HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover College football team will look to bounce back this week welcoming Adrian College to Alumni Stadium for the last home non-conference matchup of the season. The Panthers are also celebrating Alumni Day!
PANTHERS UNDER THEOBALD: Head Coach Matt Theobald is entering his fourth season at the helm of the Panthers. The 2019 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year guided the Panthers to an HCAC title and the team's first NCAA playoff appearance dating back to 2003. The Blue and Red earned the crown after defeating HCAC favorite Franklin as part of the 88th annual Victory Bell Classic.
WEEKEND RECAP: The Hanover Panthers welcomed nationally ranked Center to Alumni Stadium for their season-opener, falling in the hard-fought battle 45-31. As a team, the Blue and Red tallied 512-yards of total offense, including a game-high 323-yards through the air. Junior Noah Wezensky (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the aerial attack as he went 23-of-41 with two touchdowns. The junior currently ranks among the league's best in yards per game (323.0) and touchdowns. On the ground, the Panthers churned out 189-yards and two touchdowns.
DOMINATING DEFENSE: The Panther defense continues to turn heads in 2019 led by junior Kyle Treber (Mishawaka, Ind.) with a game-high 11 tackles in the teams opening weekend contest with nationally ranked Centre. Treber entered the season as a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason player to watch after earning All-Conference honors a season ago. He is joined by All-Conference selections Zikk Omoruyi (Palm Beach, Fla.) and Dakota Manion (West Lafayette, Ind.).
PROTECTING THE AIR: Corner Back Kiefer Askew (Warner Robins, Ga.) and free safety Kornell Dash (Evansville, Ind.) posted strong performances against the Colonels as the duo combined for four pass break ups. Askew finished the contest with eight solo tackles, while Dash posted seven total tackles (five solo, two assists).
LOOKING TO SCORE: Despite a disappointing outcome, the Panther offense did not disappoint as they finished last week's season-opener with 512 -yards, including a game-high 323-yards through the air. Senior Taylor Bleistein (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) appeared to be Wesensky's number one target as he registered seven completions for 153-yards and two touchdowns. The senior averaged 21.9 yards per catch with a season long 75-yard reception. Seniors Conner Gibson (Lexington, Ky.) and senior Jackson Daugherty (Greenwood, Ind.) also made an impact for the Panthers, as the All-Conference wide receivers combined for 93-yards with nine receptions.
RUN COANE RUN: Junior Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) led a veteran back field for the Blue and Red as he tallied 25 carries for 159-yards. The junior currently leads the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in yards per game with 159.0, while averaged 6.4 yards per carry with a 30-yard long scamper. Joining Coane was junior Walt Ballinger (Beech Grove, Ind.) who tallied 42-yards on one carry and a touchdown.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS: Adrian enters the contest 0-1 overall after dropping a non-conference matchup with Heidelberg, 57-7. As a team, Adrian registered 228-yards of offense including 165.0-yards through the air. Under center for the Black and Gold, sophomore Jack Wurzer finished the contest 13-of-29 with one touchdown. The young gun slinger averaged 5.7-yards per play, including a 68-yard bomb. His main target in the game was wide receiver Joe Cleary who tallied five receptions for 25-yards. On the ground for the Bulldogs, senior Colton Randle took a majority of the work load as he rushed for a team-high 64-yards on 16 carries.