Sabers roll to win over Hanover
BY JOBY FAWCETT
Dan Kempa got his season off to a flying start.
And Susquehanna proved it is not a one-man show this season.
In addition to Kempa’s 253 yards of total offense, Sean Stanley scored two touchdowns, Steven Skurski added a touchdown reception and Greg Price put on a dominant defensive effort in a 26-13 win over Hanover Area on Saturday.
On the game’s first play, Kempa ran one of Susquehanna’s signature plays, faking to fullback Nick Marco and racing 77 yards giving the Sabers a 7-0 lead in just 16 seconds.
“That was great,” Kempa said. “That really set the tone of the game.”
From there, Kempa, a two-time 1,000-yard rusher, showed that this season he will not only be a threat running the ball. He found Stanley, a speedster on the Blue Ridge track team, for a 40-yard score with 1:48 remaining in the first, giving the Sabers a 13-0 advantage.
“He’s a great quarterback,” Hanover Area coach Ron Hummer said. “We practiced all week against the option and he broke the first play. That was the story of the game. We had to stop him and we didn’t. You look at his ability to throw, he’s a good quarterback. We stressed all week that our corners had pass first.
“He’s a very good player. If you can’t stop him, they will have a very good season.”
Hanover Area clawed its way back into the game following a turnover. It took seven plays for the Hawks to go 75 yards with Andrew Forgatch bulling his way for a 23-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7.
But Susquehanna finished the half strong.
After a long kickoff return from sophomore Cole Mallery, Kempa hit Skurski, who bolted in for a 25-yard touchdown and a 19-7 lead.
On Hanover Area’s next possession, trying to ignite a rally, Stanley stepped in front of a Joe Skiazkiewicz pass and returned it down the home sideline for a 48-yard score, giving the Sabers a comfortable 26-7 halftime lead.
“We were a little nervous,” Stanley said. “We weren’t exactly sure where to lineup. But once we got settled, I saw the ball, came up on it and got a hold of it.”
In the second half, Susquehanna’s defense maintained the advantage thanks to Price and linebacker Jesse Pruitt, who constantly came up with big plays to thwart Hanover Area.
Price finished with eight tackles, while Pruitt added six and had a fumble recovery, and the Sabers defense recorded seven tackles for loss.
“I was just ready,” said Price, who missed the entire preseason with torn ligaments in his ankle. “I finally got to practice this week. It feels great.”