HANOVER, Ind. – The Panthers scored early and often as they ran past non-conference foe Adrian on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, 49-28. The non-conference victory was the first for Hanover dating back to the 2010 season when the Blue and Red defeated Centre, 28-27.
As a team, the Panthers finished the contest with a game-high 433 yards of offense. Hanover also rushed for a game-high 187 yards with six rushing touchdowns.
The Blue and Red got on the board early as the defense forced a Bulldog three and out that ended in a sophomore Sam Jackson (Indianapolis, Ind.) block punt. The sophomore scooped up the ball at the Adrian 55-yard line before taking it to the house for the score, 7-0.
The Panther defense remained stout as they forced another three and out giving the HC offense the ball with 12:07 remaining in the opening period. Hanover would take the ball 60-yards capped off by a junior Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) 7-yard scamper into the end zone, 14-0.
The efficiency on offense continued as the Blue and Red would score one more time in the first quarter. The drive started at the Hanover 31 where junior quarterback Noah Wezensky (Fort Wayne, Ind.) found senior Taylor Bleistein (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) for an 8-yard pickup. Coane would take the ball into Adrian territory with back-to-back runs tallying 38-yards. Junior running back Walt Ballinger (Beech Grove, Ind.) would finish the drive for the Panthers as he broke free for a 22-yard score, 21-0.
In the second period, the Panthers continued to hammer the gas as Wezensky found senior Conner Gibson (Lexington, Ky.) over the middle for a 20-yard reception to the Adrian 29. This time Coane would get the call in the red zone as he rushed ahead 3-yards for the touchdown, 28-0.
The final blow of the half came just seconds before halftime as a Bulldog fumble was eaten up by junior Terrell Anderson Jr. (Indianapolis, Ind.) who returned it 3-yards for the TD, 35-0.
Hanover would get the ball to open the second half and picked up right where they left off. Senior, quarterback, A.J. Breit (Louisville, Ky.) made his season debut on the drive as he took the team 75-yards on 10 plays for the score. The excitement started when Breit connected with Anderson for a 17-yard reception that placed HC at their own 36-yard line. He then gave the ball to Coane who surged ahead into Adrian territory. The score would come moments later as the QB rushed ahead for a 1-yard score, 42-0.
The Bulldogs, on the next possession, would end their scoreless drought as they took the ball 75-yards on nine plays to get on the board, 42-7. Adrian would go on to score three more times in the final period of play as they fell at the hands of the Panthers 49-28
Hanover returns to action on Saturday, September 21 as they travel to Tennessee to take on Maryville. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.