We get Low for card number 10- Lowery, that is. Here is the card of a very spirited former Carroll County Cannon, who spent 2016 with the Rhinos.
We get Low for card number 10- Lowery, that is. Here is the card of a very spirited former Carroll County Cannon, who spent 2016 with the Rhinos.
The Rhinos overcame a slow start and stormy conditions to rain points on Franklin County in the second half, snapping several streaks in the process. Read the happy recap here: https://hanoverrhinosblog.wordpress.com/game-recaps-2/
GLENVILLE, Pa.- It didn’t matter the opponent. It didn’t matter what the weather was going to be like. One day, the Hanover Rhinos were going to break out of their slump.
The Franklin County Tigers happened to be caught in the crossfire.
As the second half began Saturday at Manheim Adventure Park, the Tigers led 12-0. Then, the skies opened up and unleashed a furious, driving, frigid, wind-blown rain on top of the football field.
Snacktown’s warriors, unbowed, followed by unleashing 8-weeks of fury in a 28-point barrage on the way to a 28-12 victory, their first since week 1.
Down, and staring at rows of dark clouds that were dispatching an army of raindrops which would make catching conditions impossible, even for Odell Beckham, Jr., the Rhinos’ offense became the little engine that could.
Head coach Noah Sneeringer turned to an unlikely source of offense- linebacker Richard Settle, and he delivered the hammer-like blow that shook the Rhinos (2-7) free of their chains.
On the first play of the third quarter, Settle took the ball for his 4th carry of the season. Showing all the poise of an experienced runner, he patiently waited for a hole to open up as he followed his blockers to the left side. He sliced back across the field to the right, and slipped through the arms of a defender, before leaping over a low tackle attempt at the Tigers’ 35. Settle found an extra gear, and burst down the right hash and into the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown, snapping the Rhinos’ scoreless streak at 301:59.
On the conversion attempt, Alex Isennock executed a devious fake to Settle, then bootlegged to the right before hitting wide-open Adrian Acevedo for two points.
As the rain intensified, Franklin County (2-7) showed the intention of playing it safe- lining up tight, and running up the middle to kill the clock.
For one play, it worked, as Joshua Honorat burst for 21 yards and a first down. On the very next play, fullback Robert Atkinson ran left, but Dustyn Lauver brushed the ball with his forearm while fighting off a block, and the pigskin popped loose. Dorell Blue jumped on top of the ball, earning his second fumble recovery of the season for Hanover.
Lauver recorded 7 solo tackles and 3 quarterback hurries, and he now leads the team in forced fumbles on the season, with 2.
Hanover nearly gifted the ball right back, as Isennock fumbled a pitch to DeAnte Weldon. Weldon was knocked to his back in the scramble for the ball, but fought off two Tigers defenders to retain possession.
The play was wiped out by an offside penalty on Franklin County, anyway.
Eventually forced to fourth-and-6, Isennock rolled right and tossed the ball to Weldon along the sideline. Weldon urgently turned downfield and stepped past the first down marker before going out of bounds.
On the very next play, Isennock chugged to the right sideline and heaved an arcing ball deep, toward the goal line. A sea of hands extended for the ball, with Acevedo pinning the ball to his chest and cradling it through a big hit by Jeykell Moore.
The Rhinos’ tight end fell to the ground right inside the end zone entrance, and Hanover led 14-12.
The two-point try failed when Daryl Branche separated Jordan Gardner from Isennock’s pass with a big hit.
Now forced to try and score again, the Franklin County offense took to the air. It picked up one first down, on the final play of the third quarter, but gave the ball back to Hanover after Settle and Blue stuffed Branche on a fake punt on 4th-and-10.
Hanover took to the ground, gouging larger and larger chunks with each play, as the Rhinos looked for their first two-possession lead since the closing moments of week 1.
Weldon ran for 5 and Settle for 4, before Settle twisted across the first down marker on 3rd down. The ball came loose as Settle hit the ground, causing the Tigers’ bench to call for a fumble, however, Settle was ruled down before the potential fumble.
Weldon slashed for 10 more yards and a 1st down, and then, he put his dancing shoes on.
Weldon took the stretch play to the left and was met by Moore. Weldon shimmied and faked out Moore so completely, that Moore stopped trying and tossed his hands in the air. This allowed Weldon to easily get the corner, and he raced the narrow path between the remaining defenders and the sideline, looking for paydirt.
The defenders went low, so Weldon extended the ball and executed a scorpion dive for the 20-yard touchdown.
Hanover led 20-12, and needed the two-point conversion to make it a two-possession game with only 7:28 left.
Gardner cooked his defender and stopped at the back line of the end zone, just waiting for Isennock’s fade pass to come down. When it did, he neatly tucked it away for the 22-12 lead.
On the ensuing Tigers possession, Franklin County faced 3rd-and-14. Lauver broke through the line and hurried backup quarterback Matt Wade into an ill-advised pass into the flat.
Jack Isennock was there waiting, and he caught the ill-fated pass in front of his breadbasket before out-racing Wade 34 yards to the end zone, for the first touchdown of his life.
The latest score gave the Rhinos their highest-scoring half since May 10, 2014, against Carroll County, a span of 20 regular season games, and 1 playoff game.
With 3:58 to go in the contest, the Tigers were reduced to chucking the ball into the face of the 20 MPH wind, while praying for a big play.
With about a minute to go, Rhinos players began grabbing any beverage coolers they could find, and dumped them on Sneeringer, who earned his first win as head coach.
Josh Leininger’s 4th-down heave from the Hanover 44 landed harmlessly over KC Redman’s head, and Alex Isennock and the offense took the field to run a play they have not practiced all year: victory formation.
Alex Isennock took the snap and dropped to a knee, and the 7-game losing streak was over.
The big headline entering the day was the meeting of the two players tied for the AFA’s tackle lead.
Franklin County linebacker Doug Kilpatrick barely broke a sweat, as he unofficially recorded just one tackle, before being ejected early in the second quarter, due to earning two unsportsmanlike conduct personal fouls for arguing with the officials.
Jeremy Renoll took full advantage, as he officially racked up 11 stops, giving him 95 tackles on the season, which leads the league.
Franklin County scored on its opening possession, a 10-play, 60 yard drive. The Rhinos’ defense nearly made a goal line stand after Franklin County earned 1st down at the Rhinos’ 1.
A pair of stops by Lauver pushed the Tigers to third down, but Darren Gardner scored a 1-yard touchdown on a sweep to the right.
Isaac Tynes snagged his first interception of the season when he and KC Redman both went to the ground in the second quarter. Tynes fell on top and pinned the ball against Redman’s shoulder.
Gardner made it 12-0 as he weaved through tacklers for a 25-yard scoring run to the left. Leininger’s two-point pass was juggled by Tyler Shuff, and bounced off Matt Wade’s arms while he was on the ground, before falling incomplete.
Our host George Marinos recently sat down with Hanover Rhinos’ newcomer Michael Lowery to discuss football and lunch-time shenanigans.
GM: I’m here with Hanover Rhinos offensive/defensive lineman Michael Lowery. Which is more satisfying, playing on the o-line, or the d-line, and why?
ML: Honestly it’s fun to play both, because there is nothing more satisfying then being able to take an opposing player and do at will what you want them.
GM: And that’s what the line at its best does- assert its will. You can’t win without good line play. Why do you think those guys don’t get as much attention as other positions?
ML: Because with out the offensive line, the quarterback wouldn’t be able to stand and be able to throw to his targets, and the running back wouldn’t be able to run for touchdowns, and without the defensive line, the linebackers wouldn’t be able to flow to the ball and make the tackles, so I guess you can say we are the unsung heroes, but it’s all good. As long as we win, I won’t complain.
GM: You played for the Carroll County Cannons before coming to the Rhinos. How long did you play for them?
ML: I played two years with the Carroll County Cannons.
GM: How has life as a Rhino been different from your time in Carroll County?
ML: Well, for one, I enjoyed playing for the Cannons, but I guess you can say the difference between the Rhinos and Cannons is that, when I was with the Cannons, there were a lot of favorites, and a lot of people rode the bench, but with the Rhinos, everyone gets a fair shot to play and earn a starting spot, no matter who has been here the longest.
GM: You’ve been a part of both sides of the Carroll County-Hanover rivalry. Tell the readers about what makes this rivalry so special.
ML: Well for one where the Cannons play. Westminster is only 20-25 mins from Hanover, but, in all honesty, I never really looked at it that way. I just look at the opposing team as an opponent, but I guess it’s a rivalry because, in past times, I think the top two teams were the Rhinos and Cannons in their division.
GM: Did you grow up in Carroll County?
ML: No, I actually grew up in Frederick County, and was supposed to go to Linganore High School, but changed schools going into my freshman year.
GM: Linganore has a pretty good football program, were you disappointed at all not to get to participate in that?
ML: At first I was, but at the same time, when I would go to visit my dad, I became friends with the people I ended up going to school with.
GM: Talk about your high school experience. What school was it, and what was it like?
ML: At first it was scary because, for one, I was walking into a new school system, meeting new people, plus, I was going into a different football program. So, right off the bat, I was at a disadvantage, because most of the other kids had years to play in the South Carroll system, from little league. But, it didn’t take much for me to show the coaches what I could do. It was actually the first time I got to play offensive and defensive line, because when i played rec football, I was a running back/fullback and linebacker. So the position change was very difficult at first, and it wasn’t until my junior year where I really learned how to play offensive and defensive line.
GM: Tell our readers what some of the main keys are to playing on the line.
ML: Well, it all starts with technique, and having good footwork and quick hands and good hand placement. That’s where I learned all that, my junior year, and I guess you can say that’s how I’ve lasted and been able to keep up with the bigger guys, because where I lack in size, I make up for in good footwork, hand placement, quick hands and using my brain, and not relying on brute strength like 90% of the other lineman in the league.
GM: What was the strangest lunch menu item in your high school, and were you afraid to eat this item?
ML: I don’t know about strangest, but the nastiest was the pizza they served on Fridays, tasted like puke, so I always got potato soup and chicken patties.
GM: Was it Nardone Bros pizza?
ML: I don’t remember exactly, but it came in a square.
GM: That sounds like our Friday pizzas at Gettysburg. Were you ever present for a radical food fight?
ML: We never had food fights at South Carroll, but I am guilty of blowing up a sandwich bag with my buddies, and sticking pretzels and other hard stuff in the corner, and smacking the bag causing, the item to shoot across the cafeteria, hitting whatever.
GM: How did you guys avoid falling on the floor laughing during this?
ML: We were too busy keeping a straight face when the Principal kept walking around, looking for who did that.
GM: Did you get caught?
ML: No sir, never.
GM: Finish this sentence: You know a person is from South Carroll High School when ________.
ML: They are proud to be a Cavalier.
GM: What do you like to do when you are not playing football?
ML: Watch football and play Madden.
GM: What team do you roll with on Madden?
ML: The Ravens, of course.
GM: Do you have a favorite Ravens player?
ML: My favorite Raven of all-time is Ray Lewis, but my current Raven would have to be Marshal Yanda.
GM: Do you wish you could play as Yanda on the game? They don’t really allow you to take control of the offensive linemen.
ML: Yeah, I do, but I don’t mind running the football behind him, or rolling out on a pass to his side.
GM: Has the computer version of him ever let you down and given up a big sack?
ML: Not really, it’s usually a sack from the outside.
GM: Do you play mostly online, or against the computer?
ML: Mostly online, and I’ve gotten better with each game I’ve played.
GM: If you’re getting beat down by a really good player, or are really thrashing somebody, does the game usually get completed?
ML: I never trash talk, to be honest, because it is just a game. I let my play do the talking on a video game, and in real life when I’m playing for the Rhinos.
GM: But do you always try to play the whole game online, even if you are losing by, say, 30 points?
ML: Definitely. I never give up, that’s my attitude with everything.
GM: How do you feel about the Pittsburgh Steelers?
ML: I honestly don’t mind them, I obviously will root against them because I’m a Ravens fan, but I can’t stand the Steeler fans who dwell on stuff in the past.
GM: Why are there so many Steelers fans in Hanover? Don’t the people realize that they are closer to Baltimore?
ML: I think it has to do with the fact that Hanover is in Pennsylvania.
GM: A lot of people complain about Pennsylvania roads. There’s an old wives’ tale out there that you can feel when you’ve crossed the state line into PA, because the roads are instantly bumpier. Have you ever experienced this?
ML: The only thing I will say is that, when you get into downtown Hanover, the road signs are confusing some.
GM: (chuckles), What makes them confusing?
ML: I guess you can say they are confusing because, a lot of people can’t drive, and when you’re new to an area, you drive slowly and look lost out of your mind.
GM: I agree. It’s similar to my experience driving in Philly. I’ll leave you with one last question. Donald Trump’s hair is _______ and reminds me of _________.
ML: The thing I like about Donald Trump is his attitude to want to actually get stuff done. But overall, I just want whoever becomes president to do a good job, but in today’s society, there will always be someone who doesn’t like what he does. Overall, you can’t make everyone happy.
GM: So, what does his hair remind you of?
ML: Reminds me of Biff from Back to the Future when he is an old man.
GM: Thanks for your time, man.
ML: Not a problem, appreciate it.
Michael Lowery discusses his new-found life as a Hanover Rhinos player in this weeks’ edition of Wordy Wednesdays. https://hanoverrhinosblog.wordpress.com/wordy-wednesdays/
The Rhinos prepare for a very emotional game against the Germantown Gladiators. Read the preview here: https://hanoverrhinosblog.wordpress.com/game-day-preview/
The Rhinos look to avenge a lopsided loss in December’s Santa Bowl in a game that will be very emotional for a number of reasons.
WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at 7:00 PM, Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreational Park, Silver Spring, MD.
SERIES HISTORY: Tied, 2-2, including 1-1 in the Santa Bowl. Germantown has outscored Hanover, 67-61.
LAST MEETING: Five turnovers derailed the Hanover Rhinos, as they fell 31-6 in Santa Bowl IV on 12/5/15. Roma Michael threw touchdown passes to Cornell Anderson and Tevin Bright to spark the Gladiators. Jordan Gardner (New Oxford ’15) responded with a scoring throw for the Rhinos, while 2015 AFA sack leader Kody Taylor picked up one sack in the exhibition game that supported Toys For Tots.
CLEAR EYES, HEAVY HEARTS: In the days following Santa Bowl IV, Germantown quarterback Roma Michael tragically passed away.
For the entire 2016 season, the Hanover Rhinos are wearing #19 stickers on their helmets, an homage to the number Roma Michael wore with the Gladiators.
Rhinos’ offensive lineman Michael Lowery was close friends with Roma.
Lowery had this to say about his friend:”Roma was a high energetic soul who loved everyone, and the game of football. I’ve known Roma since he first came to America in the 2nd grade. He was a loyal and caring individual, who was always there for his friends and family. I wear number 19 this year in his honor, because he was one of my dearest friends, and I love/miss him. It’s strange, I was just with him during the Santa bowl, and I drove him home from the game, and we went to have a beer that same night. I was supposed to hang out with him the following day, and watch the Steelers play that Sunday night, but around 3:15 PM, he stopped responding, and that was the last I spoke to him. I couldn’t believe it, he was gone. He has gone to a greater place, and I will play my heart out for him in his memory this season. Rest in peace Roma, and I will see you again. Continue to watch over me and the guys.”
RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: Head coach Ben Davis returns to his old stomping grounds, as he was born in Germantown. He hopes to get a consistent performance from his offensive line. The Rhinos gave up just 1 sack last week after allowing 5 in week one. However, 4 fumbled snaps proved very costly, as nearly the entire game was spent on the Hanover side of the 50 yard line. The heavy snow put a damper on the passing game, as Alex Isennock, who exploded for 102 yards in week one, was held to 1 catch for 5 yards. Hanover totaled 88 yards, its lowest offensive output since week 3 last year against Harrisburg, also a snowy game.
The defense is paced by middle linebackers Brandon Renoll and Richard Settle, who are second and third in the league in tackles with 25 and 22 respectively. Settle hauled down York quarterback Chase Scharf for a 5-yard loss in the third quarter Saturday, and he leads the team with two sacks on the season. The secondary did a fantastic job against York County, holding Chase Scharf to 3-of-12 passing, and shutting out number-1 receiver Jay Collins on 4 targets. DeAnte Weldon earned the first Rhinos’ interception of the season, and kicker Alex Elliott leads the team in forced fumbles, with 1.
SCOUTING THE GLADIATORS: For the second straight week, the Rhinos will face a team coming off a bye. In Germantown’s only game, they shut out the Anne Arundel County Colts, 8-0. Quarterback Dre Brown hooked up with wide receiver Dustin Thompson just before halftime on 50 yard pass for the game’s only score. Brown then took a broken play in for the two-point conversion after he botched the hand-off.