Late rally nets Hanover, Baudendistel first victory

Hanover College’s football team rallied from a late 24-9 deficit to post a 28-24 victory against the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener was played Saturday, Sept. 15, at L.S. Ayres Field.

Senior receiver Colton Zeck (Galveston, Ind.) cradled a 10-yard lob from junior quarterback Dexter Britt (Louisville, Ky.) just inside the left-front corner of the endzone to push Hanover ahead 28-24 with 8:33 to play.

The eventual game-winner capped a 19-point swing and handed Hanover’s first-year head coach Steve Baudendistel his first collegiate victory.

The Panthers led 9-7 early in the second period before Mount St. Joseph ripped off 17-consecutive points to bolt ahead 24-9 with just 5:55 left in the third period.

Hanover (1-2; 1-0 HCAC) started its rally with a 12-play, 86-yard drive to end the third quarter.

Britt found senior receiver Jacob Noger (Lexington, Ky.) along the left side of the endzone from three yards out. The touchdown, Noger’s second career, pulled the Panthers within 24-15 with 1:28 left in the quarter.

On its next possession, Mount St. Joseph’s offense was stymied into one yard on three plays. Following the Lions’ punt, Hanover marched 76 yards in nine plays for paydirt.

Britt was 5-for-5 for 56 yards on the drive and sophomore running back Spencer Corrao (New Albany, Ind.) added 15 yards on the ground, including a one-yard burst across the goal line to pull Hanover within 24-21 with 11:58 minutes remaining in the game.

The Panthers’ defense again clamped down on Mount St. Joseph. The Lions were limited to minus-two yards on three plays and forced to punt with 10 minutes on the clock.

Hanover needed just five plays to cover 72 yards for the go-ahead points.

Britt connected on 4-of-4 passes during the drive, including a 40-yarder to senior receiver Shawn Gibson (Indianapolis, Ind.) and a scoop by senior receiver Dwayne Eubanks (Mitchell, Ind.) on a 20-yard throw to put the Panthers at the 10-yard-line.

Britt lobbed the game-winner to Zeck on the next play.

Mount St. Joseph ventured into Hanover territory twice in the final six minutes, but was stifled by the Panthers’ defense.

Junior defensive back Matt McConnell (Buckner, Ky.) locked up the Lions’ James Clay on a fourth-and-seven play at the Hanover 33-yard-line with 5:04 to play to thwart one potential game-winning drive.

Junior linebacker Brandon Foster (Haubstadt, Ind.) smothered Clay on a fourth-and-three play from the Hanover 23-yard-line with 46 seconds left to seal the Panthers’ win.

Hanover generated a season-high 507 yards of offense, including 399 yards through the air.

Britt finished 33-of-48 with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Senior receiver Daniel Passafiume (Louisville, Ky.)  caught 15 passes for 125 yards. Zeck had five receptions for 104 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Gibson collected a career-best seven balls for 100 yards.

Corrao posted a career-high 87 rushing yards on 16 carries, including his first collegiate touchdown.

Mount St. Joseph amassed 345 yards, with 245 coming on the ground. The Lions’ Clay gained 218 yards on 40 rushes with three touchdowns.

Senior linebacker Andy Dalton (Guilford, Ind.) totaled 11 tackles and sophomore linebacker Justin Magaw (West Palm Beach, Fla.) added 10 stops to lead the Panthers’ effort on defense.

Freshman Jake Stilwell (Pendleton, Ind.) and senior lineman Josh Gilb (Aurora, Ind.) combined for 4.5 tackles for loss to spark the unit.

Hanover vs. Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) statistics