HAGERSTOWN —The Hancock football team got stuck in stop-and-go traffic on Saturday.
The Panthers couldn’t stop Kent County’s offense and couldn’t move against the Trojans’ defense. It ended up in — you got it — gridlock.
Hancock was in a standstill with only 3 yards of total offense and four first downs as the Panthers got run over in their season finalé in a 36-0 loss at North Hagerstown’s Mike Callas Stadium.
Kent County (3-7) was too quick and too efficient in its maze of traps, counters and sweeps — an offense similar to that run by Catoctin. Playing on Callas Stadium’s turf made the Trojans that much quicker in a game that was moved from Hancock because of a soggy field caused by Hurricane Sandy’s heavy rains.
It was the speed bump the Panthers (4-6) failed to avoid, as the loss ended a three-game winning streak.
“I hate to try and defend against that offense,” said Hancock coach Dave Mahaffey. “There are so many things that come at you out of it. And their defense was too quick for us. We didn’t seem to have our ‘A’ game tonight across the board.”
Kent County did, though.
The Trojans, out of the Bayside 1A Conference, powered up the middle against the Panthers and beat them to the edges for sizeable gains. Bradley Clough did the inside work with 129 yards on 16 carries, while Naiqun Hacket breezed around the outside for another 115 yards and a touchdown.
Kent County rolled up 350 of its 355 yards on the ground.
Meanwhile, Hancock idled in neutral.
The Panthers were in reverse with minus-22 yards rushing and had only one play go for more than 10 yards — a 15-yard pass play from Hunter McKinley to Tanner Faith on a fake punt.
“We showed some shining moments, but there was no vibe tonight,” Mahaffey said. “It wasn’t the kids. It just wasn’t our night.”
Kent County took its first possession of the game and marched downfield as Hancock tried to weed out runners in the muddled mess of blockers.
The Trojans ran eight running plays in the 57-yard drive, capped by a 14-yard counter by Hacket for an 8-0 lead with 6:52 to go in the first quarter.
Kent County scored on the first play of the second quarter, as quarterback Mike Foreman bulled in from the 1 and Arnez Wright added a conversion run for a 16-0 lead.
The Trojans had a 23-0 lead at the half after McKinley was hit while trying to pass after a bad punt snap deep in Hancock territory. The ball rolled into the end zone, where lineman Kyle Clark fell on it for a touchdown. Anthony Clough added the extra point with 2:55 to go in the half.
Hancock had one first down and minus-20 yards of offense in the first half.
Kent County kept the ball on the ground the entire second half. The Trojans scored on an 11-yard run by Khari Brown, followed by a 20-yard burst up the middle by Anthony Clough at the 6:29 mark of the third quarter to start the running clock for the rest of the game.
Hancock had the ball deep in Trojans territory for most of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get into the end zone.