Offense struggles in Hanover Central loss at Boone Grove
(Valparaiso, IN) The Hanover Central football Wildcats struggled to generate the offense needed to keep pace with a high-powered Boone Grove team, and fell to the Wolves 42-13 at Viking Field at Valparaiso High School.
The win gives Boone Grove (6-0, 3-0 GSSC) control of its own destiny in the race for the Greater South Shore Conference South Division title, with every other team holding at least one loss.
The game kicked off on Saturday night, as the game was postponed from Friday night due to lightning and thunderstorms. But HC head coach Brian Parker wasn’t ready to pass the blame to Mother Nature.
“It had no bearing on how we played tonight,” Parker said. “Didn’t coach well, didn’t play well. That’s the thing that stings the most is that we didn’t put forth our best performance.”
A Boone Grove team that entered the game ranked in state polls (#10 in the AP state Class 2A poll, #11 in the state Class 2A Indiana Football Coaches Association poll) flexed its muscles early.
After losing a fumble in the end zone on their first possession, the Wolves would score touchdowns on their next two possessions. Braeton Vann TD runs of 1 and 2 yards capped scoring drives of 56 and 57 yards, respectively, and the Wolves went up 14-0 at the 1:17 mark of the 1st quarter.
Hanover quickly responded. Tyler Fruehling’s 1 yard QB sneak capped a 60 yard drive highlighted by a 45 yard Fruehling-to-Blaze Cano strike. The extra point failed, but HC trailed just 14-6 at the end of the 1st quarter.
That’s as close as the Wildcats would get.
Wolves’ QB Jake Mayersky ran for a 54 yard touchdown and tossed a 20 yard TD pass to Eddy Schultze to give the Wolves a 28-6 lead at the half.
After the break, Hanover (3-3, 2-1 GSSC) could get nothing going offensively, registering just 16 second half yards. For the game, Boone Grove outgained the Wildcats in total offense 372-79.
Mayerski’s 64 yard TD pass to Vann and Hayden Crook’s 8 yard TD run was enough to put the IHSAA’s new running clock rule into effect late in the 3rd quarter.
“Are they 29 points better than us? I don’t necessarily think so, but they played a better game than we did,” Parker said on the field after the game.
The lone bright spot of the second half came when Cano found Jack Kuiper in the end zone for a 14 yard touchdown pass.
The Wildcats held Vann, one of Indiana’s best running backs, to just 74 rushing yards, significantly under his 126 yards-per-game season average. However the playmaker found other ways to beat HC: he had 101 yards and a TD receiving, and also had an interception.
Mayersky finished with 163 yards and 2 TD’s passing, 54 yards and 1 TD rushing. He also added an interception on defense.
“We knew coming in that 13 (Vann) was gonna’ hit some plays, that 3 (Mayersky) was gonna’ hit some plays,” Parker said. “But offensively we didn’t set up our defense for success tonight.”
Hanover fell to 1-5 all-time against the Wolves, with all of the games coming after the two teams joined the Greater South Shore Conference together in 2014.
HC travels to Whiting Friday night, and may have revenge on its mind. The Oilers thumped Hanover 61-0 last year, but the green and white are struggling this season, having lost three straight games by an average score of 29 points.
“We just have to come back on Monday with a good attitude ready to go back to work,” Parker said. “It’s a new season, a new team. They’re a new team, we’re a new team.”