Owls finish season with 1-7 record
By Matt Hone
The Hancock football regular season came to an end on Oct. 20 with a 63 - 24 defeat from the Hillcrest Comets. The game marked the fourth week in a row where the Owls played in either snow or rain. The game got off to a rough start with an Owls fumble on their opening possession and Hillcrest recovered on the Owls 33 yard line. On the very next play the Comets cut their way through the Hancock defense for the first score. The successful extra point kick made the score 7-0.
The Owls were forced to punt on the next possession. Hillcrest worked the ball down the field a second time, capping the drive with a one yard touchdown run and another successful extra point kick making the score 14-0. The Hancock offense got on track with their next try mixing runs and passes to gain yardage. The Owls got on the board with a 36 yard touchdown pass from Austin Steege to Brendon Foss. Hillcrest blocked the extra point kick and the score stood at 14 - 6 in favor of the Comets.
Hillcrest used the big play to strike again. The Comets raced 70 yards for their third touchdown of the night. The extra point kick failed and Hillcrest enjoyed a 20-6 lead as the first quarter came to an end.
The Owls opened the scoring of the second quarter when Mark Schaefer rushed for a one yard touchdown. Hancock couldn't complete the two point conversion but the Comets lead was cut to eight points. Hillcrest answered with a ten yard touchdown run of their own, and with the extra point kick took a 27 - 12 lead. The Owls turned the ball over on downs in the next possession. Hillcrest scored on the very next play with a 37 yard touchdown run. The Comets added a 2 point conversion and pushed the score to 35-12. The Owls offense punched back when Drew Schmidgall hit Brendon Foss in the end zone on a 9 yard touchdown pass. Once again the Owls failed to score the 2 point conversion. The Owls narrowed the score to 35-18.
Hillcrest worked the ball down the field next and capped their drive on a 10 yard touchdown pass and another extra point kick. The Comets enjoyed a 42-18 lead. Hancock turned the ball over on an interception as they tried to strike back. The Comets capitalized quickly on a ten yard touchdown run. The extra point kick failed and the lead was now 48-18. The Owls got the final score of the half. Drew Schmidgall completed a 44 yard touchdown pass to Brendon Foss. The athletic catch by Foss led to his third touchdown of the evening.
Hillcrest took the first possession of the second half and found the end zone. The Comets struck on a 20 yard touchdown pass, but the extra point kick failed and the score was 54-24. Hancock threw an intercpetion on their next drive and the Comets had the advantage. Mark Schaefer stifled the Hillcrest drive when he came up with an interception on the Owl 5 yard line. Hancock couldn't take advantage of the opportunity and were forced to punt. The Owls defense forced Hillcrest into a fourth down, but the Comets responded with a 32 yard field goal. The Comets advantage was now 57-24. Hancock drove down the field on the next possession but came to an abrupt stop when the Comets picked off a pass on their 10 yard line.
The Comets opened the fourth quarter by driving down the length of the field. Hillcrest was preparing for another score when Brendon Foss recovered a fumble on the Hancock 5 yard line. The Owls were held to a punt. The final score of the game came on a 33 yard touchdown pass by Hillcrest. The Owls stopped the two point conversion on a sack by Austin Steege and the final was set at 63-24 in favor of Hillcrest.
Despite the wide margin of the final score, the Owls had their positive moments. The Owls special teams looked strong all night, and the offense found the end zone a variety of times. Hancock finished the regular season with a 1-7 record.