Outlaws 47, Rhinos 0Recap Boxscore
GLENVILLE, Pa.- It was a different year, and technically a different opponent, but the same result for the Hanover Rhinos.
The Maryland Outlaws, a team primarily comprised of players from a Germantown Gladiators team that beat the Rhinos 32-0 last year, came to Manheim Adventure Park and defeated the Hanover Rhinos 47-0 on Saturday afternoon.
Despite having their earliest possible playoff-berth clinching date pushed back, Rhinos (3-5) still are in complete control of their own destiny, as they play the two teams they are competing with for a playoff spot the next two weeks.
There is no scenario where the Rhinos can clinch before the season finale with Franklin County, but the Rhinos are happy to be in the hunt.
That still doesn’t erase the immediate sting of getting 47 points hung on themselves at home.
Included in the offensive outburst was a 27-point second quarter, the most points the Rhinos have given up in one quarter since 5/21/16, when Harrisburg scored 28 in the first.Making heroic efforts on defense were safety Lloyd Welford, and defensive end Brandon Nicastro.
Welford racked up 8 tackles, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, while Nicastro piled up 10 tackles and 2 tackles for loss.
Even so, the Darkside Defense could never completely gain its footing on the marshy field which was filled with puddles on the dark, dreary rainy day.
The Outlaws received the opening kickoff, with Blair Webb recovering Phoenix Russell’s squibber at the Hanover 48.
Maryland (5-4) cashed in on their great field position, using 9 consecutive rushing plays and finding the end zone on a 1-yard plunge by multi-purpose back Tevin Bright halfway through the opening quarter.
Russell hurdled the line on the extra point attempt and was flipped in the air by a blocker. He landed in front of the holder, scrambled to his feet, and blocked Tim Miller’s kick to keep the score at 6-0.
The second defensive possession went much better for Darkside.
On 2nd-and-4, the Outlaws ran a dive play up the gut, but Nicastro and Roland Johnson bashed into the ball carrier from opposing sides, with Johnson knocking the ball loose. Dustyn Lauver emerged from the dog pile with the recovery.
Jordan Gardner completed his longest pass of the day on the next drive, a 10-yarder to Dominic Cotterino, however, it came on 3rd & 15 thanks to a penalty and a botched running play.
A tug-of-war between Darkside and the Outlaws’ offense commenced as the first quarter drew to a close.
Quarterback Delonte Carroll squeezed out a first down when he scrambled for 3 yards on 4th & 2, and then, a play later, the Outlaws threw a haymaker.
Carroll took the snap and handed the ball to Richard Foreman on a designed run to the left.
Foreman, a receiver/running back hybrid who was an AFA all-star in 2016, met resistance after a short gain, and was all but stopped on the play. However, with a sudden burst, a defender who had a hold of Foreman fell to the ground, and Foreman bolted down the visiting sideline.
Several Rhinos tried to angle him out of bounds, but Foreman kicked his engine into high gear and found the end zone for a 59-yard touchdown.
Aside from that one burst, Darkside held the Outlaws to 77 yards on 30 rushing attempts (2.6 YPC).
Jordan Gardner tossed a deep ball up for grabs over the middle while looking for Hannibal Flores, who had beaten his man, and Demetrius Carroll slid over from his safety position to pick off the pass and end the following Hanover drive.
Darkside pushed back, with Nicastro displaying his speed on 2nd & 14 to chase down and corral Delonte Carroll for a 5-yard loss on a speed option run to the left.
Carroll Brashears’ 43-yard punt pinned Hanover back at its own 15, and then, disaster struck for the Rhinos.
After a nifty 5-yard run by Robert Hollis to start the possession, head coach Noah Sneeringer called Hollis’ number again on the next play, this time, a pitch sweep to the left.
However, Gardner’s pitch sailed high over Hollis’ head, and by the time the diminutive running back scrambled back to cover the ball, it was in the end zone with Victor Hall laying on top of it for another Outlaws touchdown.
An illegal formation penalty on Maryland wiped out Tim Miller’s initial successful extra point kick, and he pushed the re-kick wide right from 5 yards further out, leaving the score at 19-0.
Hall dragged Gardner down for the Outlaws’ only sack of the day on the ensuing Rhinos’ possession, and Hanover went 3-and-out.
With the ball back once again, the Outlaws unleashed a new tactic- the forward pass.
Delonte Carroll completed short passes to Jonathan Mensah and Kevin Campbell to start things, and the receivers ran for 17 and 18 yards, respectively, setting up 1st & goal from the Hanover 5.
After a strong tackle by Drequan Morris and a touchdown saver on the perimeter by Adam Day, the Outlaws gave the ball to Kenneth Carroll, who burrowed up the middle for the 1-yard touchdown.
Miller’s kick was wide right, but called good by the back judge and linesman, making the score 26-0.
A quick stop by the Outlaws defense got them the ball back at the Hanover 41 with a minute to go in the half.
Bright burst up the middle for a 21-yard run on first down, and then, with the next snap imminent, the Rhinos had to call timeout due to not having enough defenders on the field.
The 11-man defensive unit stopped Kenneth Carroll on 1st down, but the Outlaws hurried to the line and Bright fired a deep pass to Lawrence Miller inside the Hanover 5. Miller fought off corner Jordan Snyder and caught the ball. Snyder tried in vain to tackle Miller, and had he succeeded, the clock would have run out because the Outlaws had no timeouts remaining.
Instead, all Snyder succeeded in doing was hopping on Miller’s back and getting carried piggyback style into the end zone with 9 seconds remaining.
The Outlaws led 33-0 at the break.
The Rhinos’ offense went 3-and-out after taking the opening kickoff of the second half, but they didn’t stay on the sideline for long.
On the first defensive play of the half, Welford hit running back Diante Peddie and pulled the ball out, and then crawled on top of it for his first career AFA fumble recovery.
A powerful 9-yard run by fullback Michael Lowery highlighted the next drive for the Rhinos. The former Maryland Outlaw took the ball and rumbled up the middle before clattering through a gang-tackle attempt and driving forward for a few extra yards. However, Hollis and Morris went backwards on back-to-back rushing plays to turn the ball over on downs.
Stefaun Rascoe bowled over Bright for the Rhinos’ only sack of the day, throwing the following Outlaws’ drive in reverse. Rascoe moved into second on the team in sacks, as he now has 3.5 on the season.
Delonte Carroll ran for one touchdown and threw for another in the final minutes to account for the final margin.
The game was called with six minutes left on the fourth quarter clock due to unnecessary roughness.