Pictured above: Jason Majiros
By Spencer Decker, NEPA Sports Nation Student Journalist
HANOVER TWP. – Hanover Area started and finished strong Friday night.
The Hawkeyes watched a 14-point lead turn into an equally sized deficit, in the debut of Jason Majiros as head coach, before scoring the game’s 21 points to pull out a 35-28 victory over visiting Holy Cross in a non-league football opener.
Aidan Shamaski scored the game’s final three touchdowns to help the Hawkeyes avenge a 22-14 loss in last year’s meeting. Shamaski finished with 185 yards on 8 carries.
Shamaski ran 35 and 44 yards for touchdowns to tie the game before scoring the game-winner from 60 yards out with 4:25 left.
Holy Cross appeared to be in control after Logan Tierney scored his second and third touchdowns in the first 3½ minutes of the second half for a 28-14 lead.
Torres scrambled up the middle for 35 yards on third-and-10 and Shamaski scored his 35-yard touchdown on the next play to cut the deficit to a touchdown.
Tierney’s back-to-back, 20-yard run brought the Crusaders to the Hanover Area 16, but Holy Cross turned the ball over on downs.
The Hawkeyes went 71 yards in two plays for their next score.
With the game tied in the fourth quarter, Holy Cross punted twice and Hanover Area punted once, then lost a fumble that Andrew Naim recovered for the Crusaders.
Holy Cross lost Tierney and quarterback Zachery Cornell to injuries late in the game and the offense could not score after reaching the Hanover Area 28.
When the Hawkeyes held on downs, Shamaski scored his game-winning, 60-yard touchdown on the next play, going around the end, then lowering his shoulder on a defender to break free.
Hanover Area opened the scoring with a 34-yard Torres touchdown pass to Luis McCoy.
Holy Cross lost a fumble in the Red Zone and had an apparent 52-yard touchdown reception by Tierney wiped out by penalty.
Hanover Area turned another fumble recovery into a score for a 14-0 lead after one quarter. Torres found Joe Cronan for the 13-yard touchdown.
Tierney’s 10-yard run on third-and-nine kept the Holy Cross drive going, then he broke a tackle in the secondary for a 41-yard touchdown pass from Cornell on fourth-and-seven.
The two-point attempt failed, but Holy Cross was able to tie the game as time expired for the first half.
Tierney carried to the 1 and the Crusaders scrambled to get the next snap off without huddling. Cornell took the snap with about two seconds left and carried into the end zone on a quarterback sneak.
Cornell then hit Jones with the two-point conversion pass.
Tierney, who rushed for 237 yards and 2 touchdowns to go along with his touchdown reception, built the lead in the third quarter. He took a third-down carry 59 yards for a score, then added a 44-yard run.
Another Cornell-to-Jones, two-point pass put the lead at 28-14.
Tierney (ankle) expects to be back after a few days, but Cornell could be lost longer.