Hanover High football defeats East Bridgewater as David Quinlan stars
EAST BRIDGEWATER – Hanover High football coach Chris Landolfi’s ‘player of the match’ David Quinlan played with a heavy heart against East Bridgewater on Friday night and was hugged by friends and family after the game.
Quinlan’s father John passed away earlier this week.
âIt has been an emotional week for us,â said Landolfi. “(David) was the player of the match.”
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The junior receiver was targeted seven times in Hanover’s 34-0 win over East Bridgewater (1-1), made five catches for 75 yards and scored a touchdown. Quinlan also played defensively, adding two sacks and three tackles for a loss to his impressive stat line.
âI just didn’t think about it. I stayed with friends and things, went to school, just trying not to think about it. And then I got on the pitch and it was difficult, but (I continued) to breathe, âQuinlan said after the game. âI went out and I did. It wasn’t in my head because I (played) football.
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“They are great. They did everything for me. They helped me,” Quinlan said of his teammates. “They let me stay at their house, they said I can stay there – whatever. They’re all there for me.”
Hanover’s offensive asserted its control from the first snap. After the Hawks ‘defense limited EB to a quick three-and-out in the game’s first possession, junior quarterback Michael Landolfi and junior running back Nicholas Freel led a nine-game run that s’ is extended for 76 yards – and ended with Quinlan’s 19-yard touchdown.
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Hanover quickly found its offensive rhythm in The Patriot Ledger / Enterprise Game of the Week. The Hawks used 17 games to extend a three-point lead with 10:10 left in the second quarter and Landolfi’s squad didn’t look back.
From the half-time break with the Hawks leading 28-0, Hanover kick returner Dylan Rice decided to start the third quarter as if it was the first quarter. Rice worked his way down the left sideline and was shot down at the 20-yard line, establishing an advantageous position on the pitch so his quarterback could show some flare.
A few plays later on the first and the 8-yard line goal, Landolfi stepped back to pass. He escaped the scramble for the EB pass, sneaked around defenders until he was finally grabbed and flipped over to the turf. But on the way down he returned it to Freel, who found a hole in the defense to Michael Landolfi’s right and followed a pair of cosmetic blockers to the end zone without a challenge.
The quarterback summed up the game up to this point; everything took place in the direction of Hanover.
âWe’ve been doing this for the second year in the court. When I see guys coming towards me, we just go back to sophomore, running around, trying to open it up and throw it away, âsaid Michael Landolfi, who had 12 of 17 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns. âTowards the end, when we all started to have a beat, I mean, you just start to see it. You start to see the ground. It’s not easy, but it’s a great feeling.
Rice and junior wide receiver Joseph Curran also scored in the victory. Rice rushed for 11 yards, while Curran’s 19-yard touchdown grab played a big part in his three catches, 35-yard effort. Freel ran five times for 60 yards and a touchdown.
âWe have the best guns in the league. I think we are working the hardest, âsaid Michael Landolfi. âDylan (Rice) is amazing, Freel is amazing, Joe Curran is a beast, Dave Quinlan played with a heavy heart today. He played unreal today, I don’t know how he did it.
â(The victory) meant a lot,â said Chris Landolfi. âJust to come here. We’ve talked about what it takes to be a Championship team and for the most part I think we’ve done a good job trying to keep up with that.
The EB offensive fought through the night at the hands of a suffocating Hanover defense. The Vikings nibbled on small gains on the ground, but didn’t extend any training to stay within striking distance. Senior running back Aidan Purcell led the offense with 11 carries for 68 yards, including a gain of 45 yards in the third quarter.
“I just think sometimes the other team is just better and they are and we haven’t done the things we needed to (do) to be more competitive,” said EB coach Tim. Graham.
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âThe kids actually responded well,â Graham added of the loss. âI challenged them halfway through and we talked about how it’s a character game and you’re late, but now you just have to shut up and play football. And they did. I was proud of the effort in the second half and hopefully that’s something we can build on and bring it to Norton next week.