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After he got the ball rolling in the first quarter, Hanover's Deandre Kerr wanted to be the one who put the game away Friday night against Delone Catholic.

The senior running back had scored on a 55-yard touchdown run on the Nighthawks' opening drive. But from then until early in the fourth quarter, Kerr touched the ball only twice.

And Delone had scored consecutive third-quarter touchdowns to draw within 12 points late in the game.

Kerr's number was finally called again, and once again he delivered, plunging in for a 2-yard score that helped the Nighthawks regain momentum in an eventual 45-20 victory against the Squires. The victory improved the Nighthawks to 9-1 on the season, and helped them clinch a share of the Division III title with Biglerville.

"It was the best way to end senior night for all of us," Kerr said. "I was happy to get the call because I look up to (Hanover running backs) Jordan (Laughman) and Justin (Barnes). I think they're the best running backs, and I want their approval when I run."

Related: Hanover-Delone football rivalry spans generations

Although Kerr's early touchdown on a jet-sweep might have been the highlight of the game for Hanover, both Barnes and Laughman provided their share of big moments, too. The Nighthawks ran for 314 yards on Friday, with the trio of Laughman, Barnes and Kerr providing 290 of them.

Early on, it looked as if the Nighthawks could do no wrong. Quarterback Kyle Krout looked sharp in the first half, passing for 74 yards and a touchdown and running for another. The defense kept Squires star running back Tavian Dorsey mostly bottled up.

But after taking a 25-0 lead early in the third quarter, the Nighthawks made a few mistakes that helped the Squires get back in the game. Following a touchdown catch by Dorsey, Krout was picked off on consecutive possessions. Bryce Perkins returned the second for a touchdown.

While it looked as though Delone was back in the game, Hanover regained control in the fourth quarter, scoring three straight touchdowns to turn the game into a blowout. A year after going just 2-8 and losing the Delone game 42-18, the Nighthawks are going to the playoffs.

"I think our team is very resilient," Hanover head coach Bill Reichart said. "In rivalry week, I'm not surprised Delone gave us some obstacles. But I think we're going to be very prepared for the playoffs. It's going to be a tough week but we're a football team that still needs to improve certainly."

Delone Catholic's season likely ends with a 4-6 overall record. Still, Delone head coach Corey Zortman said he hopes his returning players will be able to use Hanover's turnaround as motivation for next season.

"I look at Hanover, they were junior-heavy last year, and if you look at our starters, we've got two seniors on offense, two seniors on defense, and it's the same guys," Zortman said. "My hopes and expectations are high. Hanover kind of showed us that it is possible to turn a 4-6 season around into a league championship."

Delone Catholic 00136—20Hanover 712620—45

First Quarter

Han — Deandre Kerr 55 rush (Everett Kenworthy kick), 7:10

Second Quarter

Han — Bill Morris 31 pass from Kyle Krout (kick failed), 9:27

Han — Krout 12 rush (rush failed), 1:01.

Third Quarter

Han — Justin Barnes 20 rush (rush failed), 9:35

DC — Tavian Dorsey 21-pass from Brian Shermeyer (Hall kick), 4:10

DC — Bryce Perkins, 25 interception return (pass failed), 1:20

Fourth Quarter

Han — Kerr, 2 rush (pass failed), 10:58

Han — Hunter Martz 5-pass from Krout (Kenworthy kick), 5:33

Han — Jordan Laughman 9 rush (Kenworthy kick), 4:13.

DC — Zach Hart 57 rush (Hall kick), 2:22

DC Han First downs815Rushes-Yards22-18443-314 Passing12-27-110-20-2Passing Yards142143Total Yards326457 Punts4-17.51-32Fumbles-Lost2-12-2 Penalties-Yards3-303-30
Individual Statistics

Rushing — DC, Tavian Dorsey 9-50, Brian Shermeyer 4-61, Sean Sneeringer 1-3, Zach Hart 3-65, Ryan Hart 3-0, Logan Panzer 1-1, Ryan Malinowski 1-4. Han, Jordan Laughman 20-160, Justin Barnes 13-66, Kerr 4-64, Krout 3-23, Nick Kime 2-1, Logan Brown, 1-0.

Passing — DC, Shermeyer 12-27-1, 142. Han, Krout 10-20-2, 143.

Receiving — DC, Dorsey 8-87, Ryan Hart 2-12, Cody Pfaff 1-31, Panzer 1-12. Han, Morris 1-31, Re'sean Williams 3-27, Nick Seymour 2-28, Colten Ehrhart 2-29, Justin Barnes 1-23, Hunter Martz 1-5.

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