It was much-anticipated showdown between the 6-0 Hornets and the 4-2 Butler Bulldogs on a chilly Friday night in Butler, but this week-seven matchup was all Hanover Park (50-20).
On the opening play from scrimmage, QB Donato Casolaro handed off to running back Junaid Olanipekun who broke through the line and sprinted 65 yards all the way to the house.
Butler got the ball and drove quickly to the HP 35-yard line. But Butler QB Dom Gentile (16-32-216-1)was picked off on a huge defensive play by d-back Sean Conley. Conley played a monster game for HP with big stops, QB pressures and good coverage.
After that, it was tough sledding as both offenses tried to get anything going against strong defensive plays. For Butler they were from safety Dan Castiglia, defensive end Davon Smith and defensive tackle Alfred Battipede. For HP, linebacker Anthony Olivieri, defensive end Eric Magnifico, defensive tackle Drew Croessmann, and DL Sam Sorce led the show.
Just before the second half, Butler put together a drive in which Gentiile punched in a QB sneak from HP’s 2-yard line. Also in the last few seconds in the half, Casolaro hit Olanipekun on a screen play that resulted in a touchdown, making it 14-7, HP, going into the locker room.
I do not know what coach Gerry Moore said to his squad at the half, but it worked. The third quarter started with HP scoring four times and pulling away from Butler for good. With superb running from Olanipekun (18-185-3), the strong arm of Casolaro (14-18-300-3) and receiving from Radomski (5-147-1), HP never looked back.
Hanover Park’s “grunts in the trenches,” including tackles Anthony Otto, Pat Julich and Colin Peterson, and guard Johnathan Romaniello, also led the victory, opening huge holes and providing pass protection. In addition, fewer penalties slowed HP this week. This win was an entire-team effort, and the Hornets seemed to be playing on all cylinders.
HP needs to keep its foot on the pedal as upcoming Dover and Madison will be looking to knock them off.
Hanover Park 7 7 29 7 50
Butler 0 7 6 7 20
1st: Hanover Park: Junaid Olanipekun 65 run (Alex LaShell kick)
2nd: Butler: Dominic Gentile 2 run (Declan Minogue kick)
2nd: Hanover Park: Junaid Olanipekun 24 pass from Donato Casolaro (Alex LaShell kick)
3rd: Hanover Park: Tomasz Radomski 60 pass from Donato Casolaro (Alex LaShell kick)
3rd: Hanover Park: Junaid Olanipekun 13 run (Jimmy Fortier run)
3rd: Hanover Park: Eric Magnifico 55 pass from Donato Casolaro (Alex LaShell kick)
3rd: Butler: Davon Smith 5 run (kick failed)
3rd: Hanover Park: Rory DeLuca 4 run (Alex LaShell kick)
4th: Hanover Park: Junaid Olanipekun 10 run (Alex LaShell kick)
4th: Butler: Andrew Zemaitis 30 pass from Dominic Gentile (Declan Minogue kick)