Just when the James Buchanan Rocket football team was about to open the door to its first win in over two years Hanover slammed it shut.
The Nighthawks scored 21 points in 2 1/2 minutes in the second half to erase a 13-point deficit and beat James Buchanan 47-32 in a non-league game Friday night at Rocket Stadium.
Despite squandering the second half lead and a breakout game from running back Cormac Houpt, who rushed for what may be school-records 304 yards (30 rushes) and 5 touchdowns, JB coach Andy Stoner was happy with the Rockets’ effort.
“I love the fight and emotion of these players,” Stoner said. “The line up front did a great job. You wouldn’t have known we had a new center and guard. We had a chance to win. We had them where we wanted, but left them back in. We are getting closer though.”
Houpt, who scampered 79 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, added scoring runs of 13, 72, 48 and 4 yards.
“The offensive line did a great job,” said the junior, who has 441 yards in the Rockets’ first two games. “The line is communicating so well right now. I don’t pay attention or care how many yards I have. I just wanna do whatever I can to help us win. The scoreboard says we lost, but we played well. We will be ready next week and hopefully get that first win.”
Hanover’s Justin Barnes also put on a show, galloping his way to 336 yards and tying a school-record with 5 touchdowns of his own.
“We need to look at some film and work on our techniques some more,” Stoner said.
JB, which is 0-2 and has lost 24 straight games, looked in pretty good shape when Houpt busted through the line for a 48-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left in the third quarter to increast it’s lead to 26-13.
But from then until the 10:35 mark of the fourth quarter the Rockets wish they could hit the rewind button.
On the ensuing kickoff, Hanover’s Logan Brown evaded a couple would-be tacklers and raced 83 yards for a touchdown. The PAT brought the Nighthawks within six points.
Hanover kicked off and the Rockets promptly fumbled it away to the Nighthawks at the JB 21. One play later Barnes scored and the PAT gave Hanover its first lead, 27-26.
The last dagger came five plays later when Hanover’s David Carmona made a acrobatic one-handed interception and returned it 50 yards for another touchdown, which put the Nighthawks ahead for good 34-26.
So in less than three minutes the Rockets went from being up two scores to trailing by one.
“We had some turnovers that cost us,” Stoner said. “We got up two scores and I felt that we got comfortable which you can’t do.”
NOTES: Chandler White had an interception and Scott Seburn had a sack for JB … Hanover 16 first downs and 8 penalties for 70 yards … Rocket QB Sawyer Egolf was 5-of-13 for 77 yards and 3 interceptions.