HANOVER TWP. — If the muddy brown slop that bordered both sidelines was any indication, the last installment of the Meyers-Hanover Area football rivalry was, by any measure, messy.
The Mohawks outlasted the Hawkeyes 23-6 in a grueling three-hour game Friday that saw minimal offense, frivolous penalties, questionable officiating, eight turnovers and squandered red zone chances.
To put it bluntly, this was not a game that fans on either side of Division Street will remember fondly.
Meyers accumulated 201 yards on 16 penalties — more yardage than it allowed on defense. Despite that, the Mohawks still faced little challenge by the Hawkeyes offense that was forced to take to the air after injuries to their running game.
Meyers opened the scoring with a safety when the Hanover Area snap sailed over the punter’s head and out of the back of the end zone with 7:51 left in the first half.
The Mohawks clung onto the 2-0 lead for most of the first half. Meyers failed to manufacture a touchdown on three drives that they recovered a fumble inside of the Hanover Area 10 yard line. An inadvertent whistle on a fumble that was recovered to the end zone waived off a Mohawks’ touchdown and gave them possession on the 4. On another possession, the Hawkeyes coughed up the ball at their 6. On the very next Hanover Area offensive play, Meyers’ Josh Goodwin recovered a fumble at the 2.
The Hanover Area defense kept Meyers out of the end zone all three times.
Meyers finally scored a touchdown after finding Reese Patronick and Darrian Tyson open for big gains. Talee Swinney punched in the first touchdown with a 2 yard sneak with 4:15 left in the half.
Leading 9-0, the Mohawks added to their lead with 8:24 when Nazir Dunell ran off tackle for an 11 yard touchdown run, bowling over the official in the corner of the end zone.
Hanover Area found success in the passing game by finding James McCabe three times for 27 yards. McCabe leaped over two Meyers defenders for an 11 touchdown catch, trimming the deficit to 16-6 with 6:36 left in the contest.
Meyers came back two plays later with a 39 yard Tyson touchdown run down the sidelines.
Dunell led the Mohawks with 77 yards rushing on 12 carries. Tyson picked up 62 yards on five carries. Patronick caught three passes for 48 yards.
Hanover Area’s Aaron Hummer completed seven passes for 138 yards with one touchdown.
“I thought we didn’t give up,” Meyers coach Jeff Labatch said. “With all of the penalties and all of the stuff with being inside of the 5 four times and not getting points out of it, I’m happy that we didn’t give up much today.
“I give all of the credit in the world for their goal-line stands. They did great defensively.”
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