MECHANICSVILLE — Hanover’s Beau Sahnow has been a big contributor as a running back and receiver to the Hawks’ offense this year. Friday night at Mechanicsville, he added quarterback to his list of skills.
Sahnow filled in for an ailing Cole Elrod and performed admirably, amassing 292 yards of offense — 140 rushing and 152 passing — in leading the Hawks to a 35-28 victory.
Sahnow ran for two of Hanover’s five touchdowns and passed for a third. He said the Hawks have taken a beating recently in terms of injuries and worked hard to get ready for Mechanicsville.
“There was a lot of preparation this week. We got put in a tough situation with everybody (out),” Sahnow said. “We’ve had a lot of injuries recently. … But I had to focus up this week, do my job. I got it done.”
Three minutes into the game, it looked like it might be a Hanover rout. The Hawks had jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the backs of a 2-yard touchdown run by James Poole and Sahnow’s 34-yard pass to Chase Flora. Nicholas Harrington added the extra points in both cases.
A rout was not in the cards, however. The Mustangs steadied themselves and fought back into contention. Their comeback began with a sustained drive that culminated in a 2-yard run by Logan Harris. Thomas Richman’s point-after made it 14-7 with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
Both teams scored a touchdown in the final three minutes of the first half. Hanover got on the board first on a 15-yard run by Sahnow with 3:09 left in the half, but Harrington’s kick went astray. Mechanicsville quarterback Jordan Callahan scored from 12-yards out with 49 seconds to go before intermission. Richman’s kick made it 20-14.
Hanover struck first early in the second half with Sahnow’s 21-yard scoring run. Harrington’s kick made it 27-14, but the Mustangs were done fighting.
Callahan scored on a 2-yard run with 5:42 remaining in the third quarter and Colby Messe scored on an 11-yard run with 6:42 remaining in the game. Richman’s aim was true on both point-afters, putting the Mustangs on top 28-27.
The Hawks had to work fast to respond, else the clock turn against them. Sahnow wasn’t rattled.
“I think that’s just my character. That’s who I am,” Sahnow said. “[Hanover head coach Sam Rogers] was on the sidelines trying to talk to me, to keep me calm. I thought I was already calm. I was trying to keep everybody else calm because if I’m panicking then they’re going to panic.”
Sahnow helped boost every Hawks’ mood when he spotted wide receiver Chase Flora (six catches, 119 yards) a step or two ahead of a Mechanicsville receiver. Flora hauled the pass in for a big gain from midfield to inside the red zone. Sahnow ran it to the 2-yard line, and James Poole covered the remaining distance to put Hanover ahead for good with 2:22 left. Sahnow ran in the two-point conversion.
“I just wanted to score. I wanted to win,” Sahnow said. “I had a lot of pressure, I felt, going into this game because we didn’t have Cole. I felt this was a must-win.”
Mechanicsville still had two minutes to make something happen, but a bad snap and a couple of sacks doomed any chance of a comeback. Hanover got the ball back with more than a minute left and was able to run out the clock.
Given that the Mustangs were in a position to win, the final result was disappointing for Mechanicsville players and fans alike.
“All the kids were playing hard. I can’t fault anybody’s effort,” said Mechanicsville head coach Ryan Turnage. “It just comes down to execution. That’s been our Achilles’ heel — not being able to execute when we need to in critical situations.”
Dave Lawrence can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.