FOOTBALL: Turnovers key Hanover's 33-0 win over James Buchanan
MERCERSBURG >> A high school football game is 48 minutes long, but Hanover needed only 17 seconds to break open its season-opening non-league victory over James Buchanan on Friday night at Rocket Stadium.
Using three Rocket turnovers in plus territory, the Nighthawks turned a one-score lead into a 33-0 statement win. Quarterback Kyle Krout and running back Jordan Laughman did most of the heavy lifting for Hanover, each accounting for a pair of touchdowns.
"We saw a lot of good things tonight, but we shot ourselves in the foot," Rockets coach Andy Stoner said. "We cannot turn the ball over three times inside your (own territory) and expect to win."
The Hawks, 2-8 a year ago, used five JB turnovers in all to put the perfect punctuation on last night's opener.
Hanover coach Bill Reichart said, "Being a small Class AA program, we can't do a lot of live hitting during the week because we can't sustain the injuries. When I turned them loose, they came to play tonight. I think it was their desire to hit that caused those turnovers."
It was the Rockets who actually made a key defensive stop late in the first half. On fourth-and-2 from the JB 32, Krout missed a shotgun handoff and was pulled down in the backfield for a loss. But three plays later, Hanover's Hunter Martz stepped in front of a Hunter Spoonhour pass and the Hawks were in business.
Six plays later, Baughman, who finished with 84 yards, reached the left pylon with an 18-yard touchdown, giving Hanover a 13-0 lead with 2:14 left before halftime.
The Hawks weren't done.
After James Buchanan fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Hanover scored on the very next play when Krout, who threw for 121 yards, hit Colten Ehrhart with a 23-yard score. In 17 seconds, the Hawks built some much-needed breathing room.
"It was definitely the turning point of the game," Reichart said.
The turnovers didn't stop there.
The Rockets fumbled on its first play from scrimmage in the second half and Laughman capitalized, breaking through the JB defense from 19 yards out. Devin Bell's rushing touchdown on the next possession gave Hanover a 33-0 advantage midway through the third.
"It was a 7-0 game there until five minutes left in the first half and all of a sudden it was 19-0," Stoner said. "We would have liked to have been down just 7-0 at halftime with us getting the ball and see what happens."
Reichart added, "I stressed to our kids at halftime, because our program has been down lately, that we are in unfamiliar territory and I said we need to go and finish this game. I am very proud of how we finished tonight."
Following Krout's fourth-and-10 touchdown pass in the first quarter for the initial score, James Buchanan rode the back of Seth Carbaugh, whose 32-yard run on third-and-10 moved the Rockets to the Hawks 8.
But a penalty, a negative 4-yard run and two incompletions forced JB to settle for a field goal, and Chas Shelly's 34-yarder went wide right.
The rest of the night was a struggle for the Rocket offense, which played without starter Dillon Sanders at quarterback. Carbaugh powered his way to 117 yards, but as a team JB only managed nine first downs and 136 total yards.
Stoner said, "The big thing was turnovers tonight. We were moving the ball, but we were starting deep in our own end and then we gave the other team a short field. We have to get that turned around. I have all the confidence in these guys. They are resilient and they'll bounce back."
Hanover 33, James Buchanan 0
H — Austin Bryson 21 pass from Kyle Krout (Justin Barnes kick), 6:51
H — Jordan Laughman 18 run (kick failed), 2:14
H — Colten Ehrhart 23 pass from Krout (conversion failed), 1:57
H — Laughman 19 run (pass failed), 10:27
H — Devon Bell 8 run (Bell run), 6:05
HanJBFirst downs179Rushes-yards43-15630-105Passing12-23-05-18-2Passing yards14130Total yards303136Fumbles-lost2-13-3Penalties-yards3-356-30
Rushing — Han, Laughman 11-84, Bell 4-54, Barnes 8-11, Deandre Kerr 2-10, Nick Seymour 3-6, Krout 2-4, Ehrhart 1-4, Austin Snider 3-2, Resean Williams 1-(-2), Logan Brown 2-(-9), Sam Duvall 6-(-11). JB, Seth Carbaugh 21-117, Remi Spoonhour 4-(-2), Clay Sanders 5-(-10).
Passing — Han, Krout 11-20-121-0, Duvall 1-2-20-0. JB, Spoonhour 1-9-4-1, Sanders 4-9-27-1.
Receiving — Han, Bryson 3-25, Laughman 2-25, Williams 2-14, Ehrhart 1-23, Fabian Lara 1-20, Brown 1-7, Luis Lara 1-7. JB, Carlos Rauch 2-25, Colby Bradshaw 1-4, Clay Ziemba 1-4, Caden Ficks 1-(-2).
Missed FGs — JB, Chas Shelly 34 (WR).