The Mud-Pie in Carroll County
The Hanover Rhinos entered week 2 of the 2014 season looking to overcome a tough loss to the Maryland Phantoms in the opening game.
On the docket was a new team, the Carroll County Cannons.
The Rhinos traveled to Carroll County Sports Complex to be greeted by a mud-covered field.
Adding to the challenge, the Rhinos were without starting quarterback David Sager (South Western ’09).
With Bob Moore filling in at quarterback, the offense back-fired on the first drive.
Carroll County took the ball, and Adriel Garibay (New Oxford ’05) pushed them back early in the drive with a sack.
However, the Cannons began to move the ball, ripping off a couple of 10-yard chunks.
The Cannons moved inside the Rhinos’ 10, but Hanover stiffened, and pushed Carroll County to a fourth-and-long situation.
Jeremy Renoll burst through the line on the left side and sacked the quarterback, forcing a fumble that Andrew Keefer recovered, ending the Cannons’ drive.
“We had them deep in their territory all game, other then the first drive, and when we switched defenses, they never moved the ball after that,” then-Rhinos head coach Jimmy Moffitt said.
The offense took over at their own 16, and Moore began to sling the bean.
On the final play of the first quarter, Allen Neiderer beat his defender over the middle, and Moore found him for a long touchdown.
The defensive line pressured Carroll County’s passing game on the next series, and the Rhinos got the ball back still up 7-0.
Jason Gigous toted the rock on offense and battered carry after carry into the Carroll County line, pushing the ball deeper and deeper into Cannons’ territory.
On a first down, Moore dropped back to pass, and Zac Carrick ran an out route short to the left.
Moore was flushed to the right by the Cannons’ front line, but he peeled back to the left to shake one defender. He raced to the right, juking out another defender, and tossed to ball to Carrick, who was still standing wide open at the end of his out route.
Carrick caught the ball and fell backwards into the end zone.
“I stayed put, and (Moore) came back to me up the sideline, and I was so open, I did the Desean Jackson turn-around and fell backwards into the end zone,” Carrick said. “Moore used his scrambling abilities to really get us anything positive going.”
The defense continued to roll, allowing Moore and the offense to open up a three-score lead early in the third quarter.
The Rhinos’ back-up quarterback dropped back and pitched another deep-ball to Neiderer, this one down the right sideline.
Neiderer, who was wide-open again, used his arms like a slinky to reach out and reel the pass in, before taking it in for the third Hanover touchdown.
Moore raced across the goal line for the final score midway through the fourth.
Hanover was on its way in for another score on the last drive, but the Rhinos let the clock run out.
“The last two drives of the game, I was tearing (Carroll County’s) defense up,” said current Rhinos’ running back Jeremy Knaub. “I didn’t play the entire game, then, the last two drives, I was ripping off one good one after another. Before I was about to score my first semi-pro touchdown, time expired.”
“It was in the first Cannons game that we noticed (Knaub’s) cutting ability and quickness,” Moffitt said. “It was the first time we got a real look at Jeremy. He had a great day.”