LITTLESTOWN -- Littlestown High didn't have its normal excellent passing offense Friday, but the Thunderbolts did have something just as good.
They rushed for five touchdowns in a 48-14 football win against the Hanover Nighthawks in Littlestown. The victory was the 75th in coach Mike Lippy's career with the Thunderbolts, and, at nine seasons and two games, he reached the mark fastest in school history.
The Thunderbolts helped him reach the achievement, which they marked by giving him an autographed football, by rushing for 322 yards in a game delayed by lightning for 41 minutes in the first quarter.
"We were just getting big chunks of yardage," Lippy said. "It's obvious that they had trouble stopping the run. We wanted
Thunderbolts quarterback Dustin Crouse finished 13-of-22 with 142 passing yards and two touchdowns, good numbers for a high school quarterback but so-so compared to some of his previous games. His legs, however, produced 38 yards and two rushing touchdowns.
Crouse opened the scoring Friday with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Nick Hornbrook to give the Thunderbolts a 7-0 lead with 8:54 left in the first quarter.
The game didn't go well for the Nighthawks (0-2) from there.
Littlestown (2-0) extended its lead to 14-0 on Dustin DeGroft's rushing touchdown two minutes later and to 20-0 when Crouse ran for a 12-yard score with 9:13
Both teams traded touchdowns going into halftime, the Nighthawks scoring on a 26-yard rush by Ian Brown and the Thunderbolts on a 14-yard pass from Crouse to Todd Cook with 4:15 left in the first half that made the score 28-6.
DeGroft, Crouse and backup quarterback Dalton Brittain rushed for scores in the second half, but the Nighthawks could only respond with a 23-yard touchdown from quarterback Brady Goodfellow to Jase Etzler.
The Nighthawks finished with just 177 yards of offense, 78 in the air and 99 on the ground.
"We have a lot of work to do," Nighthawks coach Mike Ketterman said. "It's tough. It really is. You struggle to have to keep the kids on the field all three phases."
Hanover did intercept two of Crouse's pass attempts.
"I saw some good things defensively," Ketterman said. "As much as they throw the ball, we're bound to get a pick or two."
Added Lippy: "They're more my fault than (Crouse's). What we need to learn from that is we need to get better with it. I need to get better with that also."
Ketterman said his team had to continue improving upon the fundamentals as it goes into next week's home game against Biglerville. The Thunderbolts, who will play Delone Catholic after opening the season against Boiling Springs, understand the schedule is getting tougher.
"We're going to have to play our best game Friday to have a chance against Delone," Lippy said. "We're going to have our work cut out for us. I think our kids, they're young, they're learning and making mistakes. Next week is going to be different from the last two weeks. Everybody knows that."
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Hanover 0 6 8 0 -- 14
Littlestown 14 14 14 6 -- 48
Lt -- Nick Hornbrook 2 pass from Dustin Crouse (Dalton Strickler kick), 8:54.
Lt -- Dustin DeGroft 1 run (Strickler kick), 6:40.
Lt -- Crouse 12 run (kick blocked), 9:13.
Han -- Ian Brown 26 run (pass failed), 6:08.
Lt -- Todd Cook 14 pass from Crouse (A.J. Miles run), 4:15.
Lt -- DeGroft 1 run (Strickler kick), 10:24.
Han -- Jase Etzler 23 pass from Brady Goodfellow (Brown run), 8:07.
Lt -- Crouse 6 run (Strickler kick), 7:08.
Lt -- Dalton Brittain 25 run (kick blocked), 7:36.
-- Han -- Lt
First downs -- 10 -- 28
Rushes-yards -- 29-99 -- 45-333
Passing -- 10-23-0 -- 15-25-2
Passing yards -- 78 -- 165
Total yards -- 177 -- 487
Punts -- 6-25.0 -- 0-0
Fumbles-lost -- 0-0 -- 2-1
Penalties-yards -- 7-55 -- 9-80
Rushing -- Hanover, Brad Irvin 6-66, Brown 3-27, Goodfellow 8-7, Spenser Durika 10-6, Etzler 2-(-7); Littlestown, DeGroft 14-116, Ryan Griffin 8-92, Crouse 7-38, Zach Brown 2-31, Jeremy Shoemaker 2-21, Brittain 4-18, Miles 2-11, Alan Dorsey 3-6, Cole Warner 1-1, Joe Taylor 1-(-1), Trevor Hildebrand 1-(-11).
Passing -- Hanover, Goodfellow 8-18-2-60, Zach Sheaffer 2-5-0-18; Littlestown, Crouse 13-22-2-142, Hildebrand 2-2-0-23.
Receiving -- Hanover, Juan Aguilar 2-31, Jose Gonzalez 4-30 , Durika 2-11, Sheaffer 1-3, Brown 1-3; Littlestown, Hornbrook 6-74, DeGroft 3-33, Garret Trout 2-16, Cook 1-14, Griffin 1-10, Braden Becker 1-9, Miles 1-6.