Hanover Central Wildcats hammer South Central Satellites
UNION MILLS — South Central coach Buzz Schoff had many details in his team’s 54-21 home defeat to Hanover Central on Friday night that he was able to dissect.
But the most telling one was the story of Wildcats’ special teams and their ability to score critical touchdowns against the Satellites.
Ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, Hanover Central’s Brandon Demoff took a punt return back 60 yards to double up the Wildcats’ lead. With a 26-7 lead later on, Max Worchol blocked a South Central punt which was recovered by Connor Wotherspoon in the end zone for a 33-7 halftime lead.
South Central (2-6), which dropped its third straight game, had some moments of offensive effectiveness but was overwhelmed by a diverse offensive and defensive attack led by multi-talented Brett Driscoll (three touchdowns, 77 receiving yards, 74 rushing yards and 11 tackles).
“The punt return was a big momentum changer,” Schoff said. “There’s not too many teams that are going to win giving up scores on special teams, and they were able to get two of them. You’re behind the eight ball already.
“In order to win these games, you have to score every time you have the ball. And you can’t give up big play and have stupid penalties – and tonight we had all three of those. You’re not going to win too many games doing that. Our kids fought hard, but we were out-manned.”
Schoff said that the punt return by Hanover Central that made the deficit 14-0 late in the first quarter was not an impossible comeback by any means, but more challenging for a team whose roster size is small and compromised due to losses of players like Jake Osburn to injuries.
“It’s one of those things that we just don’t have the guys to come out and stall an offense and put up a quick score or be able to persevere when a team puts up two quick scores on you,” he said. “We get down on those two scores, but we still need to fight. We were able to regroup a bit.”
The Satellites, down 40-7 early in the third quarter, forced a fumble on Hanover’s 43-yard-line and marched down the field with a mixture of pass and run plays that was capped off by a 10-yard run by Jackson Meloy to cut the deficit to 26.
Meloy (21 carries for 119 yards) would play a big part of South Central’s final score of the game when he broke free for a 50-yard rumble to put the Satellites on the Wildcats’ 4-yard-line. Schmack would run it in from four yards to round out the scoring with 6:02 left to play.
South Central got their first score compliments of a 40-yard pass from Schmack to Zack Christy with 27 seconds left in the first quarter. Schmack completed four passes for 79 yards and also rushed for 80 yards on 17 carries.
“That’s a good 3A team we played tonight,” Schoff said. “You can’t score 35 points on one play. I just told the kids to keep battling and see what happens. Just don’t give up on yourselves. We still have work to do. Our goal was to be competitive in the regular season and win a sectional. That is still the goal.”
Hanover Central 54, South Central 21
Jackson Meloy rushed for 119 yards and a score for the Satellites.