Panthers rally for fourth-quarter win at Defiance

Senior quarterback Dexter Britt (Louisville, Ky.) lofted a 36-yard touchdown pass to junior running back Spencer Corrao (New Albany, Ind.) in the final minute to lift Hanover College’s football squad to a 25-21 win at Defiance College (Ohio).

Hanover, stifled by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s top-rated defense, rallied from a 21-12 fourth-quarter deficit to post to the team’s third victory in a row and fourth straight against Defiance (3-5; 3-3 HCAC).

The Panthers, now 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the Heartland Conference, were limited to just seven offensive yards but managed a 12-0 lead at halftime.

Defiance scored twice in the third period to surge ahead 14-12 and increased the margin to 21-12 with a touchdown in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.

Britt led Hanover on a six-play, 61-yard scoring drive to cut the margin to 21-19 midway through the final frame. He capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown run.

Hanover’s defensive unit kept the Panthers in the game by limiting the Yellow Jackets to only one offensive yard through three possessions the rest of way.

Defiance was forced to punt after a 13-yard drive, giving the ball back to the Panthers with 5:17 to go.

Hanover moved to the Yellow Jackets' 27-yard-line during a 10-play drive, but a career-long 44-yard field goal attempt by senior placekicker Dylan Dunlop (Miami, Fla.) was short.

Hanover’s defense pushed Defiance back seven yards in a three-and-out to force another punt.

The Panthers responded with a three-play, 37-yard game-winning drive.

After a one-yard pitch to freshman receiver Austin Pfenninger (Carmel, Ind.), Britt hit Corrao, who was running wide open down the middle of the field, for the go-ahead score.

Defiance had the ball with 30 seconds left in the contest. However, sophomore lineman Jake Stilwell (Pendleton, Ind.) had two sacks and forced a fumble to seal Hanover’s victory.

The Panthers grabbed a 7-0 lead with 5:51 left in the first quarter when junior defensive lineman John Holtkamp (Greenwood, Ind.) recovered a fumble and scampered 60 yards for a touchdown.

Holtkamp and junior lineman Vince Peiffer (Trafalgar, Ind.) tallied a safety with a combined tackle for loss in the endzone to nudge Hanover ahead 9-0 with 11:31 to play in the half.

Dunlop matched his career long with a 42-yard field goal to put the Panthers ahead 12-0 with just one second remaining before intermission.

Peiffer finished with a career-best 15 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Brandon Foster (Haubstadt, Ind.) and junior linebacker Justin Magaw (West Palm Beach, Fla.) totaled 14 tackles apiece.

Stilwell had eight tackles, including 2.5 sacks, and Holtkamp posted seven stops.

Hanover totaled 162 yards in the outing. Britt completed 10-of-35 passes for 130 yards. He also rushed 20 times for 31 yards.

Junior punter Josh Green (Beaumaris, Australia) averaged 36.6 yards per kick, including a 52-yarder. He had three punts land within the 20-yard-line, including two inside the Defiance three.

Hanover at Defiance (Ohio) statistics