For the fifth time in five tries, it was another joyful scene at Hanover on Friday night.
Players broke out of the huddle and ran toward the end zone, sliding across the muddy and wet field in synchronicity.
Fans waited in the rain and wind to congratulate the team for its 20-13 win against York Catholic that lifted the Nighthawks to 5-0 on the season, surpassing last year's win total. The win gave Hanover some retribution for last season's 35-19 loss to the Fighting Irish.
"We have a lot of payback in us, not just for last season but for seasons past," head coach Bill Reichart said. "We are for real. We belong here. We now control our destiny."
Reichart himself took control of sharing the news that the game would be played Friday despite a rainy weather forecast. As a handful of other schools rescheduled their games, Reichart posted a message on Twitter on Friday afternoon:
"The game will be played tonight @ 6pm. Prepare to play our brand of football on our field. Expect to be successful and we will succeed," Reichart tweeted.
Hanover senior running back Jordan Laughman said he follows his coach on Twitter and enjoys it.
"(His Twitter) is very cool," Laughman said. "I see him tweet all the time. Crazy stuff."
Wherever the message came from, Hanover (5-0, 2-0 YAIAA Division III) listened. The home team took an 18-0 lead in the third quarter, and York Catholic (1-4, 1-1) could not come back.
The Nighthawks got a boost by scoring two touchdowns on returns, one from a blocked punt and another from a blocked field goal. They also scored on a safety late in the fourth quarter.
Reichart said those plays help define the "brand" of football that he referenced in his tweet.
"What I meant by (the tweet) and still mean by that is guys digging down and finding a way to win," he said. "This week, special teams — hats off to them. Who knew it would be the difference in the game?"
The running game took over after Hanover sped to the big lead. Laughman led the way with 123 yards.
Quarterback Kyle Krout also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Resean Williams.
"(The win) feels great. It's my senior year and you can't ask for any better," Laughman said. "It was cold and wet, but it was a fun game."
York Catholic actually outgained the Nighthawks in total yards, 317-271. Quarterback Daniel Yokemick connected with Joe Bauhof for two second-half touchdown passes to put the Irish on the board. Bauhof finished with eight catches for 120 yards.
The Irish travel to Littlestown next week, while the Nighthawks host Fairfield.
H — Bill Morris 0 punt block return (kick failed), 4:20.
H — Devon Bell 90 field goal block return (kick failed), 9:18.
H — Resean Williams 29 pass from Kyle Krout (pass failed), 2:49.
YC — Joseph Bauhof 43 pass from Daniel Yokemick, (kick failed) 1:37.
H— Safety, tackle by Bill Morris, 10:00.
YC — Bauhof 32 pass from Yokemick, (Brennan kick), 2:27.
HYCFirst downs1113 Rushes-yards44-21640-153 Passing5-10-014-27-1 Passing yards55164Total yards271317Fumbles-lost1-12-0Penalties-yards3-25 6-50
Rushing — H, Jordan Laughman 24-123, Resean Williams 4-13, Justin Barnes 11-59, Bill Morris 3-11, Nick Seymour 2-10. YC, Jakkar Kinard 23-54, Daniel Yokemick 16-99, Brandon Creisher 1-0.
Passing — H, Kyle Krout 5-10-55. YC, Daniel Yokemick 14-27-164.
Receiving — H, Colten Ehrhart 2-12, Jordan Laughman 1-5, Resean Williams 1-29, Luis Lara 1-9. YC, Luke Brennan 2-22, Joseph Bauhof 8-120, Brandon Creisher 4-22