HANOVER, Ind. – After a dominating victory over Mt .St. Joseph, the Hanover Panthers have set the stage for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title showdown with Rose-Hulman.
DEFENDING THE CROWN: After defeating Franklin for the team's first Bell-Game victory since 2004, the Panthers earned the 2018 season crown through a series of tiebreakers. This season the Blue and Red will look to claim the title outright with a victory over Rose-Hulman on Saturday.
AQ ON THE LINE: With a win on Saturday, the Panthers will earn the conference's automatic qualifier and punch their ticket to the national playoffs for the second consecutive season. Prior to the 2018 campaign, the Panthers last appearance in the NCAA playoff dated back to 2003.
NATIONAL SCENE: The Hanover football team has burst onto the national scene in the latest D3Football.com Poll that saw the Blue and Red receiving votes for the first time all season.
DEFEATING MOUNT: In what had potential to be a conference altering matchup fell short as the Panthers dominated Mount St. Joseph in all aspects of the contest. The defense is where it all started for Hanover. Despite Mount St. Joseph's quarterback being ranked in the top-10 nationally in both passing yards and touchdowns, Hanover managed to hold the Lion's signal caller to only 270-yards through the air with no passing touchdowns. The Blue and Red offense also exploded throwing for 225-yards and added another 218-yards on the ground.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: The accolades just keep coming for the Panthers as junior, running back, Shawn Coane (Evansville, Ind.) and freshman, defensive lineman, Devonte Hardiman (Princeton, Ind.) were tabbed HCAC Players of the Week. Coane, the HCAC Offensive Player of the Week, finished the contest with a game-high 160-yards rushing and two touchdowns. He averaged 7.3 yards per carry, including a game long 35-yard scamper. His weekend outburst propelled him to the top spot in the HCAC in touchdowns.
Hardiman, the HCAC Defensive Player of the Week, played a huge role in the defensive efforts as he tallied a career-high 2.5 sacks on a game that saw the signal caller hit the turf on eight separate occasions.
SCOUTING ROSE-HULMAN: The Fightin' Engineers enter the weekend matchup 6-2 overall, 5-1 HCAC after defeating Defiance, 53-6. With a win on Saturday, Rose-Hulman would win at least a share of the HCAC crown. Leading the charge for Rose is junior, quarterback, Andrew Dion with 1,660 total yards of offense and 14 touchdowns. On the ground, senior Garrett Wight appears to be the number one back with 191 carriers for 794-yards.