cornell Anderson and Tevin Bright to spark the Gladiators. Jordan Gardner (New Oxford ’15) responded with a scoring throw for the Rhinos, while 2015 AFA sack leader Kody Taylor picked up one sack in the exhibition game that supported Toys For Tots.
CLEAR EYES, HEAVY HEARTS: In the days following Santa Bowl IV, Germantown quarterback Roma Michael tragically passed away.
For the entire 2016 season, the Hanover Rhinos are wearing #19 stickers on their helmets, an homage to the number Roma Michael wore with the Gladiators.
Rhinos’ offensive lineman Michael Lowery was close friends with Roma.
Lowery had this to say about his friend:”Roma was a high energetic soul who loved everyone, and the game of football. I’ve known Roma since he first came to America in the 2nd grade. He was a loyal and caring individual, who was always there for his friends and family. I wear number 19 this year in his honor, because he was one of my dearest friends, and I love/miss him. It’s strange, I was just with him during the Santa bowl, and I drove him home from the game, and we went to have a beer that same night. I was supposed to hang out with him the following day, and watch the Steelers play that Sunday night, but around 3:15 PM, he stopped responding, and that was the last I spoke to him. I couldn’t believe it, he was gone. He has gone to a greater place, and I will play my heart out for him in his memory this season. Rest in peace Roma, and I will see you again. Continue to watch over me and the guys.”
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: Head coach Ben Davis returns to his old stomping grounds, as he was born in Germantown. He hopes to get a consistent performance from his offensive line. The Rhinos gave up just 1 sack last week after allowing 5 in week one. However, 4 fumbled snaps proved very costly, as nearly the entire game was spent on the Hanover side of the 50 yard line. The heavy snow put a damper on the passing game, as Alex Isennock, who exploded for 102 yards in week one, was held to 1 catch for 5 yards. Hanover totaled 88 yards, its lowest offensive output since week 3 last year against Harrisburg, also a snowy game.
The defense is paced by middle linebackers Brandon Renoll and Richard Settle, who are second and third in the league in tackles with 25 and 22 respectively. Settle hauled down York quarterback Chase Scharf for a 5-yard loss in the third quarter Saturday, and he leads the team with two sacks on the season. The secondary did a fantastic job against York County, holding Chase Scharf to 3-of-12 passing, and shutting out number-1 receiver Jay Collins on 4 targets. DeAnte Weldon earned the first Rhinos’ interception of the season, and kicker Alex Elliott leads the team in forced fumbles, with 1.
SCOUTING THE GLADIATORS: For the second straight week, the Rhinos will face a team coming off a bye. In Germantown’s only game, they shut out the Anne Arundel County Colts, 8-0. Quarterback Dre Brown hooked up with wide receiver Dustin Thompson just before halftime on 50 yard pass for the game’s only score. Brown then took a broken play in for the two-point conversion after he botched the hand-off.