Darkside vs. A Playoff Contender
The name of the city isn’t the only thing that’s changed since the last meeting between these two rivals.
It’s a slight tweak in the narrative script from 5/7/16.
Last year, the Rhinos looked to play spoiler for the Carroll County Cannons’ playoff hopes in week 9. This year, the Rhinos are fighting for a playoff spot of their own, and hold the Cannons’ playoff lives in their hands.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at 2:00 PM, at Eyler Road Park, 15 Eyler Rd, Thurmont, MD 21788.
WEATHER FORECAST AT KICKOFF: 70 degrees and mostly sunny. Humidity: 45%, precipitation: 0%. Wind: 4 MPH.
WATCH LIVE: Rhino Charge TV on the George Marinos Facebook Channel, coverage starts at 1:55 PM.
SERIES HISTORY: Cannons lead 4-3. The Rhinos have been outscored 142-115.
LAST MEETING: Richard Settle set a unique Rhinos’ record by recovering 4 Cannons’ fumbles on 5/7/16. Unfortunately, that only slowed the roll of the Carroll County offense, as they easily won 38-0, completing their first season sweep of the Rhinos since 2012. Josh Yacovissi did it all, throwing for three touchdowns, catching one, and rushing for another. Lamont Long recorded a 45-yard pick-six on the last play of the half, capping a 20-second stretch where the Cannons scored twice to take the game from 12-0 to 24-0.
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: It’s simple for Carroll County- lose and you’re out. The Rhinos will be motivated to win and pick off one of the teams competing with them for the final playoff spot. Hanover cannot clinch or be eliminated this week.
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: The Rhinos will be eager to forget giving up a home record 47 points and 7 touchdowns last Saturday against the Maryland Outlaws.
A rivalry game is just what the doctor ordered, and that’s exactly what’s on tap for Hanover. The Rhinos and Cannons will meet for the 8th time, breaking a tie with the Phantoms for the most regular season meetings with a team in Rhinos’ history.
Noah Sneeringer will take his second shot at breaking the tie with Adam Bostian for second-most head coaching wins in Rhinos’ history; the two are tied with 4.
With two quarterback hurries in the 4th quarter vs. the Outlaws, DT Dustyn Lauver moved past Lloyd Williams and Adriel Garibay for most hurries in Hanover history with 12. Fellow defensive lineman Brandon Nicastro recorded 2 tackles for loss, giving him 12.5 TFLs for the season. He needs 1 TFL to break Kody Taylor’s Rhinos’ single-season record from 2015.
Bernard Jackson racked up 42 all-purpose yards on Saturday, moving him within 49 yards of Jeremy Knaub for 7th in team history. Phoenix Russell’s 15 ap yards moved him past Jordan Banks and Shawn Brady for 17th with 167.
SCOUTING THE CANNONS: Maryland has scored the 4th-fewest points in the AFA, and 2nd-fewest in the Northern Conference, with 89. Twenty-six of those points came in the second half of the season-opening win over Franklin County.
Since winning the 2012 AFA Championship, the Cannons have missed the playoffs 4 straight seasons. In order to keep the streak from reaching 5 years, Yacovissi and the rest of the gang will have to right the ship on offense.
The highlight of the season for Yacovissi, the 2012 AFA MVP, was his 29-yard touchdown snag on kickoff weekend.
During a 5-game losing streak from 3/25-4/29, Maryland’s defense was gashed for an average of 348.5 yards per game. However, the unit features one of the league’s top sackers, defensive tackle Mike Greengold, who ranks 5th in the league with 5.0 sacks.
The Cannons’ defense features a few 2016 all-stars. Tireless worker Conan Hankla is a sideline-to-sideline tackler who nearly took home MVP honors in the 2016 AFA All Star Game. DJ Gregory was an all-star last year after placing 3rd in the league with 8 interceptions.