MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Hanover football saw its second half woes pop up yet again in week two as the Panthers watched an early 14-0 lead slip away in a 24-20 loss at Maryville College on Saturday.

Hanover, which starts 0-2 for the seventh consecutive season, was outscored 17-6 over the final two quarters as a combination of untimely penalties and defensive letdowns allowed Maryville to hold off the Panthers’ bid to upset a team that entered 2017 receiving votes in the NCAA Division III Top 25.

Maryville (1-1) began the comeback trail at the end of the second quarter when a Garren Messmore fumble was picked up by Jordan Early and returned 37 yards for a score and an extra point by Jordan Hubbs cut the deficit to 14-7 at halftime.

The Panthers’ biggest defensive breakdown allowed Maryville to tie the game on its first series of the second half.

After Hanover’s opening series of the third quarter resulted in a punt, the Scots took advantage of freshman defensive back Terrell Anderson as Adam Diggs found Michael Smith on an 80-yard bomb downfield followed by Hubbs’ second extra point of the afternoon with 11:31 left in the third quarter.

Hanover did regain the lead nearly four minutes later on a one yard keeper by quarterback Chase Lightfoot but the Panthers failed on a two-point conversion and then failed to find the end zone the rest of the game.

A pass interference call on Anderson put Maryville on the Hanover 15 yard line on the next series, setting up Scots’ running back Elijah Chenier for four consecutive runs capped by a one yard touchdown and another extra point by Hubbs. The Scots led 21-20 at the end of the third quarter and a field goal in the fourth — a 37 yarder by Hubbs— was enough to hold off the Panthers.

Hanover had a crack at a score on the final drive of the game but failed to convert as the Panthers turned the ball over at their own 45 yard line.

Maryville’s fortune was a complete turnaround from the first half after the Scots own mistakes paired with Hanover’s energy out of the gate allowed the Panthers to enjoy early success.

On a third and seven from the Maryville 41, Lightfoot’s pass fell short of an intended receiver and was picked off by Blake Henderson at the 22 yard line. But Henderson fumbled the football on the return and the ball was recovered by Hanover’s Brandon Merrick at the Scots’ 46. Lightfoot seized the second opportunity with a vengeance and led the Panthers downfield, running a yard into the end zone for the first of two rushing touchdowns on the day.

Hanover then went up 14-0 on a 9-yard pass play from Lightfoot to Jackson Daugherty.

Lightfoot finished the day with 168 yards on 23-of-36 passing. Daugherty was on the receiving end of 85 of those yards with eight receptions. Cory Leppert had 45 yards on three catches. Justin Conners led the rushing attack with 15 carries and 53 yards.

Diggs led Maryville under center with 187 yards on 14-of-18 passing and a touchdown. Smith benefitted greatly on the receiving end, collecting 122 yards on three catches and a score. Chenier finished the day with 15 carries and 44 yards and a lone touchdown.

Hanover’s defense was led by Layne Harnishfeger, a senior from Batesville, who had 13 tackles and three sacks. On the flip side, Maryville’s Cedric Brown gave the Panthers fits, pushing his way through the Hanover offensive front for 10 tackles.

Hanover opens Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play Saturday when they visit reigning conference champion Rose-Hulman. The Fighting Engineers are 1-1 on the season, falling to Millikin 28-26 on Saturday for their first loss of the year.


Saturday’s Hanover

Scoring Summary

at Maryville, Tenn.


Hanover 7 7 6 0 — 20

Maryville 0 7 14 3 — 24


1st Quarter

HC-Chase Lightfoot 1-yard run (Austin Steurer kick), 3:34

2nd Quarter

HC-Jackson Daugherty, 9-yard pass from Lightfoot (Steurer kick), 10:59

M-Jordan Early, 37-yard fumble recovery (Ian Hubbs kick), 6:58

3rd Quarter

M- Michael Smith, 80-yard pass from Adam Diggs (Hubbs kick), 11:31

HC-Lightfoot 1-yard run (pass failed), 7:59

M-Elijah Chenier, 1-yard run (Hubbs kick), 3:28

4th Quarter

M- Hubbs, 37-yard field goal, 9:33