Football Comeback Falls Short at Nationally-Regarded Hanover, 49-28

Clarence Madison makes a catch while Henry Wilson tries to provide a block on a defender. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Clarence Madison makes a catch while Henry Wilson tries to provide a block on a defender. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

HANOVER, Ind.--Sophomore quarterback Jack Wurzer went 22-for-34 for 308 yards passing, junior wide receiver Henry Wilson posted game highs of six catches and 125 yards, and Adrian College scored four rushing touchdowns, but host Hanover bolted to a 42-0 lead before hanging on for a 49-28 non-conference football victory on Saturday.

= Final Score: Hanover College 49, Adrian College 28

= Location: Alumni Stadium; Weather: Sunny, 85 degrees, Wind NW 1 mph

= Records: Hanover Panthers 1-1 overall, 0-0 HCAC; Adrian Bulldogs 0-2 overall, 0-0 MIAA

TOP DAWGS
= Wilson's day proved to be career highs as well as Bulldog season bests. 

= Freshman running back Jerome Neal averaged 7.7 yards per attempt and ran for two touchdowns.

= Classmate Blake Masterman had a career-high eight solo tackles to lead all defenders from his linebacker spot.

= Fellow freshman linebacker Leonard Cohen also had a career-best eight solos.

= Sophomore defensive back Brandon Kwiatkowski recorded four stops and had an interception return of 10 yards.

THE OPPOSITION
= Shawn Coane (14 carries) and Walt Ballinger (7) both rushed for 83 yards and a pair of TDs.

= Conner Gibson led Panthers receivers with five catches and 64 yards.

= Matt Rier led the Hanover defense with eight total tackles (5 solo) including two sacks for seven yards.

= Kornell Dash added five stops, including one for loss of four yards.

= Sam Jackson ran back a punt return 55 yards for a TD.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Hanover scored on special teams early on to ignite a 42-0 point-scoring run through two quarters and the first five minutes into the third. Jackson blocked a punt at the Adrian 45 on the Bulldogs' opening possession and scooped the ball up for a 55-yard TD return into the end zone just 1 minute and 43 seconds gone.

= On the Panthers' first possession, Coane rushed for seven yards and a score to cap a six-play, 60-yard drive in 3:03 of elapsed time. Hanover led 14-0.

= Terrell Anderson had a three-yard fumble recovery for a TD just before the end of the first half as Hanover held a commanding 35-0 cushion going into the locker room.

= The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard with 6:02 remaining in the third quarter. Senior Colton Randle ran into the end zone from five yards out to a cap a nine-play drive in 75 yards in 3:59.

= Freshman transfer Trent Stone opened the fourth-quarter scoring for Adrian at the 10:49 mark when he tallied his first career rushing TD from four yards out, making the score 42-14. The play was set up by the AC offense using a short field and Wurzer finding sophomore Clarence Madison on a 41-yard pass play to Hanover 4-yard line.

= Neal scored Adrian's last two TDs on runs of nine and six at the 6:01 and 2:00 mark, respectively, of the fourth. Both scoring drives took six plays or more and consumed close to 70 yards.

= Ballinger's 53-yard TD run with 4:09 remaining closed the scoring for both teams, making it 49-21 at the time.

= Adrian outgained Hanover in passing 308 yards to 246 and had more first downs (26-23).

= The host Panthers had a slim advantage in total offense, 433 to 405, but took advantage of two Adrian miscues (blocked punt, fumble recovery) into touchdowns. 

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= Today served as Adrian's road opener of 2019.

= Hanover has qualified for the NCAA Division III Football Championship seven times including a tournament participant last season.

= This was the first-ever meeting between the schools on the gridiron.

= Hanover competes in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

UP NEXT
= Adrian hosts Wisconsin Lutheran next Saturday on Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff for the non-conference finale is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium.

#AdrianBulldogs #GoDawgs #GDTBAB #BulldogProud