Football treks to Ohio for meeting with Defiance

Zach Dauer getting set before a play

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover football team will look to tie its longest winning streak under head coach Matt Theobald this weekend with a trip to Defiance College.

The Panthers (3-4, 3-2 HCAC) are coming off one of their best outings of the season in a 49-14 road victory at Earlham, which marked the team's first win away from Alumni Stadium in 2017. The win also marked just the second time in the past five seasons Hanover has a conference winning percentage above .500.

Hanover will look to improve to .500 overall this weekend, as they are set to take on the Yellow Jackets (2-5, 2-3 HCAC) at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28.

Freshman Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) produced his second straight 100-yard performance on the ground last week, totaling 123 yards on 16 carries. The freshman added one rushing and one receiving score as well, giving him a total of eight touchdowns this fall. Coane's 9.6 points per game is the third highest total in the HCAC.

Senior quarterback Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) is enjoying his best season as a Panther, tossing for a career high 1,859 yards through seven games. The senior is also less than 500 yards away from surpass the 5,000-yard career plateau. Lighfoot has thrown multiple touchdowns in each of the last five games, while racking up close to 1,500 yards during the span.

With seven receptions last Saturday, sophomore Jackson Daugherty (Greenwood, Ind.) moved his per game reception average to 6.3, which is good enough for third in the HCAC and the top 50 in the NCAA. With four receiving scores, freshman Cory Leppert (Tampa, Fla.) is tied with Coane for the most on the team.

The Panther defense continues to be one of the best in the conference. Hanover conceded just 248 yards against Earlham last week, while allowing only 69 yards in the first half. The Blue and Red, who lead the HCAC in yards allowed per game, have now given up less than 100 yards of total offense in the first half on three separate occasions this season.

Leading the defensive charge is freshman Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.). Treber currently tops the HCAC in tackles per game at 12.3, which is also good enough for the eighth most in NCAA Division III. The freshman has started to reach havoc in opponent's backfields as well, registering 4.5 tackles for loss over the past two weeks. Treber and Zach Dauer (Cincinnati, Ohio) are both among the top 15 of the HCAC in tackles for loss with 5.5 and 6.5 respectively.

Returning to action in a big way last week was Keith Cork (Indianapolis, Ind.), who recorded two first half interceptions. Cork now has five picks in his collegiate career.

Defiance enters Saturday winners in two of its last three overall, including a 45-0 triumph over Anderson last weekend. Each of the last four meetings with the Yellow Jackets have been decided by a touchdown or less, including HC's thrilling 27-20 come-from-behind victory last year.

Freshman Logan Mico leads the passing attack for DC, as he has completed close to 64 percent of his passes for 1,393 yards and nine touchdowns. DeVonte Cravin and Carl Stokes have combined for half of the Yellow Jackets' receptions this fall, 68, totaling 945 receiving yards and five scores.

Defensively, Jalin Nealy leads the team with 54 wrap-ups, including 8.5 tackles for loss. Three other defenders are also averaging close to seven tackles per game.

Contact: Tyler Jester