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Marauders Run Wild, Improve to 4-0

  • Pembroke wide receiver Brandon Jawidzik finds himself in the air after a hit from Hanover running back Griffin Young on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Hanover defeated Pembroke 36-14. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover running back Griffin Young runs into the end zone for a touchdown on Pembroke on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Hanover defeated Pembroke 36-14. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover quarterback Caleb Morse assists in keeping the path clear for teammate Colin Pierce in Hanover's game against Pembroke Academy on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Hanover defeated Pembroke 36-14. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Students of Hanover High School cheer on their team in their game against Pembroke Academy in Hanover, N.H., on Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Hanover defeated Pembroke 36-14. (Valley News - August Frank) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Sports Editor
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hanover — When you’re perfect, you’ve earned the right to be a perfectionist.

The Hanover High football team wasn’t about to turn down Friday night’s 36-14 NHIAA Division II win over Pembroke at blustery Merriman-Branch Field. But by the tenor of their voices and the looks on their faces, the Marauders (4-0) believed they can play better than they showed against the winless Spartans (0-4).

Griffin Young ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns for Hanover, which was never seriously threatened. The Marauders have won 21 of their last 22 regular-season games and remain near the top of the D-II standings.

“I don’t think it was our ‘A’ effort; I think we were a little off tonight,” Hanover coach Sam Cavallaro said. “I think (the Spartans) played great; they played hard. We don’t really compare who we’re playing. We’re looking at what we’re doing, and there was a lot of mistakes.

“It wasn’t from one or two guys; it wasn’t offense or defense. We just saw some uncharacteristic mistakes all across the board.”

If that sounds like nitpicking, consider the situation.

After back-to-back comeback wins to open the season, Hanover has faced winless teams the last two Fridays and will get another in Merrimack Valley next week. After that, it’s all metal: at Gilford-Belmont, home to Bow, at John Stark, home to undefeated Plymouth, all teams that should be in the playoff hunt by the end of next month.

Hanover prepped on Friday night by taking care of business with Pembroke. The Marauders scored on two of their first three possessions, closed the first half with a 99-yard touchdown drive and struck twice quickly in the second half to put the game out of reach.

“A win’s a win,” Young said. “We definitely didn’t come out as hard as we should have and as we can. We just need to get back to work tomorrow and next week and just hit hard again.”

With a strong wind blowing from the south, Cavallaro had his captains defer after winning the coin toss, forcing the Spartans to play the first quarter into the breeze. A three-and-out possession ensued, and the Marauders responded with an 18-yard TD dash from Jack Loftus for a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

Cavallaro burned his first timeout in the last minute of the opening stanza prior to a Pembroke punt, and again the wind set the Marauders in good stead. Starting near midfield, quarterback Mason Winter marched Hanover 53 yards on five plays, capped by a 1-yard Loftus dive just 54 seconds into the second quarter. Simon Roach followed with the conversion run and a 15-0 cushion.

“That wind was really bad,” Cavallaro said. “We were like, ‘Probably kick it out of the end zone, get it at the 20, we’ll get good field position coming back.’ And you’re going to get the ball in the second half. It was kind of a no-brainer.”

The wind helped Pembroke punter Kyle Roukey uncork a 60-yard boot with 7:10 left to halftime that teammate Brandon Jawadzik downed at the Hanover 1-yard line. The Marauders marched the remaining 99 yards in 12 plays, Young going the final 33 on a nice cutback run with 2:02 on the clock for a 23-0 advantage.

“Our line was blocking really well, and everyone was going pretty hard,” Young said. “Before that drive, we just talked to everybody, really decided to group up and try to pound it in the end zone that last play.”

Young added scoring runs of 6 and 22 yards to push Hanover’s advantage to 36-0 as the fourth quarter dawned. Roach completed the night with 80 yards on 13 carries; Loftus and fellow back Caleb Morse contributed 82 more. Pembroke did all of its scoring in the final period against the Marauder junior varsity.

Cavallaro got the result he wanted. Now it’s on to fine-tuning.

“We saw guys not concentrating; we saw a lot of guys missing blocks and stuff like that,” the Hanover coach said. “It’s more looking at the details of what we’re used to. … At the end of the day, the guys got the W. We’ve just got to clean that up.”

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Audibles: Winter completed six of nine passes for 77 yards with a couple of inconsequential, wind-aided interceptions. Cavallaro blamed himself for calling both plays. … Winter’s six connections went to five different receivers. … Pembroke’s Ben Lewis ran 20 times for 122 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, although most of his yardage came late against the jayvees. Jawidzik scored the Spartans’ other TD by stripping a Hanover handoff and returning it 60 yards. … Pembroke had about two dozen players in uniform and around a half-dozen others in street clothes with injuries. The Spartans don’t have a junior varsity squad. … Roach finished with two conversion runs. Kegan Silovich booted two extra points. … Pembroke’s roster includes junior Paige Boudreau, who saw regular time at inside linebacker and on special teams. … Hanover senior lineman Dakota Hanchett missed the game with an injured shoulder. He said he should be good to go for next Friday’s home game with MV.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.