HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover Panthers register a season-best 618 total yards of offense as they charged past Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent Manchester on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Alumni Stadium, 56-7.
The Blue and Red (6-1 overall, 4-0 HCAC) turned in a season-best 355-yards rushing with 263-yards through the air and eight touchdowns. Leading the charge was quarterback junior Noah Wezensky (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and junior, running back, Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.).
Wezensky finished the day with 238-yards and four touchdowns, including a 49-yard completion to senior Taylor Bleistein (Wesley Chapel, Fla.). Coane posted a season-best 184-yards on the ground with three touchdowns and a 58-yard scamper.
Joining Coane in the backfield was junior Walt Ballinger (Beech Grove, Ind.) who rushed for a season-best 102-yards on eight carries.
The Panthers scored early and often in the contest as they took their opening drive 57-yards on five plays. Wezensky opened the drive with a handoff to Coane before hooking up with senior Conner Gibson (Lexington, Ky.) for a 13-yard gain that placed HC inside the Manchester 30-yard line. The junior running back would handle the rest as he rushed for 21-yards and the go-ahead score, 7-0.
After a defensive three-an-out the offense made a statement taking the ball 54-yards for another Hanover touchdown. The big play of the drive came on second and three as Wezensky connected with junior Jared Frank (Lousiville, Ky.) for a 47-yard reception and score, 14-0.
The Blue and Red tacked on one final touchdown in the first quarter as Wezensky continued to fire on all cylinders dropping a dime to Gibson for his first touchdown of the contest, 21-0.
After posting 10 straight scoreless quarters of football, the Panther defense surrendered its first touchdown early in the second as the Spartans took the ball 50-yards on two plays, 21-7.
However, the offense didn't waiver as Coane tallied his largest run of the afternoon with a 58-yard scamper that resulted in a Panther touchdown, 28-7.
The Blue and Red defense remained stout forcing a Manchester three-an-out that set the stage for Bellinger with 10:25 remaining before half. The running back turned in his largest rush of the evening as he took the ball 58-yards for the score, 35-7.
Wezensky's longest play of the game came with 4:32 remaining as he threw a beautiful pass to Bleistein for a 49-yard completion and touchdown, 42-7.
The first half's final dagger came with just over a minute remaining as the Panthers drove 29-yards on four plays with Gibson notching his second touchdown of the afternoon, 49-7.
Coane got the final nod for the Blue and Red as he rushed for his season tying third touchdown en route to the teams 56-7 victory.
Junior Austin Steurer (Warsaw, Ky.) continued his impressive season as he connected on a perfect 8-for-8 PAT tries, moving his season total to 41 points.
The defense remained stellar holding Manchester to just 136 total yards of offense, while forcing two fumbles and an interception.
Hanover returns to action on Saturday, November 2 as they travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to take on Mt. St. Joseph.