WILKES-BARRE — A 17-game losing streak spanning the course of three seasons for Hanover Area finally ended Friday night, after the Hawkeyes upset GAR 21-13 at Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium.
“It was awesome,” said Hanover Area head coach Mike McCree. “It took all the guys on the field to get the win tonight. We snapped our streak and we just need to improve and get better every week.”
After the Hawkeyes’ 42-0 loss to Lake-Lehman last week, McCree said his team needed to get back to fundamentals.
“On the defensive side of things, all we did was tackle and roll off blocks in pursuit,” McCree said.
His game plan worked, as the Hawkeyes limited GAR to 121 yards of total offense.
Senior running back Justice Lomas came into the contest leading the 3A division with six total touchdowns. Although he scored Friday night, Lomas was limited to 29 yards on 14 carries to lead all GAR running backs.
Meanwhile, Hanover came out firing on all cylinders to start its first offensive series.
Running back Joseph Curcio pounded through the Grenadiers defensive line for 42 yards on five carries in that drive to put the Hawkeyes on top 7-0.
Lomas answered with a 13-yard touchdown run on the following GAR possession.
Early in the second quarter, Hanover’s momentum was eliminated after punter Jared Kisbaugh’s knee hit the ground when he got the snap, setting up great field position for the home team.
GAR quarterback Kam Taylor capitalized on the error with a 13-yard strike to wideout Malachi Williams.
The Hawkeyes special teams unit then blocked the extra point attempt to limit GAR’s lead to 13-7.
Hanover Area then scored 14 unanswered points with a 15-yard rushing touchdown by James McCabe in the second quarter and Curcio’s second touchdown in the middle of the third.
The Hanover defense thwarted two late drives by GAR to secure the team’s first win since Sept. 23, 2016, when they beat Lake-Lehman 41-14.
“We dominated at the line of scrimmage,” McCree said. “We started seven sophomores and they dominated GAR physically.”
Curcio led the Hawkeyes with two touchdowns on 27 carries totaling 144 yards.
McCabe added a score on nine rushes for 48 yards.
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