HANOVER TWP. — Even a 50-minute lightning delay couldn’t slow down Hanover Area on Friday night.
The Hawkeyes picked up where they left off after the unscheduled retreat to the locker room, dominating Lake-Lehman on the way to a 41-14 victory in a Wyoming Valley Conference Division 3A-A game.
Hanover Area improved to 4-1 and stayed atop the division. Lehman fell to 2-3. The game ended at 10:15 p.m. because of the delay.
Quarterback Brandon Chafin paced Hanover Area with 164 yards on 15 carries. He also threw for 93 more, including a 25-yard catch-and-run by Christian Percy where the senior wideout spun out of a tackle attempt just beyond the line of scrimmage. The score gave Hanover Area a 34-0 lead at 6:09 of the third quarter.
Percy got Hanover Area off to a good start, batting a Lehman pass in the air, catching it and running in from 16 yards out at 7:53 of the first quarter. It was Hanover Area’s first interception return for a touchdown this season.
Then Chafin took control after a 10-yard Lehman punt gave Hanover Area the ball at the Lehman 45-yard line. He ran 36 yards on the first play and capped the three-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown off a quarterback draw.
After Lehman’s offense sputtered again on its next possession, Chafin took off on an 87-yard run before being dragged down at the Lehman 2. Running back Josh Jopling ran in from there for a 20-0 lead at 11:06 of the second quarter.
But as the teams lined up for the kickoff, a large flash of lightning lit up the stadium and the teams were sent to the locker room.
The game resumed about 8:40 p.m. and Jopling scored on another 2-yard run to give Hanover Area a 28-0 lead going into halftime. Chafin started the 53-yard scoring drive with runs of 29 and 17 yards.
Lehman had just 67 yards of offense at the break. The Black Knights’ running game, the staple of their offense, had just 59 yards on 26 carries as Hanover Area crowded the line of scrimmage and shot its linebackers through gaps to disrupt the Wing-T offense.
Lehman got on the board with 44 seconds left in the third quarter on a 3-yard run by freshman Zack Kojadinovich. He also had a 38-yard TD run with 3:01 to play.
In between Kojadinovich’s two scores, Jopling added his third TD run of the night.
Hanover Area will be home next Friday against Wyoming Area (4-1), which lost 14-7 to Scranton Prep. Lehman is at Tunkhannock (2-3).
Hanover Area 41, Lake-Lehman 14
HA — Christian Percy 16 interception return (Tyler Gavlick kick), 7:53
HA — Brandon Chafin 7 run (Gavlick kick), 1:50
HA — Josh Jopling 2 run (kick blocked), 11:06
HA — Jopling 2 run (Chafin run), 7:32
HA — Percy 25 pass from Chafin (kick failed), 6:09
LL — Zack Kojadinovich 3 run (kick good), 0:44
HA — Jopling 8 run (Gavlick kick), 5:25
LL — Kojadinovich 38 run (kick good), 3:01
RUSHING — Lehman, Charlie Kuschke 8-3, Matt Kurtz 5-9, Jake Tomolonis 4-14, Kojadinovich 13-78, Vincenzo Ferrari 3-6, Ty Billotti 2-21, team 2-(minus-2). Hanover Area, Chafin 15-164, Jopling 17-74, Tyheim Taylor 3-4, Christian Buckley 4-4.
PASSING — Lehman, Ferrari 4-10-1-64, Nate O’Donnell 0-1-0-0. Hanover Area, Chafin 7-14-0-93.
RECEIVING — Lehman, Ja.Tomolonis 2-44, Kuschke 1-6, Billotti 1-13. Hanover Area, Brandon Brueckner 3-23, Zakee Nettles 1-16, Percy 2-47, Sean Coleman 1-7.
INTERCEPTIONS — Hanover Area, Percy 1-16.
MISSED FGs — None.
Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar