HANOVER TWP. – Holy Redeemer has been on the other side of this equation too often.
And Jimmy Strickland wasn't going to let anything – not even a 21-point comeback or a torrential downpour – get in the way of getting the Royals' first win over a Wyoming Valley Conference opponent in four seasons.
Strickland contributed on seven touchdowns to lead the Royals to a 47-37 victory Friday over Hanover Area.
His numbers were amazing – notably the greatest individual performance in the program's short history. The Royals' quarterback threw for 488 yards and led the team with 32 yards rushing. He passed for five touchdowns and recorded two more rushing touchdowns.
Honestly, I thought he could throw for 500 tonight, Holy Redeemer coach Pat Reece said. He was just simply amazing. He could do anything and everything out there.
The 500-yard plateau could have been a possibility were it not for the blinding rain that began five minutes into the second half.
The rain was affecting us a little bit because it's very, very muddy, Reece said. We were throwing the ball okay. The rain caused a little bit of confusion.
The rain gave the Hawkeyes, trailing by 30 points, an opportunity for a late comeback.
Hanover Area scored 20 consecutive points to bring the game to within 10 points late in the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes made a late push to make it a one-possession game but the Royals' Chad Fahey caught a circus-style interception off the heal of a receiver, allowing Holy Redeemer to run out the clock.
You have to play four quarters, Hanover Area coach Ron Hummer said. We made some adjustments at halftime. And they worked. But when you go in down, it's tough to come back.
I figured the weather would affect their passing game. Give Strickland all of the credit in the world. Kid came out there and played his rear end off.
The win ends a 14-game losing streak over conference opponents for the Royals. Holy Redeemer's last victory came over Nanticoke in 2009.
Holy Redeemer wide receiver Eric Kerr caught nine catches for 214 yards. Kerr made several acrobatic catches for three touchdowns, including a 14-yard diving one-armed grab to begin the second half.
The Royals came out strong defensively. They stopped the Hawkeyes three times in a row at the line, leading to a fourth-down stop. On Hanover Area's next possession, Holy Redeemer forced a second midfield, fourth-down stall that led to a scoring drive.
In the locker room, every one was focused and orderly, Reece said. They wanted to take over the game.
Hanover Area quarterback Casey O'Mack ran for 151 yards on nine carries.
Holy Redeemer 47, Hanover Area 37
HR – Eric Kerr 53 pass from Jimmy Strickland (Mark Cantillo kick), 4:35
HR – Pat Villani 13 pass from Strickland (kick failed), 2:44
HR – Kerr 5 pass from Strickland (Cantillo kick), 10:52
HAN – Dillon Ropietski 1 run (Matt Clemons kick), 5:12
HR – Strickland 2 run (run failed), 3:22
HR – Jason Hoggarth 28 pass from Strickland (Cantillo kick), 1:28
HR – Kerr 18 pass from Strickland (kick failed), 11:02
HAN – Ya'sir Jones 12 run (Jones run), 7:11
HR – Strickland 5 run (Strickland run), 2:32
HAN – Jones 80 kick return (Brian Belcher run), 2:17
HAN – Elido Veras 19 catch from Casey O'Mack (run failed), 9:33
HAN – Ropietski 12 run (Ropietski run), 4:39
|Team Statistics||Redeemer||Han Area|
RUSHING – HR, PVillani 5-0, Strickland 11-32, Justin Renfer 1-4, Charles Ross 4-6; HAN Jones 14-76, Belcher 12-91, Ropietski 4-14, O'Mack 9-151
PASSING – HR, Strickland 26-40-0-488; HAN, O'Mack 7-15-1-98
RECEIVING – HR, Kerr 9-214, Chad Fahey 4-53, PVillani 4-63, Vince Villani 1-1, Hoggarth 4-117, Eric Ligotski 3-27, Matt Crofchick 1-13, Team 1-3; HAN, Michael Beierle 1-13, Ropietski 1-13, Isaiah Taylor 2-25, Antonio Constantino 1-23, Jones 1-5, Veras 1-19 INTS – HR, Fahey 1-0