York Suburban's Manny McDowell was the antidote Monday night for Hanover's Dylan Krieger. Unfortunately for the Nighthawks, they had no antidote for McDowell.
McDowell, a 5-8 senior two-way player for the Trojans, blanketed Krieger on defense, holding the YAIAA's leading receiver to three catches for just 41 yards while picking off three passes intended for Krieger, including one he returned for a touchdown.
On the other side of the ball, McDowell had big plays on all three of the Trojans' scoring drives, hauling in five Thomas Merkle tosses for 129 yards to key Suburban's 28-0 win.
It was York Suburban's first shutout since Oct. 8, 2010, when they blanked Fairfield by the same 28-0 margin. It was a team effort by the Trojans defense, which limited Hanover (1-6, 1-5 Division III) to 38 net yards on the ground and 115 yards of total offense.
The Trojans (4-3, 3-3) sacked Hanover's two quarterbacks three times, and allowed the Nighthawks inside the 30-yard line only once all night. McDowell's smothering coverage of Krieger that was the key.
"We knew they liked to throw the ball to Krieger a lot, so the game plan was if he was spread out, I'd be over top of him," McDowell said. "We shut him down, and that shut down their offense."
McDowell was not content to just shine on defense. Converted to wide receiver earlier this season after an injury to junior captain Jimmy Daglaris, McDowell showed he has adjusted to the new role in a hurry.
"We had to find somewhere on the field for him on offense," Suburban coach Jeremy Jones said. "Obviously he is a very talented young man. He allows us to stretch the field vertically."
It was a 20-yard McDowell reception that set up York Suburban's first score, which came early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Ch'aim Smith. He had a 37-yard catch to key a seven-play, 72-yard drive for Suburban's second score. Merkle finished that drive with a 3-yard scamper on an option keeper.
McDowell finally got to cross the goal line himself on the first series of the second half, when he stepped in front of Krieger for his second pick and took it 22 yards to the end zone for a 21-0 Suburban lead.
"I kept telling Coach it was like he was teasing me, giving the baby candy, then taking it away before I got to get into the end zone," said McDowell. "That pick six I finally got to take it in."
Suburban's final touchdown, late in the third period, came on an 11-play, 61-yard drive that was keyed by McDowell's 19-yard catch on a fourth-and-8 play at the Hanover 22.
The win is Suburban's fourth in its last five games.
Hanover 0 0 0 0 -- 0
York Suburban 0 14 14 0 -- 28
YS -- Ch'aim Smith 1 run (Kyle Bulgarelli kick), 9:33
YS -- Thomas Merkle 3 run (Bulgarelli kick), 2:29
YS -- Manny McDowell 22 interception return (Bulgarelli kick), 11:10
YS -- Merkle 1 run (Bulgarelli kick), 2:36
First downs 10 20
Rushes-yards 33-38 38-211
Passing 8-25-3 11-18-1
Passing yards 67 209
Total yards 115 420
Punts 4-29.3 1-35
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 3-15 7-65
Rushing -- Han, Trace Russ 21-78, Colton Ehrhart 2-1 Brad Irvin 3-(-1), Brady Goofellow 3-(-17), Kyle Krout 2-(-24), Jordan Laughman 2-1. YS, Liam McWilliams 15-63, Smith 10-40, Sawyer Robinson 3-15, Merkle 6-14, Dajour Henderson 4-79.
Passing -- Han, Goodfellow 3-9-2-21, Krout 5-16-1-46. YS, Merkle 11-18-1-209
Receiving -- Han, Dylan Krieger 3-41, Russ 1-10, Ian Brown 3-14, Ehrhart 1-2. YS, Jimmy Dalgaris 1-5, McDowell 5-129, Steven Salcedo 4-53, Collin Mailman 1-22.