May 10, 2014 was Kids’ Day, an annual Hanover Rhinos’ tradition for the last home game of the season.
When the Carroll County Cannons came to Hanover Middle School to serve as the opposition, they were thin in numbers.
“We had 15 players show up, and I was one of them,” said current Hanover Rhino Michael Lowery, who played for the Cannons in 2014. “I played center and nose tackle.”
Lowery went up against current Rhinos’ defensive lineman Kyle Raysor for most of the day.
While the Cannons were thin in numbers, the Rhinos loaded the scoreboard with digits.
David Sager (South Western ’09) fired over 300 passing yards, but his legs fueled the first score of the game.
Hanover’s second drive reached the Carroll County 20. Then, Sager ran a play-action fake and bootlegged to the right, bursting into open space.
With his head up inside the five, Sager cut back behind a block by receiver Zac Carrick (Hanover ’05) before being tackled across the goal line.
On the next drive, Adriel Garibay (New Oxford ’05) hauled down the quarterback for a sack, stymieing the next Carroll County drive, and setting up Sager for some aerial antics.
The final play of the first quarter saw Sager heave a pass 37 yards in the air, down the right hash, to Bob Moore, who caught the ball at the Hanover 5, and took it in for a score.
Jeremy Renoll recovered a fumble inside the Cannons’ 5 on the next possession, but Zak Kruger (South Western ’09) missed a 35-yard field goal attempt for the Rhinos.
Just before the half, the Rhinos threatened to score again. However, tight end Shawn Brady was tackled inside the five after his catch, and the time ran out.
Hanover led by two scores at the break.
“Rain was a factor in the beginning,” current Rhinos running back Jeremy Knaub said. “It was actually pretty close at half, then we just came out pounding, and smoked them.”
The floodgates opened in the second half.
Knaub started the watershed with a 12-yard touchdown run early in the third. He ripped away from a sure tackle at the 10, regained his momentum, and burst down the visiting sideline for the third Hanover score of the day.
Knaub bounced to the left for a 25-yard touchdown later in the third.
He completed the hat-trick with a 65-yard jaunt into the end zone early in the fourth.
“The 65-yarder was a sweep to the right that I cut back across the grain, and literally had everyone beat by 10-15 yards,” Knaub said.
Caleb Burns recorded an interception midway through the final quarter to set up another touchdown.
Moore, now at quarterback, dumped the ball off to Carrick in the left flat. Carrick navigated his way through 11 yards, and stretched the ball out as he was tackled across the goal line.
Desmond Powell broke up the shutout when he scored for the Cannons on a screen pass in the fourth quarter. The final score was 54-8.