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The Hanover High School football team has turned heads with their 6-0 start. After all, the Nighthawks had just four wins the past four years combined entering this season.

A mere mile down the road sits South Western High School, home of the Mustangs. In not-so-surprising fashion, the Mustangs entered Friday night 5-1 and undefeated in division play. A win against Dallastown would give them sole possession of first place in Division I.

Hanover and South Western might compare in their records, but they contrast on the field and in their attitudes, said Tommy Cooper, a South Western High School alumn.

"We have a branded style of play where we're going to line up and try and push you around to run the ball," he said. "We show up tonight, and we expect to win, we expect to have winning seasons and play South West football."

The good season that Hanover is putting together might take away from South Western's coverage, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing, Cooper said.

"You want the level of football to rise in this area; it brings together the community," he said.

Kevin Dickmyer, whose son Scotty is the starting center, wasn't as nice to his counterparts down the street.

"They're Division III; this team would have destroyed anybody in Division III," he said.

The lower expectations heading into the season for Hanover is why there is more of a focus on them, Dickmyer said.

"The thing about Hanover is they haven't had a season like this in 20 years, that's why it's so surprising, whereas South Western always has a good program," he said. "Plus, the season is only halfway through. It could spiral down just like that."

When it comes down to it, Dickmyer just wants to see the Mustangs continue to win and focus on themselves, he said.

"We were already picked to win Division I, so this is really just those boys going out there and doing it," Dickmyer said. "This is supposed to be the team that goes to districts and gives South West a great year."

It's nice that Hanover is playing well, but if South Western is going to play a Division III team, he would prefer it to be Delone Catholic, he said.

Sparking a Hanover-South Western football rivalry would be fun, said Blake Williams a senior at South Western High School.

"It's hard not to see that Hanover is having a good year, and I would love to see our guys play them," he said. "We haven't been that great the past few seasons but we still usually have a really good team. It would be exciting to go prove it against them."

South Western and Hanover will not play against each other this football season.

Keeping a low profile might serve well for the Mustangs in the long run, Williams said.

"If you keep winning there's more pressure on you," he said. "The less amount of people that know we're undefeated, the better."

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