Rhinos vs. Knights Preview
The Rhinos go from their most intense game of the year last week, to one that has a little more somber tone this week.
Sometimes, moments happen during a season that are bigger than the game itself. As the season goes on, life goes on as well. However, life can be snuffed out at any moment, and the passing of Susquehanna Valley Knights’ lineman Carlos Anderson serves as reminder of that fact.
This weekend, the Hanover Rhinos will be the first to play against the Knights since the passing of Anderson.
The Rhinos organization will be doing their part to honor the memory of the 41-year old father of four on gameday at Manheim Adventure Park. The hill beyond the southeast end zone will be painted with Anderson’s purple number 77, and players on both teams will wear stickers featuring the number on their helmets.
Brady Jenney, the owner of the Knights, has started a gofundme page to raise funds for the family and the memorial service. The page can be accessed here.
On a lighter note, Saturday is team picture day for the Hanover Rhinos. All members of the active roster and the support staff will be immortalized in a full-color team photo. Players and staff are required to be at the field at 1:15 so the group shot can be organized in a timely fashion.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, 2:00 PM, at Manheim Adventure Park, 4565 Camp Woods Rd, Glenville, PA 17329.
WEATHER FORECAST AT KICKOFF: 81 degrees and mostly cloudy. Precipitation: 12%. Humidity: 65%. Wind: 8 MPH East Northeast.
POPULATION: Williamsport: 29,197. Hanover: 15,365.
SERIES HISTORY: Hanover leads 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Five weeks ago at Loyalsock High School in Williamsport, the Rhinos led by a peculiar 4-0 score through three quarters on the strength of two safeties. Roland Johnson blocked a punt for the first safety, and 5th-year Hanover veteran Dorell Blue scored the other one late in the third.
Hanover proceeded to erupt for the highest-scoring quarter in club history, putting up 28 points in the final 15 minutes.
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: With Franklin County’s win over the PA Pharaohs last weekend, the Rhinos slipped out of playoff position. Hanover sits 5th in the AFA Northern Conference, behind Franklin County on the strength of victory tiebreaker.
In order to get back in the top four, the Rhinos must channel a similar performance to the one they had in Williamsport last month, when they broke or tied 13 team and individual records.
Another individual record fell at the hands of Rhinos’ safety Lloyd Welford last weekend vs. York.
Welford recorded 4 tackles, breaking the Rhinos’ career tackles record that belonged to Jeremy Renoll.
A multi-dimensional threat, Welford also snagged an interception for the 4th straight game, a personal record.
By gaining 11 yards last weekend, Bernard Jackson tied former Rhino Matt Vann for 10th on the career all-purpose yards list, with 300 yards. Meanwhile, Chase Scharf’s 28-yard reception moved him past current teammate Dominic Cotterino for 14th in career all-purpose yards.
Richard Settle tied Dorell Blue for the most career fumble recoveries as a Rhino on Saturday. He recovered his 5th career fumble late in the second quarter following a strip-sack by Jeremy Loughlin. Settle’s 25-yard fumble return was the longest of his career, and he has now gained yardage 3 different ways, including rushing and receiving.
SCOUTING THE KNIGHTS: After being shutout in their first 18 quarters as an AFA team (a scoreless drought of roughly 275:00), the Knights broke the seal in the third quarter against the Harrisburg Sharks last week. A punt by the Knights was muffed by Harrisburg, and then, all hell broke loose.
The ball fell to the ground at the 20 and got kicked toward the end zone. One of the Harrisburg players dove on the ball at the 8 and looked like he had a great shot to recover the ball. Suddenly, the ball was out again, and it rolled into the endzone, where a 5-player pileup resulted in a Knights’ recovery, and their first 6 points.
Quarterback Christian Diggs was sacked 9 times in the previous meeting with Hanover. The Knights’ hope for a victory Saturday will start with keeping their quarterback upright.