The sophomore scored his first four touchdowns on the ground, busting through the Holy Cross defense at will for scores of one, 32, 34 and 35 yards through the first three quarters.
Then Skipalis decided to make his impact felt in the return game, answering the Crusaders' two fourth-quarter touchdowns with a pair of long kick returns to the house, effectively shutting down any hopes the Holy Cross fans at St. Anthony's Playground may have had for a comeback.
"Their defense was aggressive, I had some good runs ... they just couldn't catch me," Skipalis said after the win.
The Hawkeyes brought a good crowd with them up to Dunmore, the energy on the sidelines was loud all day and it looked to feed the team — Hanover Area jumped out to a 33-0 lead before Holy Cross could score.
"The community is getting behind us more and more. ... I think the kids feed off of that," Hanover Area coach Jason Majiros said.
It was Deacon Eisenbach who scored the first touchdown of the year for Hanover, going up and over a Holy Cross defender to haul in a 15-yard pass from Rahmel Currie to give the Hawkeyes a lead they would never relinquish.
The Hawkeyes defense dialed up some intense pressure on their end of the field, sacking Crusaders quarterback Josh Lentowski six times and dropping him multiple times for a loss on designed runs.
Between the defense and the effort from Hanover's special teams unit to pressure the Holy Cross punt team, the Hawkeyes found themselves starting drives almost exclusively in Holy Cross territory.
That allowed Skipalis to do his thing, finding holes and running through arm tackles to find paydirt again and again.
"Jaydon put in so much time and effort in the offseason, he really took it to the next level," Majiros said.
Lentowski threw two touchdown passes for Holy Cross, connecting with Fred Ceccacci and Leland Wudarski for scores to help keep the Crusaders respectable. Wudarski also scored on the ground, bursting outside for a 50-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Hanover will stay on the road next week, traveling to take on Tunkhannock (0-1) on Friday night.
Hanover Area 51, Holy Cross 20
Hanover Area'13'20'6'12 — 51
Holy Cross'0'8'0'12 — 20
HAN — Deacon Eisenbach 21 pass from Rahmel Currie (kick failed) 8:32
HAN — Jaydon Skipalis 1 run (Conor Engleman kick) 3:15
HAN — Skipalis 32 run (Engleman kick) 11:32
HAN — Skipalis 34 run (Engleman kick) 5:50
HAN — Jayden Shortz 15 run (run failed) 3:20
HC — Fred Ceccacci 5 pass from Josh Lentowski (Ceccacci pass from Lentowski) 0:06
HAN — Skipalis 35 run (kick failed) 5:53
HC — Leland Wudarski 15 pass from Lentowski (pass failed) 8:26
HAN — Skipalis 80 kick return (kick failed) 8:08
HC — Wudarski 50 run (run failed) 0:49
HAN — Skipalis 70 kick return (kick failed) 0:25
RUSHING — HAN, Skipalis 9-141, Shortz 8-56, Matthew Curry 1-8, Currie 2-27, Malachi Downey 3-8. HC, Aiden Wudarski 12-40, Lentowski 5-(minus-12), Leland Wudarski 6-80, Kevin Vincent 1-5.
PASSING — HAN, Currie 5-9-85-0. HC, Lentowski 8-14-110-0.
RECEIVING — HAN, Eisenbach 2-44, Skipalis 1-(minus-7), Aiden Safriwe 1-31, Tyler Herbert 1-12, Derek Warman 1-5. HC, Vincent 2-8, L. Wudarski 2-20, Ceccacci 3-60, Jeovanni Gonroski 1-22.
INTERCEPTIONS — none.
MISSED FGs — none.