Hanover is used to winning the Central Region football championship, as the Hawks have claimed that title four of the last six seasons, but the state semifinals have been a much more difficult hurdle to clear.
The Hawks have fallen in their three previous trips to the Division 5 state semifinals, including last year's loss at South County. Saturday Hanover will welcome Stone Bridge to Mechanicsville, a team that is 12-0 and has beaten every opponent by at least 17 points this season. Hanover enters 9-3, but also feels it is peaking at the right time. The Hawks topped Lee-Davis to open the regional playoffs and rolled past Hopewell to claim the region title last Friday, 35-7.
Historically, Hanover is 0-15 all-time against teams with ten wins or more, but Josh Just and his team are just focused on the task at hand. The Hawks have their entire defense back on the field and healthy, and they're excited to take a shot at Stone Bridge for a trip to the state title game in Charlottesville.
Kickoff between Hanover and Stone Bridge is set for 4:00pm on Saturday at Hanover.
Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.