Second half dooms football in 24-20 loss at Maryville

Layne Harnishfeger rushes the passer

MARYVILLE, Tenn. – Leading 14-7 at halftime, the Hanover football team was out-scored 17-6 in the second half to fall 24-20 to Maryville in the first road contest of the season.

The loss drops the Panthers to 0-2 on the year, while the Fighting Scotts even their record at 1-1.

Things looked good for Hanover as the Scots seemed to shoot themselves in the foot early and often. A 36-yard pass on the first drive of the game was negated by a penalty and Maryville was forced to punt.

On third and seven of the Panthers' first drive, the Scots picked off Hanover senior quarterback Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) and returned it 22 yards, but fumbled the ball and the Panthers recovered it at the Maryville 44-yard line.

The offense drove to the nine-yard line, but a third and goal pass fell incomplete. However, Maryville committed a personal foul penalty to give Hanover a first down at the four-yard line. Four plays later, on fourth down, Lightfoot crossed the goal line for his second rushing score of the season and a 7-0 lead.

The Scots' next drive included a holding penalty, a dropped pass, and a sack, and they were forced to punt again, this time from their own 13-yard line.

The Panthers took over on the Maryville 46 with 1:45 to go in the first quarter and drove 46 yards in 5:46. Lightfoot hit sophomore Jackson Daugherty (Greenwood, Ind.) from nine yards out for his first touchdown of 2017 and a 14-0 lead early in the second period.

After another Scots' punt on the ensuing drive, senior Justin Conners (Harrison, Ohio) took a hand-off on second and 10 and went 25 yards to the Hanover 40-yard line, but a fumble on the next play was recovered at the 37-yard line and returned all the way for a Maryville touchdown to cut the lead in half at 14-7.

The Scots gained only 10 yards on 19 first half plays, yet trailed only 14-7 at the intermission.

The score would not remain that way long into the second half. Following a Hanover punt on its opening drive, the Scotts connected for an 80-yard touchdown strike on its first play of the third quarter to tie the game at 14-14.

The Panthers looked to give the ball back to Maryville following a three-and-out on their next drive, but a fumble on the punt return was recovered by Hanover at the Scots' 13-yard line.

Four plays later, Lightfoot scored his on his second one-yard plunge of the game to put the Panthers back in front, but the point-after attempt failed and Hanover would lead 20-14.

On its very next drive, Maryville drove 75 yards on 11 plays in 4:31, capped off by a one-yard rushing score to tie the game. The Scots hit the extra point and led 21-20 with 3:24 left in the third quarter.

A three-and-out on the Panthers' next drive resulted in a punt. Maryville made its way to the Hanover 20-yard line, and on fourth-and-four connected on a 37-yard field goal to make it 24-20 with 9:28 to play.

The Panthers managed only 48 yards on their final three drives as the game would end in a 24-20 defeat.

The Scots out-gained Hanover 263-232 in total offensive yards as neither team was able to sustain anything consistent offensively.

Lightfoot finished the day 23 for 36 for 168 yards with a touchdown pass, an interception, and a pair of touchdown runs. Conners led the team in rushing with 53 yards on 15 carries (3.5 avg.), while Daugherty posted career highs in catches (8) and yards (85) to go along with a touchdown grab.

Senior Layne Harnishfeger (Batesville, Ind.) recorded his fifth career double-digit tackle game with a career-high 13 stops. It was one more than his previous high of 12 set last year against Maryville. The senior defensive lineman also had four tackles for loss, three sacks, and a forced fumble.

Freshman Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.) followed his 20-tackle performance last week with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery this week.

Hanover will next travel to Terre Haute, Ind. to open Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play against Rose-Hulman Saturday, Sept. 16. Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. at Cook Stadium.

Contact: Mike Pritchard