Settle-ing for a Record
GLENVILLE, Pa.- The Hanover Rhinos lost 38-0 to the Carroll County Cannons in Noah Sneeringer’s debut as head coach, and the club-record shutout streak grew, but Rhinos’ linebacker Richard Settle had a day that will not soon be forgotten.
The Northern York graduate was a human ball-magnet on Saturday, recovering a Rhinos-record 4 fumbles. He also made 12 tackles, forced a fumble, and hurried the opposing quarterback twice.
Settle’s single-game recovery-binge accounted for one more defensive recovery than the entire Hanover team had total in the season’s first seven games. Pending the results of all the other AFA games this weekend, Settle has tied York’s Ryan Poff for the league lead in jumping on loose pigskins.
The middle linebacker was all over the field on the game’s third play.
First, he raced into quarterback Josh Yacovissi’s peripheral vision, flushing him up the middle. Yacovissi scrambled near the first down, when Dustyn Lauver jumped on his back and punched the ball out.
Settle raced 15 yards down the field and flung himself on the ball at the Hanover 30.
The offense took the field, led by quarterback Alex Isennock for the second straight week, but the wheels churned backwards, as the Rhinos (1-7) lost 21 yards on the first six plays, and punted twice.
The Rhinos’ second offensive play perfectly summed up the first two drives. Jeremy Knaub took the handoff, and pitched to Jack Isennock on the receiver reverse. Jack Isennock fumbled, and then, as the pressure closed in, he tried to throw a pass, but was swallowed up by Ron Jamerson.
Carroll County (5-3) scored on the second play of its second drive. Yacovissi fired a pass to Nate Huff at the Hanover 7. Huff squeezed into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown, just before safety Lloyd Welford could apply a hit.
A newly-appointed member of the team captains, defensive tackle Dustyn Lauver, wreaked havoc on the Cannons’ passing game. He tallied 5 quarterback hurries on the day, but his biggest contribution occurred when he hit Yacovissi’s arm on the second play of the third Carroll County drive. Yacovissi’s pass travelled 25 yards in the air, and was intercepted by Lloyd Welford at the Hanover 7.
Welford broke his tie with Jack Isennock for the team lead in picks, and now has three on the season.
Hanover broke off two big runs on broken plays on the ensuing possession.
Bernard Jackson and Alex Isennock put the first down handoff on the ground, but Jackson picked up the ball, and gouged his way for 20 yards, before slipping in a puddle between the hash marks.
The run is Jackson’s longest of the season, and it’s the longest Rhinos’ run since DeAnte Weldon’s 24-yarder in the fourth quarter of week 1 against Franklin County.
Jeremy Knaub followed with a 15-yard run after Alex Isennock’s pitch to another player hit the sod.
Greg Ginter and Jeremy Renoll combined for the first Rhinos’ sack since week 4 on the second play of the second quarter. Ginter chased Yacovissi out of the pocket to the left, and Renoll grabbed the quarterback’s ankles. Ginter smashed into Yacovissi from behind to finish off the play.
Renoll tallied 13 tackles, which gives him 84 on the season, to tie Franklin County’s Doug Kilpatrick for the league lead. Kilpatrick didn’t add to his total this week, as Franklin County accepted a forfeit win over Metro Phoenix.
Andrew Geddie subbed in at quarterback, and threw a 10-yard touchdown to Yacovissi on a lob to the back corner of the end zone, making the score 12-0.
Timothy Harrison fumbled on the Cannons’ next drive, and Settle wrapped his body around the loose ball for his second recovery, this one at the Hanover 38.
Harrison, who entered the game third in the league among qualified players in yards per carry, with 9.4, was held to negative rushing yards, and lost three fumbles.
Alex Isennock fired an 8-yard pass to Weldon, and a 24-yard pop-pass to Jordan Gardner on the next series, giving him 5 completions in a row.
The drive ended with around a minute left in the half, when Troy Boyd jumped DeAnte Weldon’s slant route, and intercepted Alex Isennock’s pass at the Cannons’ 28. He returned it to the Hanover 40.
After a 36-yard pass from Yacovissi to Desmond Powell put the ball at the Hanover 4, Settle came up with another moment of magic.
On second down, Yacovissi’s pass to Devin Stiles at the goal line was knocked up in the air by Dorell Blue. Settle spread-eagled under the ball and fell softly to the grass in the end zone for an interception.
Hanover’s elation was replaced with agony when Isaac Tynes was called for defensive pass-interference, negating the interception.
Yacovissi plunged up the middle for a touchdown on the next play.
Heavily pressured with 8 seconds left on the clock, Alex Isennock threw desperately off his back foot, and Lamont Long intercepted the pass, running straight ahead down the visitors’ sideline for a 45-yard touchdown as time expired in the first half.
Carroll County led 24-0 at halftime.
Alex Isennock threw his third interception on the first possession of the third, but a sack by Dallas Carter, and deflections by Isaac Tynes and Charles Smith forced the Cannons to punt.
Weldon burst for 30 yards on a screen pass, then, a few plays later, raced off left-tackle for 17 more yards to the Carroll County 25.
However, the Rhinos were pushed to 4th-and-7.
Jeremy Knaub fired a halfback option pass to Gardner, who was open in a soft spot of the defense. Gardner dropped to his hip to catch the ball, but his back hit the ground and forced the ball into his knee. The ball flew out for an incompletion.
On the ensuing drive, Harrison bumbled and stumbled in the backfield before Renoll swatted the ball loose once-and-for-all. Settle dove and smothered the ball for the hat-trick.
Darrius Douglas made a diving interception at the Cannons’ 7 to thwart the Rhinos again on the next drive.
Douglas made his second pick of Alex Isennock on the first play of the fourth quarter. Douglas is second in the league with 8 interceptions, 1 behind teammate DJ Gregory, who also had a pick Saturday.
Powell scored a 35-yard touchdown when Yacovissi threw back across the field after being chased by Eric Rowe. Lamont Long ran in the two-point conversion to make it 32-0.
The tough day for Harrison continued on the Cannons’ next drive. Blue and Renoll stacked him up behind the line, and Settle lowered his arm like a jackhammer, knocking the ball loose. Settle emerged from the rugby scrum with the pigskin.
Yacovissi hooked up with Geddie three times on a 75-yard drive that capped the scoring with 1:50 left.
Hanover has been shutout in 4 straight games, and 5-of-6. The Rhinos were only shut out 3 times total in the club’s first 4 years.
The Rhinos’ scoreless streak spans 270:22 of game action.
Noah Sneeringer becomes the third Hanover Rhinos head coach to lose his opener. Ron Sultzbach and Adam Bostian are the other two.