MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — On a rainy Friday night under the lights, the Hanover Hawks came back from a two-touchdown deficit to claim the win in their 2020-21 season home opener against the Mechanicsville Mustangs.
The game remained scoreless for roughly the first 10 minutes until Mechanicsville wide receiver Chase Stattelman broke through from six yards out, putting six points on the board for the Mustangs.
The rain also presented a challenge for both teams, players slipping as they tried to turn quickly or passes that could’ve been caught resulting in an incompletion. That’s why, instead of a long pass, the Mustangs relied on a long run, to put their second touchdown up on the board. In the 10th minute of the second quarter, the away team was up by 12.
Though Hanover was able to inch its way up the field in the remainder of the second quarter, the score remained the same heading into halftime.
Hanover Head Coach Sam Rogers tells 8News that he had some words of wisdom to keep the boys motivated and even the score in the second half.
“Stay the course,” he said. “We drove the ball well [and] played well on defense. We just couldn’t finish drives.”
Throughout the third quarter, the Hawks managed to keep play near the end zone, which paid off with just two minutes remaining. Sophomore Brandon Elrod ran the ball in for a touchdown, making the score 12-6.
The game remained scoreless for the rest of the third quarter and much of the fourth quarter, until with Hawks decided to tie things up. Junior Levi Huesman ran into the end zone with just 3:06 on the clock.
“These guys put in so much work since February when we got together, and then, obviously, March, when coronavirus hit, we had to adjust,” Rogers said. “We had to do everything online. We had to have online workouts. The leaders really took ownership of this. Our captains just deserve a ton of credit.”
Huesman is one of those captains.
Without another score before the end of fourth quarter, the game went into overtime. Mechanicsville started with the ball, but then Hanover would be given a chance to match.
Almost immediately in the extra time period, the Mustangs scored from four yards out and earned the extra point, making the score 19-12.
Not only did the Hawks match the score, but they one-upped the away team by going for a two-point conversion, instead of a field goal.
“It was awesome,” Rogers said. “We just kind of wanted to finish it there. We had a play that we thought was going to work, so let’s finish it there and see what happens.”
The final score was 20-19.
The teams will face off again at Mechanicsville at 6 p.m. on March 19.