5/26: Rhinos vs. Silver Bullets Preview
Nothing has changed, but everything has changed.
Last week, when the Hanover Rhinos and York Silver Bullets were scheduled to meet in the first game of their late season home-and-home series, the focus was on the Hanover Rhinos playoff hopes.
Flooding at York’s Tri-Town Boys’ Club washed out the game, and the Rhinos were eliminated later that night when the Franklin County Tigers picked up a forfeit win over the Lancaster Outlaws.
The focus is on York’s playoff hopes this week, as the Rhinos and Silver Bullets take their third crack at getting in the first 2018 insallment of “The Big One”.
There is also a possibility that this will be the Hanover Rhinos’ last game of the 2018 season.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, noon, at Manheim Adventure Park, 4565 Camp Woods Rd, Glenville, PA, 17329.
ACCUWEATHER FORECAST AT KICKOFF: 80 degrees and mostly cloudy. Precipitation: 3% (47% by 3 PM). Humidity: 59%. Wind: 6 MPH southwest.
POPULATION: York: 43,859. Hanover: 15,561.
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: With the Franklin County Tigers (6-3) already accepting another forfeit win over the Lancaster Outlaws ahead of this Saturday, the York Silver Bullets (3-4) must win this week to keep their playoff hopes alive. Then, they have to beat the Tigers next week on the road, and then hope the league allows the other game between York and Hanover to be made up. The league has expressed a desire to cancel that last game in order to start the playoffs on time, but the Silver Bullets’ playoff lives may depend on that contest.
SERIES HISTORY: York leads 4-1, and is on a three-game win streak in the series. The Silver Bullets have outscored the Rhinos 131-25.
LAST MEETING: Doobie Dorm’s third quarter pick-six and two York safties led the Silver Bullets to a 23-0 win at Manheim Adventure Park on 4/22/17. Both defenses pitched a shutout until the final 7 minutes of the game, when York added two offensive touchdowns to make the final score look a little bit more lopsided. The highlight of the game was Jeremy Loughlin’s strip-sack of York quarterback Bob Moore in Loughlin’s first defensive series since he was a high schooler at South Western.
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: It’s like the Flint Michigan MegaBowl from the movie Semi Pro for the Hanover Rhinos. Nothing is on the line for Snacktown’s warriors but pride. However, this, like every Hanover-York game, will be one they’ll be talking about for years in the annals of York County history.
Quarterback Corbin Bailey emerged with his best game of the season on 5/12 vs. Franklin County, and as a result, he nearly led the Rhinos back from a three-score deficit in the fourth quarter. He’ll look to build on that outing this Saturday.
The offensive line continues to pave the way for a ground game that’s averaging more than 4 yards per carry, Michael Lowery and Brian Eckard have been standouts on this unit. Shawn Simmons is 89 yards away from breaking the Rhinos’ single-season rushing record, which was set in 2015 when Jeremy Knaub ran for 342 yards. Knaub is now a member of the York Silver Bullets.
Melvin Velines grabbed the team lead in receiving yards for the season last game with 3 catches for 39 yards, doubling his yardage output for the year.
On defense, Bear Bernardi continues to roll at the middle linebacker position. He racked up 12 tackles vs. Franklin County, and now as 49 stops on the season, 9 more than second place Dorell Blue.
T.J. McCauley recorded his third sack of the season against the Tigers, moving him past Eckard for the team lead. Eckard tied the all-time team record with his third forced fumble of the season later in the game. Jordan Snyder yanked down his team-high third interception of the season in the fourth quarter.
Phoenix Russell moved into the Rhinos’ top-ten in career all-purpose yardage with 46 ap yards on 5/12. Shawn Simmons tallied 58 ap yards to slide into 14th, and Corbin Bailey’s 42 ap yards placed him in a tie for 20th with Hannibal Flores.
SCOUTING THE SILVER BULLETS: When they last took the field, the Silver Bullets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 20-6 win over the Lancaster Outlaws on the road. Darren Stephens was the star of the day, rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Stephens and J.J. Maldonado traded first quarter touchdowns, and the game was tied 6-6 at half. Stephens broke a 73-yard scoring run early in the third quarter, and then Raymond Henry sealed the deal with a late pick-six of Maldonado.
York will be without the services of lead running back Bernard Jackson, who is serving the last game of a three-game suspension. Quarterback Chase Scharf has also been dealing with an injury. Greg Murray took the majority of the snaps at quarterback at Lancaster.