Hancock airs it out in win

September 18, 2009|By TIM KOELBLE/

CLEAR SPRING -- Air Panthers. That's what the Hancock football team can be called. So much for the wing-T.

There were years when Hancock might have passed the football 21 times in a season. They did that on Thursday night alone.

Sophomore Garrett Wiles completed 12 of 21 passes for four -- yes, four -- touchdowns, including the game-winning 27-yard connection with Nick Lanehart as the Panthers recorded a 34-26 victory over Clear Spring.

"I've got all the faith in the world in (Wiles)," said Hancock coach Dave Mahaffey.

Knotted up at 26 with 93 seconds left, Hancock started from its own 37, where Wiles connected with Tanner Dobrzanski on a 31-yard hitch-and-go.


After two incompletions, Wiles rolled to his left and hit Lanehart coming out of the backfield for the game-winner with 48 seconds remaining.

Dakota Clark ran for the two-point conversion.

"(Wiles) is doing what we've been teaching him, making reads on the scheme of the defense," said Mahaffey. "And Eli (Souders) ran some great routes."

Souders caught Wiles' other three touchdown passes.

Making the loss even tougher for Clear Spring was the loss of the Blazers' offensive workhorse.

Senior Wes Jackson, who had scored twice in the first half, went down and out for the season with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter with a compound fracture of the right leg.

He had just picked up 25 yards when he was hit by Hancock's Tanner Dobrzanski, but still tried to make a cut. His leg snapped and Jackson writhed in pain.

"The bone was out and exposed," said a distraught Clear Spring coach Craig Bathgate, who had to endure a third key player out with a substantial injury.

Jackson entered the game with 386 yards rushing and finished his evening with 182 yards on 17 carries, including touchdown runs of 39 and 10 yards.

Hancock led 14-13 at halftime. Wiles had a 3-yard run and 13-yard pass to Souders for Hancock's two scores. It was Souders' first touchdown at any level of football.

"I never scored in pee-wee, junior or JV ball, never," said an exuberant Souders. "I loved it. I got one-on-one coverage and they stayed in it."

After Clear Spring took a 20-14 lead early in the third period on a 10-yard run by Mike Etzel, the Panthers came back with successive air strikes to score.

On Jackson's injury, he also fumbled and the Panthers got the ball on the Blazers' 32.

From the 28, Souders worked his way on a slant pattern and Wiles' toss was on the spot for a 26-20 lead.

Hancock turned the ball over twice on fourth-down plays going through the final quarter, but caught a break on a 22-yard Clear Spring punt and 15-yard penalty for possession at the Blazers' 22.

Two plays later, Souders was on a corner route for an 11-yard score with 4:34 remaining.

"We pulled up our boot straps and made some plays," said Mahaffey.

However, the Blazers responded with a 59-yard march which included a little passing display of their own, a third completion resulting in a 21-yard score from Sam Adams to Corey Morgan. However, Andy Jarvis' PAT kick failed and left the game knotted at 26 with 1:33 to play.

"(Jackson's) injury changed the pace of the game for us," said Bathgate, "but we made too many mistakes that accumulated. We had trouble with coverage in the secondary."

Lanehart also led Hancock in rushing with 53 yards on 10 tries. The Panthers gained 120 yards on the ground while Clear Spring ended with 191.

Hancock 34, Clear Spring 26

H--Garrett Wiles 3 run (Nick Harvey kick)

CS--Wes Jackson 39 run (Andy Jarvis kick)

H--Eli Souders 13 pass from Wiles (Harvey kick)

CS--Jackson 10 run (kick failed)

CS--Mike Etzel 10 run (Jarvis kick)

H--Souders 38 pass from Wiles (kick failed)

H--Souders 11 pass from Wiles (pass failed)

CS--Corey Morgan 14 pass from Sam Adams (kick failed)

H--Nick Lanehart 27 pass from Wiles (Dakota Clark run)

Hancock77614--34Clear Spring7676--26HanCSFirst downs117Rushes-yards42-12032-191Passing yards19498Comp-Att-Int12-21-05-11-0Total offense63-31443-289Punts-avg.2-21.03-28.3Penalties-yards1-105-35Fumbles-lost1-02-2
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