5/13/17: Darkside vs. The Easter Goose-Egg
The Hanover Rhinos will be celebrating Military and Public Safety Appreciation Day and Mother’s Day this Saturday at Manheim Adventure Park, but the fun doesn’t stop there.
Snacktown’s warriors host the Maryland Outlaws in an important game in the chase for an AFA wildcard playoff spot.
On the roster for the Outlaws, who play in the ECFA, are plenty of players who had a big role in the Germantown Gladiators’ 32-0 beatdown of Hanover on Easter Eve 2016.
Revenge is as good a motivator as any for the Rhinos, who enter the third-to-last game of the regular season game sitting 5th in the AFA Northern Conference, just outside of playoff position.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday, 1:00 PM, at Manheim Adventure Park, 4565 Camp Woods Rd, Glenville, PA 17329.
WEATHER FORECAST AT KICKOFF: 51 degrees and rainy. Precipitation: 81%. Humidity: 93%. Wind: 11 MPH South Southwest.
PLAYOFF SCENARIO: The Rhinos can clinch a playoff spot with wins in their next two games, coupled with losses by the Franklin County Tigers in their next two games. If the Rhinos lose to the Outlaws, they cannot clinch a playoff berth until the last game of the season, which is vs. Franklin County.
The Rhinos would be eliminated from playoff contention with two losses and two wins by Franklin County. The Tigers host the York Silver Bullets this Saturday at 2:00.
Wins by the Harrisburg Sharks and York Silver Bullets would mean the Rhinos cannot achieve higher than the 4th playoff seed.
POPULATION: Frederick: 68,400. Hanover: 15,365.
SERIES HISTORY: These two teams have never met, but many of the Outlaws’ players have played at Manheim Adventure Park before.
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: Hanover controls its own destiny, and a win over the Outlaws will ensure it stays that way. In order to defeat the Outlaws, the Rhinos will have to correct a team record-tying 6 turnovers from the game last weekend at the Maryland Phantoms.
Freshly-married Noah Sneeringer will return to the sidelines on Saturday, and with a win, would snap a tie with Adam Bostian for second in head coaching wins in Rhinos’ history, with 5.
With 10 solo tackles against the Phantoms, Richard Settle moved past Lloyd Welford for the all-time team lead in the category. He is two solo tackles ahead of Welford. Welford retains the all-time total tackles lead, with 112, two ahead of Settle.
Dustyn Lauver recorded his first quarterback hurry of the season last week, and now sits one back of tying Adriel Garibay and Lloyd Williams for the Rhinos’ career mark in the category. Meanwhile, Brandon Nicastro piled up 3 hurries in his aid of Zach Deneen’s historic night, leaving Darth Vader just 2 hurries shy of Garibay and Williams’ record, which is also the single-season record.
Nicastro was also the first full-time defensive end to score a touchdown for the Rhinos since Kody Taylor did it vs. Franklin County on 4/25/15. Nicastro’s 5-yard touchdown catch was the first reception of his AFA career.
DeAnte Weldon earned 60 all-purpose yards on Saturday, moving him to within 14 of passing Zac Carrick for second. Weldon has 857 all-purpose yards for his career. He did not have any rushing attempts vs. the Phantoms, so he still stands 15 yards behind Carrick for the Hanover all-time rushing record.
Phoenix Russell totalled 37 all-purpose yards last weekend, moving him to 19th on the Rhinos’ career list with 152 ap yards.
SCOUTING THE OUTLAWS: When the Germantown Gladiators folded this February, many of their players migrated to Frederick to play for the Outlaws.
On the Outlaws roster are quarterback Andre Brown, receivers Gabe Wayne and Richard Foreman, Jr., and tight end Victor Hall. That group accounted for all five Germantown touchdowns on 3/26/16 vs. Hanover. Also playing for the Outlaws are players who accumulated 3 sacks and 3 interceptions collectively in that game.
Many of the former Germantown players were also part of the Gladiators’ 31-6 victory over the Rhinos in Santa Bowl IV on 12/5/15.
Another familiar face joined the Outlaws early in this season. After two games with the Franklin County Tigers this spring, Doug Kilpatrick left his long-time team and took his talents to Frederick. In two games with the Tigers, Kilpatrick piled up 17 tackles, 4 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Last season, Kilpatrick finished 2nd in the AFA in tackles to Hanover’s Jeremy Renoll, with 98.
The 3-time ECFA Bowl Champions (’08, ’09, ’10), the Outlaws enter their final game of the season with a 4-4 record. The highlight of their season was a 16-14 win over the same Washington Bulldawgs squad that beat the Maryland Phantoms.