Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hanover-Horton clinches second postseason berth in school history

Hanover-Horton clinches second postseason berth in school history
Saturday, October 13, 2007
By Mike Pryson
mpryson@citpat.com -- 768-4963

Hanover-Horton High School junior Jake Wood does not remember much about the Comets' last run to the football playoffs in 2004.

Wood was there, all right, but as an eighthgrader, he was more interested in goofing off behind the bleachers or hanging out with friends on the hills surrounding the football field at Hanover-Horton than watching the games.

He's looking forward to being a big part of the postseason festivities this time around.

Wood rushed for 160 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns to help the Comets beat Napoleon 33-7 on Friday night at Hanover-Horton. The victory clinched a playoff berth for Hanover-Horton, sending the Comets into the postseason for the second time in school history.

``There's no way to explain the feeling,'' Wood said.

It certainly beat the feeling that Wood had when he was rooting on the Comets in 2004.

``I was always the one playing football on the sidelines,'' Wood said. ``I didn't watch the games very much. I was really mad at myself, because I didn't even go to the playoff game against Addison.''

Hanover-Horton improved to 6-2 overall and finished its Cascades Conference season at 5-2. The Comets finished one game behind Addison in their bid for the school's first conference football title.

Napoleon gave Hanover-Horton a game for two quarters. After Hanover-Horton jumped on top 6-0 on a 13-yard run by Nick Schaefer, the Pirates came back to take a 7-6 lead on a 35-yard touchdown run by Jim Harrington and extra-point kick by James McEnany with 5:01 to play in the opening quarter.

Hanover-Horton took advantage of a Napoleon fumble to take the lead for good less than 3 minutes later. Brad Isaacson jumped on a fumble at the Hanover-Horton 42, and three plays later, quarterback Alex Harris hit Wood on a screen pass that went for 60 yards and a touchdown.

Hanover-Horton, despite the good fortune, led just 12-7 at the half.

The Comets then blew the game open with touchdowns on their first three possessions of the second half.

Erick Miller scored on a 43-yard pass play, while Ken Warren and Wood added 3-yard touchdown runs. The three touchdown drives consumed all of 14 plays and left Hanover-Horton with a 33-7 lead.

``I kind of chewed on the kids a little for some stuff that went on before the game,'' Hanover-Horton coach Tom Gumper said. ``It was homecoming, and there were a lot of distractions.

``But the kids responded well. They did a good job as far as coming out here and being ready to play.''

Hanover-Horton outgained Napoleon on the ground, 258-115. Napoleon finished eighth in the Cascades Conference.

``We had a lot higher expectations for this season,'' Napoleon coach Don Baxter said. ``We just fell apart.''

The Jackson Citizen Patriot
214 S. Jackson St.
Jackson, MI 49201

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