Hanover Central ends regular season with win over South Central
(Cedar Lake, IN) Oftentimes a football coach in Indiana will use Week 9 to prepare for his tenth week: the sectional opener of the IHSAA football tournament.
The best thing Hanover Central head football coach Brian Parker could do last Friday night to prepare his team for sectional play was to keep his starters well-rested and healthy, standing on the sidelines for the entire second half of a 44-14 win over visiting South Central.
After losing their Week 6 matchup to eventual undefeated Greater South Shore Conference South Division champion Boone Grove, the Wildcats finished the regular season with three straight wins.
It was Senior Night at the Wildcat Den, and Parker said after the game he wanted to involve his playmakers from the Class of 2020.
“I wanted to get the seniors in on scoring opportunities, and I think we did that.”
It didn’t take long.
On Hanover’s first play from scrimmage, the Wildcats ran a double reverse in which junior quarterback Blaze Cano caught a 42 yard touchdown pass from senior Tyler Fruehling. The Sergio Felix extra point gave HC an early 7-0 lead, and the Wildcat offense was off and running.
Six of HC’s seven first half possessions resulted in scores: five touchdowns and a Felix 19 yard field goal. Cano, the Wildcat punter, would have to punt just once all night.
Cano threw three first half touchdown passes to three different receivers as the Wildcats (6-3, 5-1 GSSC) raced to a 44-0 halftime lead.
Hanover’s defense held the Satellites (2-7, 2-5 GSSC) to just 35 yards of offense in the first half.
Parker then pulled his starters and allowed Hanover’s junior varsity squad a chance to get some valuable Friday night snaps for the entire second half.
Under new IHSAA blowout rules, the second half was played with a running clock. Facing less-experienced defenders, South Central was able to post two touchdowns for its senior RB Jake Osburn.
Cano finished with 163 yards and three touchdowns passing to add to his 42 yard TD catch.
Cano’s touchdown passes went to Bryan Hoover (35 yards), Kyle Anderson (14 yards), and Jack Kuiper (20 yards). Hoover led the team in receiving with 100 yards with the one touchdown.
Prior to the game, HC honored its football seniors: Fruehling, Anderson, Kuiper, Ryan Breedlove, Brett Driscoll, Austin Foster, and Michael Simon.
A few seniors have left their marks in the modern-era record books for Hanover (2014-present). Driscoll holds the career mark for tackles with 206. Fruehling holds the career marks for TD passes (22) and passing yards (1,870). Kuiper is Hanover’s school leader in interceptions with ten.
“They will always hold a special place in my heart,” Parker said. “This is the first senior class I’ve had that I spent a whole offseason with, and every single one of them…anything they’ve been asked to do they’ve done it. On their Senior night I wanted them to have a memorable, special night.”
Driscoll had 69 yards and 1 TD rushing. He had two highlight-reel touchdown plays—a long seam route catch and a 52 yard punt return—taken off the board due to penalties.
Junior Adam Graham added a 4 yard touchdown run.
Max Warchol and Driscoll led the defense with six tackles, and Breedlove had an interception.
Hanover has played arguably its most difficult schedule since football returned to HCHS in 2014, with road trips in 2019 to Andrean, Culver Military, River Forest, Boone Grove, and Whiting. At one stretch of the season, the Wildcats had played five road games in six weeks.
But the Wildcats finished the regular season perfect at home, with wins over East Chicago, Griffith, Wheeler, and South Central.
Parker now turns his attention to 3A Sectional 25, where the Wildcats once again put on the white jerseys and make a road trip. This time the bus heads south to Twin Lakes (Monticello), where he hopes his players and fans don’t overlook their opponent’s 3-6 record.
“They’re probably the best 3-6 team in the state,” Parker said. “They play in a really tough conference (Hoosier Conference).”
Parker said his Wildcats are ready for the challenge.
“Getting on a bus and going an hour and a half south into Monticello, it’s a tall task. But we’ll show up, that’s for sure.”.
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Stats courtesy Adam Noel, Hanover Central football statistician