York 67, Hanover 0

 Party Like it’s 2015

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Hanover’s Dominic Cotterino (83) runs the ball as a wall of York Silver Bullets defenders look on in the background during the first quarter on Saturday. Photo Credit- Ursula H. Yost.

WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa.- The scoreboard at Eastern York High School was not plugged in, and if it had been, it may have shorted out due to the numbers being put up.

Ex-Hanover Rhino Bob Moore threw for 382 yards and 5 touchdowns, while running for 77 yards and three more scores, and Ex-Rhino Jay Collins chipped in 117 yards and 2 touchdown receptions, as the York Silver Bullets enjoyed a 67-0 win over the Rhinos.

The members of the 2015 Rhinos weren’t the only ones having a big day, as Quinn Way led the Silver Bullets with 5 receptions for 203 yards and 3 scores.

The Silver Bullets (5-2) set club records for most points and largest margin of victory in a single game, while the Rhinos set the club records for most points allowed and largest defeat.

It is the most-lopsided game in the AFA since May 10, 2014, when Harrisburg beat Franklin County 75-7. The drubbing was nowhere near  the all-time league record, which was set on May 5, 2012, when the Virginia Chargers beat Franklin County 80-0.

The Rhinos (1-6) have now been officially elimiated from playoff contention.

DeAnte Weldon was a bright-spot for Hanover, returning 4 kickoffs for a total of 99 yards, a Rhinos’ single game high for 2o16.

For the first time this season, Hanover started a quarterback other than Jordan Gardner. Leading receiver Alex Isennock moved to quarterback, and Gardner moved to tight end.

“We came out and started running the ball, to get me comfortable under center, because I’ve never taken a snap before” said Isennock. “We started moving the chains, and then, I got comfortable.”

Isennock, who never played quarterback at Hereford High School, offered this perspective on his new position: “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot more running than I thought it’d be.”

Hanover took the ball first, and marched 22 yards to midfield in two plays, a reverse by Dominic Cotterino, and a bruising run by Bernard Jackson. Jackson ran 14 times for 39 yards, and he surpassed Weldon for the team lead with 89 yards rushing on the season. Jackson only joined the team 4 games ago.

The opening drive ended on the third play, when Jackson fumbled away the handoff, and Steve Moon recovered for York at midfield.

On the first Bullets play, Moore rifled the ball to Way, who was wide-open at the 15. The former William Penn High School trackstar cut back across the middle, sending safety Jack Isennock sliding to a stop on the turf at the 5 as Way walked into the end zone.

Hanover’s offense began to march again, as Jackson broke a 9-yard run, and Isennock completed his first pass attempt, for 9 yards, to erase a holding penalty on Hanover. On 4th-and-1 from the Rhinos’ 37, Isennock plunged up the middle for the first down.

A personal foul for contacting the head of the quarterback by Dan Fahringer, and a later pass-interference call on Aaron Hacker moved the ball to the York 36, but two Hanover false starts moved the ball back, and killed the drive.

As the first quarter ended, the Rhinos had run 13 plays to York’s 1.

On the second play of the 2nd quarter, Moore launched launched the ball 39 yards down the visitors’ sideline to Collins, who had beaten cornerback Charles Smith. Collins caught the ball at the Hanover 36, and took it in for the 75-yard touchdown.

John Ewald III’s extra-point made it 13-0.

Nate Williams’ roughing penalty for falling into punter Gardner’s plant leg kept the next Rhinos drive alive, but on the next play, Isennock fumbled the snap, and Nuke Saunders recovered for the Bullets at the Hanover 37.

On the third play of the drive, Moore raced around left end, and, following a crushing block by Hannibal Flores, the quarterback reached the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown run to make it 19-0.

After a squib-kick gave the Rhinos their best starting field position of the first half, Isennock’s second completion, also to Gardner, moved the ball over midfield.

Then, Hanover turned to a new weapon.

Defensive lineman-turned fullback Joseph Wysocki bludgeoned the middle of the York defense for 11 yards.

However, three plays later, he was stuffed on fourth down by George Baker.

Wysocki exacted his revenge by tackling a scrambling Bob Moore in the open field to force a York three-and-out on the next series.

York took the ball with under 50 seconds left in the first half, and scored two plays later, when Moore found Way in the back right corner of the end zone. Way absorbed a big hit by Amir Pearson as he secured the 23-yard touchdown catch to make it 26-0.

The lead was upped to 33 when Moore hit Way in the left flat for a 58-yard touchdown on the first play of the third quarter. Way broke two tackles, spinning out of the second attempt at the Hanover 48, before turning on the jets.

Isennock gained 6 and then 7 yards on a pair of quarterback keepers, as Hanover moved the ball 35 yards to the York 30, but the drive ended when his first-down pass over the middle tipped off the hands of Weldon, and was intercepted by Ciseroe Freeland on a lurching effort.

Moore pushed the lead to 40 when he bolted left to escape Wysocki,
picked up downfield blocks from Nate Williams and Way, and high-stepped into the end zone for a 39-yard touchdown run.
The score capped a 6-play drive for York, their longest possession of the game.

Cotterino’s longest reception of the season, a 9-yarder, spurred the Rhinos to a first down on the next possession, but the drive petered-out, and Hanover was forced to punt. Gardner’s personal protector, Pearson, accidentally backed up into Gardner’s punting lane, and the punter had to eat the ball and a 6-yard loss.

Moore covered the whole width of the field on the next play. He scrambled to the left sideline to avoid Jeremy Knaub, then came the whole way across to the right sideline to escape Greg Ginter, before lofting a 42-yard scoring strike to Collins to make it 46-0, on the last play of the third.

Hanover’s punt team stood and watched while Gardner’s next punt came to rest at the York 19. Raymond Henry took advantage, picking up the still ball and racing 53 yards, with Wysocki tackling Henry at the Rhinos’ 28.

Moore eventually burst through Cotterino’s arms for a 7-yard score to make it 53-0.

Pearson sent a would-be Silver Bullets’ tackler clattering to the turf on a 25-yard kick return, but Hanover went three-and-out, and Gardner couldn’t pick up the bouncing snap on the punt.

Another former Rhino, DJ Brumfield, finagled his way through a crowd and landed on his face in the end zone for another one-play York scoring drive.

Weldon cut and burst to a 41-yard kick return, a season long for the Rhinos.

Alex Isennock completed a 16-yard pass to his brother, Jack, on the ensuing drive. It was Jack’s first catch of the season.

With two minutes left in the game, York threw four straight deep balls, completing 1 of them.

On the last play of the game, Moore scrambled for 24 yards. Then, as he was being brought down by Jeremy Renoll, Moore pitched to offensive lineman James Fess, who ran a 30-yard touchdown.

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Circle the Wagons

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Photo Credit- Ursula H. Yost.

The Rhinos must band together and beat their rivals this Saturday to stay alive in the playoff race:  https://hanoverrhinosblog.wordpress.com/game-day-preview/

Hanover at York preview

4/30: Rhinos at York County Silver Bullets

Plenty is on the line, as the Rhinos travel up PA-116 to take on the York County Silver Bullets in Wrightsville. The Rhinos will be looking to avenge a 25-6 loss to York earlier in the season.

WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at 2:00 PM, Eastern York High School, 720 Cool Creek Rd, Wrightsville, PA 17368

WEATHER FORECAST: 60 degrees and cloudy. Humidity: 51%, precipitation: 10%. Wind: 7 MPH.

SERIES HISTORY: Hanover leads 3-2 (York leads 2-1 on the field. Hanover accepted two York forfeits in 2014). York has outscored Hanover 41-25.

PLAYOFF SCENARIO: Simple scenario this week. Hanover stays alive in the playoff race with a win, and is eliminated with a loss. York sits in the fourth, and final, Northern Conference playoff spot with a 4-2 record. Germantown and Carroll County trail the Silver Bullets by 1 game, with Anne Arundel County 2 games behind. The Rhinos trail York by 3 games with 4 contests remaining in the season. 

RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: The Rhinos will be looking to end some streaks of futility on Saturday. Hanover has not scored in the last 150:22 of game action, and will be looking to break its 5-game losing-streak. Hanover has not put together a scoring drive of more than 11 yards since the final minutes of the week 2 game vs. York. In each of the last five games, Hanover’s opponent has returned an interception inside the Hanover 5, including 3 pick-sixes. The Hanover defense has gone two weeks without a sack.
On the positive side, Hanover’s defense has a current shutout streak of 64:37. The unit shut down Anne Arundel’s spread-passing game, allowing just 5 completions to Keith Smothers last Saturday. The most-telling stat was the Colts’ play selection. After attempting 10 passes and 12 runs in the first half, the Colts abandoned their unsuccessful passing game, attempting just 4 passes on 19 second half snaps.

SCOUTING THE SILVER BULLETS: York comes home for the first time after a three-game road trip. It was the Bob Moore show last week at Carroll County, as the former Rhinos quarterback threw for a career-high 411 yards and all 7 York touchdowns. He showed his versatility by kicking an extra point as well, and York shot down the Cannons 51-14.
“Honestly I’m used to it with the right pieces,” Moore said “Love to win in the style of game we had last week. We went out with good team motivation after we had taken two hard loses that we cant get back.”
York has outscored its last two opponents 95-14. The hot-streak has coincided with Moore replacing Chase Scharf at quarterback.
“We interchange quarterbacks to make them aware that they must perform,” said York player/coach Shawn Brady. “The quarterback competition breeds performances like Bob has had the last two weeks. Chase had the hot hand in preseason and the first two weeks, now Bob has it.”

Wordy Wednesdays

A Word With: Michael Lowerylowlow

Our host George Marinos recently sat down with Hanover Rhinos’ newcomer Michael Lowery to discuss football and lunch-time shenanigans.

GM: I’m here with Hanover Rhinos offensive/defensive lineman Michael Lowery. Which is more satisfying, playing on the o-line, or the d-line, and why?

ML: Honestly it’s fun to play both, because there is nothing more satisfying then being able to take an opposing player and do at will what you want them.

GM: And that’s what the line at its best does- assert its will. You can’t win without good line play. Why do you think those guys don’t get as much attention as other positions?

ML: Because with out the offensive line, the quarterback wouldn’t be able to stand and be able to throw to his targets, and the running back wouldn’t be able to run for touchdowns, and without the defensive line, the linebackers wouldn’t be able to flow to the ball and make the tackles, so I guess you can say we are the unsung heroes, but it’s all good. As long as we win, I won’t complain.

GM: You played for the Carroll County Cannons before coming to the Rhinos. How long did you play for them?

ML: I played two years with the Carroll County Cannons.

GM: How has life as a Rhino been different from your time in Carroll County?

ML: Well, for one, I enjoyed playing for the Cannons, but I guess you can say the difference between the Rhinos and Cannons is that, when I was with the Cannons, there were a lot of favorites, and a lot of people rode the bench, but with the Rhinos, everyone gets a fair shot to play and earn a starting spot, no matter who has been here the longest.

GM: You’ve been a part of both sides of the Carroll County-Hanover rivalry. Tell the readers about what makes this rivalry so special.

ML: Well for one where the Cannons play. Westminster is only 20-25 mins from Hanover, but, in all honesty, I never really looked at it that way. I just look at the opposing team as an opponent, but I guess it’s a rivalry because, in past times, I think the top two teams were the Rhinos and Cannons in their division.

GM: Did you grow up in Carroll County?

ML: No, I actually grew up in Frederick County, and was supposed to go to Linganore High School, but changed schools going into my freshman year.

GM: Linganore has a pretty good football program, were you disappointed at all not to get to participate in that?

ML: At first I was, but at the same time, when I would go to visit my dad, I became friends with the people I ended up going to school with.

GM: Talk about your high school experience. What school was it, and what was it like?

ML: At first it was scary because, for one, I was walking into a new school system, meeting new people, plus, I was going into a different football program. So, right off the bat, I was at a disadvantage, because most of the other kids had years to play in the South Carroll system, from little league. But, it didn’t take much for me to show the coaches what I could do. It was actually the first time I got to play offensive and defensive line, because when i played rec football, I was a running back/fullback and linebacker. So the position change was very difficult at first, and it wasn’t until my junior year where I really learned how to play offensive and defensive line.

GM: Tell our readers what some of the main keys are to playing on the line.

ML: Well, it all starts with technique, and having good footwork and quick hands and good hand placement. That’s where I learned all that, my junior year, and I guess you can say that’s how I’ve lasted and been able to keep up with the bigger guys, because where I lack in size, I make up for in good footwork, hand placement, quick hands and using my brain, and not relying on brute strength like 90% of the other lineman in the league.

GM: What was the strangest lunch menu item in your high school, and were you afraid to eat this item?

ML: I don’t know about strangest, but the nastiest was the pizza they served on Fridays, tasted like puke, so I always got potato soup and chicken patties.

GM: Was it Nardone Bros pizza?

ML: I don’t remember exactly, but it came in a square.

GM: That sounds like our Friday pizzas at Gettysburg. Were you ever present for a radical food fight?

ML: We never had food fights at South Carroll, but I am guilty of blowing up a sandwich bag with my buddies, and sticking pretzels and other hard stuff in the corner, and smacking the bag causing, the item to shoot across the cafeteria, hitting whatever.

GM: How did you guys avoid falling on the floor laughing during this?

ML: We were too busy keeping a straight face when the Principal kept walking around, looking for who did that.

GM: Did you get caught?

ML: No sir, never.

GM: Finish this sentence: You know a person is from South Carroll High School when ________.

ML: They are proud to be a Cavalier.

GM: What do you like to do when you are not playing football?

ML: Watch football and play Madden.

GM: What team do you roll with on Madden?

ML: The Ravens, of course.

GM: Do you have a favorite Ravens player?

ML: My favorite Raven of all-time is Ray Lewis, but my current Raven would have to be Marshal Yanda.

GM: Do you wish you could play as Yanda on the game? They don’t really allow you to take control of the offensive linemen.

ML: Yeah, I do, but I don’t mind running the football behind him, or rolling out on a pass to his side.

GM: Has the computer version of him ever let you down and given up a big sack?

ML: Not really, it’s usually a sack from the outside.

GM:  Do you play mostly online, or against the computer?

ML: Mostly online, and I’ve gotten better with each game I’ve played.

GM: If you’re getting beat down by a really good player, or are really thrashing somebody, does the game usually get completed?

ML: I never trash talk, to be honest, because it is just a game. I let my play do the talking on a video game, and in real life when I’m playing for the Rhinos.

GM: But do you always try to play the whole game online, even if you are losing by, say, 30 points?

ML: Definitely. I never give up, that’s my attitude with everything.

GM: How do you feel about the Pittsburgh Steelers?

ML: I honestly don’t mind them, I obviously will root against them because I’m a Ravens fan, but I can’t stand the Steeler fans who dwell on stuff in the past.

GM: Why are there so many Steelers fans in Hanover? Don’t the people realize that they are closer to Baltimore?

ML: I think it has to do with the fact that Hanover is in Pennsylvania.

GM: A lot of people complain about Pennsylvania roads. There’s an old wives’ tale out there that you can feel when you’ve crossed the state line into PA, because the roads are instantly bumpier. Have you ever experienced this?

ML: The only thing I will say is that, when you get into downtown Hanover, the road signs are confusing some.

GM: (chuckles), What makes them confusing?

ML: I guess you can say they are confusing because, a lot of people can’t drive, and when you’re new to an area, you drive slowly and look lost out of your mind.

GM: I agree. It’s similar to my experience driving in Philly. I’ll leave you with one last question. Donald Trump’s hair is _______ and reminds me of _________.

ML: The thing I like about Donald Trump is his attitude to want to actually get stuff done. But overall, I just want whoever becomes president to do a good job, but in today’s society, there will always be someone who doesn’t like what he does. Overall, you can’t make everyone happy.

GM: So, what does his hair remind you of?

ML: Reminds me of Biff from Back to the Future when he is an old man.

GM: Thanks for your time, man.

ML: Not a problem, appreciate it.

Remember, you can catch a new Q&A session with a Hanover Rhinos player on Wordy Wednesdays, every Wednesday, exclusively on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos.

Wordy Wednesdays

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Michael Lowery discusses his new-found life as a Hanover Rhinos player in this weeks’ edition of Wordy Wednesdays. https://hanoverrhinosblog.wordpress.com/wordy-wednesdays/

Throwback Tuesdays

A Learning Experience

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Hanover Rhinos linebacker Josh Dolheimer (34) separates a Harrisburg Sharks receiver from the ball during an AFA playoff game on June 6, 2015. Photo Credit- Ursula H. Yost.

This is an article I wrote for the Hanover Evening Sun last June 6th, following the Hanover Rhinos’ first-round playoff game at Harrisburg:

“Last weekend, the Harrisburg Sharks helped the Hanover Rhinos into the playoffs by collecting a forfeit win over the Carroll County Cannons. 

This week, the Sharks were not in a giving mood, ending the Rhinos season by beating them 51-7 in the AFA Northern Conference semifinals.
A disastrous 13-play stretch just before halftime proved to be the undoing for the Rhinos.
Harrisburg put up 27 points, aided by two turnovers, to blow open what had been a close game.
“This season definitely had its ups and downs,” Hanover head coach and owner Adam Bostian said. “At the end of the day, we still made the playoffs. If you made the playoffs, it’s a successful season.
Bostian has expressed his intentions to move back to being solely the owner next season, and the team had several candidates for the head coaching position lined up.
However, on Saturday, Bostian delivered one last moment of play-calling magic in the second quarter.
Trailing 14-0 after a blocked punt turned into a Harrisburg touchdown early in the second, the Rhinos offense was thrown right back into the fray.
A less than smooth handoff between quarterback Chase Scharf and fullback Jeremy Knaub caused the first play to go for a loss.
Then, Cory Brown threw Juwan Fitchett for a two-yard loss on Scharf’s first completion of the game to make it 3rd-and-13.
What Bostian drew up next was golden.
“We basically went to a formation where we put a guy in motion because we knew the defense would slide over and leave Jay Collins 1-on-1,” Bostian said. “from there, it was just about our best receiver running and catching the ball.”
“I executed a flat slant, and I saw the defender bite,” Collins said, ” So I just bounced it outside, and got open.”
Despite Collins’ work, Scharf still had three defenders in his face immediately after the snap.
As they chased him like dogs after a T-bone steak, Scharf did the only thing he could do-evacuate the pocket as fast as he could.
Back pedaling, he lofted an accurate ball off he back foot.
“All game, I had guys in my face,” Scharf said. “That play, I just had to trust Jay. I threw it into the area I knew he would be.”
Collins had already beaten his man, and just waited for the ball to come down at the 35.
Scharf never saw the catch or the touchdown.
Reminiscent of Keanu Reeves in the Replacements, he was knocked flat on his back as soon as he released the pass.
“That was a hero play,” Bostain said with a smile.
Collins caught the ball and outran the defender, diving in to the end zone just ahead of him for a score that breathed life into the Rhinos’ effort to win.
“I really only knew he scored when the crowd went crazy,” Scharf said. “That was a big-time play. that put us right back in the ball game.”
“If it wasn’t for my quarterback, that wouldn’t have happened,” Collins said.
Harrisburg answered immediately.
Dominating on the ground, the Sharks broke off runs of 8, 21, and 20, along with a 15-yard penalty on the Rhinos to move to the Hanover 16 in just 3 plays.
Scott Moore took the ball the rest of the way on a reverse, scoring the touchdown behind a block from Steve Stiles.
“We are a smash mouth team,” said Harrisburg head coach Corey Jett. “Other teams are finesse, and they don’t like blocks coming at them play after play.”
This result was much different than Harrisburg’s 12-0 win over the Rhinos in the regular season.
“When it’s warm and we’re on turf, it’s going to be (expletive) near impossible to stop us,” Jett said.”