Football Preview: Quarterbacks
HANOVER, Ind. – With the less than two weeks until the season opener, we continue our Hanover football preview series with a deeper look at the quarterback position.
In the weeks leading up to the season opener against Centre (Ky.), we will take an in-depth look at each position group, mainly focusing on the key returners. Check out the previous position releases below.
Hanover is coming off a 4-6 season in 2016, including a 4-4 mark in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, its first conference winning percentage of .500 or better since 2013. The Panthers were recently picked by the conference coaches to finish fifth in the HCAC this season after tying for fourth in 2016.
Senior Chase Lightfoot (Crestwood, Ky.) will look to pick up where he left off at the end of the 2016 season, which saw him complete 65-percent of his passes for over 900 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Hanover quarterback coach Jonny West stated, “Coming back from a season ending injury the year before, Chase finally got healthy and played really well for us down the stretch last season.”
Lightfoot entered the game during the second half of Hanover’s home contest against Defiance last October, as he helped guide the Panthers to a 27-20 comeback victory over the Yellow Jackets. The then junior went 6-for-10 on the game-winning drive, tossing a 29-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Bleistein (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) with just over 30 seconds remaining.
The next week at Manchester, Lightfoot earned his first start of the season, where he completed 26-of-36 attempts for 386 yards and a career high six scores. His performance in the 49-27 win earned him HCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. He then followed with an encore performance at Franklin, throwing for over 300 yards again, while adding three passing touchdowns.
West also added about Lightfoot, “Coming off a strong finish in the fall, Chase also had a tremendous spring and is the favorite to be the starter in Week One this year.”
A quintet of quarterbacks will look to challenge Lightfoot for the starting spot this fall, headlined by sophomore Alex Fabert (Mooresville, Ind.). Fabert appeared in three games last season, completing two of his four pass attempts for 41 yards.
“We have three returners and a pair of transfers that are all battling it out to move up the depth chart and challenge Chase.”
West has also been impressed with the freshmen class stating, “We also have a solid group of freshmen that we are excited about.”
Hanover and Centre will meet during Football Alumni and Community Day, Saturday, Sept. 2. The Panthers and Colonels are slated for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.
Contact: Tyler Jester