Hanover College’s football team opened the 2012 season with a 51-28 loss on the road to No. 13 Illinois College. The game was played Saturday, Sept. 1, in Jacksonville, Ill.
Illinois College totaled 632 yards of offense, including a school-record 341 rushing yards from junior Cecil Brimmage, as the Blueboys pulled away to claim the first meeting between the schools since 1942.
Hanover, in its first game under first-year head coach Steve Baudendistel, tallied 182 yards in the first half, but finished with just 295 yards in the game.
The Panthers punted four times and turned the ball over on an interception while falling behind 16-0 after the first period.
Hanover, however, needed just three plays to scratch the scoreboard early in the second quarter.
Junior quarterback Dexter Britt (Louisville, Ky.) lofted a 31-yard scoring pass to senior receiver Dwayne Eubanks (Mitchell, Ind.) to trim the deficit to 16-7 with more than 12 minutes to play in the half.
Illinois College (1-0) scored on its next two possessions to pull ahead 30-7. But, the Panthers countered with two scoring drives to climb back into the game.
Senior receiver Colton Zeck (Galveston, Ind.) rambled into the endzone from the one-yard-line to shave the Blueboys’ cushion to 30-14 at the break.
Britt connected with senior receiver Daniel Passafiume (Louisville, Ky.) with 5:10 left in the third period to allow the Panthers to sneak within 30-21.
Brimmage helped seal Illinois College’s win down the stretch. He rushed for 116 yards in a 10-minute span in the latter stage the game, including a nine-yard touchdown and a 52-yard scoring run to eventually bump the Blueboys’ lead to 51-21 with 9:33 left in the contest.
With sophomore quarterback Tanner Parker (Greencastle, Ind.) in relief, Hanover used a six-play drive to hit paydirt again in the closing minute.
Sophomore running back C.J. Taylor (Indianapolis, Ind.) banged his way into the endzone from six yards out for his first collegiate touchdown and the game’s final tally.
Britt finished the outing 22-of-36 for 180 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
Passafiume, in his first game since missing the entire 2011 campaign with an illness, hauled in 10 passes for 67 yards with the touchdown. He stretched his Hanover record to 264 career receptions.
Zeck added seven catches for 59 yards, while Eubanks caught four balls for 44 yards and a score.
Brimmage averaged 12.2 yards per attempt. He carried the ball 28 times for 341 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Michael Bates completed 16-of-31 passes for 167 yards. He had one touchdown pass and was picked off by junior defensive back Matt McConnell (Buckner, Ky.).
Bates also had 14 rushes for 73 yards and a score.
Senior linebacker Andy Dalton (Guilford, Ind.) posted 18 tackles and McConnell added 14 to lead the Panthers’ defense.
Senior defensive back Kris Jenkins (Louisville, Ky.) snatched his first career interception late in the fourth period.
Published Saturday, September 1, 2012