CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Hanover football team fell behind early and was unable to recover as the Panthers fell 35-20 to Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference match-up at Schueler Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The loss drops Hanover to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in league action, while the Lions improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in HCAC play.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Mount St. Joseph scored on a pair of touchdown passes to take a 14-0 lead at the 8:45 mark in the second period.
The Panthers got on the board with 4:51 remaining in the opening half when freshman Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) capped an eight-play, 66-yard drive with a two-yard plunge for his second touchdown of the season. The extra point attempt was missed and the Lions led 14-6.
Mount St. Joseph answered with a six-play, 79-yard drive in only 2:26 to go in front 21-6, and would take that same lead into the locker room at halftime.
Less than three minutes into the third quarter, the Lions took the second-half kick-off and scored on their fourth touchdown pass of the game to push extend the lead to 28-6.
A fifth touchdown pass at the beginning of the fourth quarter made it 35-6, but Hanover played till the end and scored a pair of late touchdowns for the final 35-20 score.
Senior quarterback Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) hit Coane for a five-yard scoring strike at the 11:57 mark, and then connected with sophomore Connor Gibson (Lexington, Ky.) for a nine-yard score with only 36 seconds to play.
Mount St. Joseph out-gained the Panthers 386-289 in total offensive, including a 100-37 advantage in rushing yards. Four turnovers, including two fumbles and two interceptions, also helped the Lions pull away early.
Lightfoot finished 27 of 54 for 252 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Freshman Corey Leppert (Tampa, Fla.) posted his second 100-yard receiving effort of his young career. Leppert caught eight passes for 102 yards.
Sophomore Dakota Manion (West Lafayette, Ind.) led the defense with a season, and game-high 12 tackles to go along with two pass break-ups and a tackle for loss. Senior Antoine Baldon (Louisville, Ky.) and junior Zach Dauer (Cincinnati, Ohio) added eight tackles apiece in the defeat.
Following a bye week next week, the Blue and Red will look to get back in the win column in two weeks when they host Bluffton (Ohio) Saturday, Oct. 14 in an HCAC contest as part of Hanover's Annual Homecoming Weekend. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m. at Alumni Stadium.
Contact: Mike Pritchard