Panthers explode for 64 points in win over Anderson

Matt Pica running toward end zone

HANOVER, Ind. – Behind a 27-point second quarter and close to 600 total yards of offense, the Hanover football team cruised to its first victory of the season Saturday, defeating Anderson at home, 64-21.

Hanover's 64-point effort marked the first time the team has scored 60 or more since the 2011 season. The Panthers had also not scored more than 60 points in a home contest since a 71-26 victory over Manchester on Oct. 10, 1998.

Leading 9-7 after the first quarter, Hanover (1-3, 1-1 HCAC) scored three touchdowns and two field goals in the second frame to take a commanding 36-7 lead at the intermission. Highlighting the score spurt was a 38-yard touchdown pass from senior Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) to sophomore Jackson Daugherty (Greenwood, Ind.) as time expired.

Lightfoot completed 23-of-38 passes for 284 yards, totaling two touchdowns through the air. The senior added his fourth rushing touchdown of the season on a one-yard plunge in the second quarter. Daugherty led the HC receiving core, finishing with seven catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns.

Freshman Austin Steurer (Warsaw, Ky.) knocked in both of his field goal tries in the second quarter for his first two makes of his collegiate career. Steurer was also perfect on point-after tries, going 8-for-8.

The Panthers received a touchdown on a one-yard fumble recovery by sophomore Matt Rier (Wellington, Fla.) to open the scoring in the third quarter. Freshman Sam Taylor (Prospect, Ky.) added a one-yard rushing score late in the third stanza, giving Hanover a 50-21 lead after 45 minutes of action.

Rier finished with five tackles, the one fumble recovery and one-half sack defensively. Taylor logged the most rushes in the Panther backfield, tallying 71 yards on 16 carries, while also adding a pair of tackles on special team units.

Hanover enjoyed a 595-151 total offensive yard advantage in the contest. The Blue and Red held the Ravens (1-3, 1-1 HCAC) to just 11 total yards in the first half. The Panthers also recorded a 41:31-18:29 edge in time of possession.

The ground game was solid through for HC, as the team posted 246 yards on 44 carries, while scoring four rushing touchdowns. The Panther run defense also held Anderson to minus-20 yards on 20 attempts.

Hanover's offense also threw for a total of 349 yards, completing 28-of-45 attempts for three scores. To go along with Lightfoot's two touchdown tosses, sophomore Alex Fabert (Mooresville, Ind.) threw a passing score for the second consecutive week, in relief, as he connected with freshman Jared Franks (Louisville, Ky.) from 10-yards out in the fourth quarter.

Senior Adam Gutermuth (Whiteland, Ind.) played quarterback and wide receiver in his first action of the 2017 season, totaling 109 offensive yards. Gutermuth completed his lone pass for 23 yards, while also rushing six times for 78 yards and receiving one eight-yard pass.

Sophomore Connor Gibson (Lexington, Ky.) entered the day with three career catches, but snatched five passes for 75 yards. Freshman Matt Pica (Delray Beach, Fla.) added four catches for 60 yards, as he totaled 106 all-purpose yards and one rushing touchdown.

Two other freshmen produced points for HC with Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) scoring on a 38-yard run in the fourth and Marcus Dunbar (Indianapolis, Ind.) blocking a punt out of the back of the end zone for a safety at the 12:03 mark of the opening quarter.

After going close to three years without a safety, the Blue and Red have now recorded the feat in back-to-back weeks.

Defensively, the Panthers had 27 different players record a tackle. Freshman Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.) has led the team in every game this season after recording 10 stops Saturday, marking his third double-digit effort in four games.

Hanover will head back out on the road next weekend, as the team continues HCAC play with a 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) Saturday, Sept. 30.

Contact: Tyler Jester