LEO-CEDARVILLE – Enough is enough.
That was the mantra of the Angola Hornets football team heading into Friday night, thanks to a 0-6 record against the Leo Lions that dated back to 2005.
The Hornets won 41-35 taking the lead for the first time with 1:16 remaining in the fourth quarter as junior running back Chase Schnepf barreled his way into the end zone from 2 yards out and then ran for a two-point conversion to complete the scoring.
“We preached it all week – enough is enough,” said senior wide receiver Jarret Schultz, after the Hornets beat Class 4A, No. 13 Leo, handing the Lions a loss in the first two weeks for only the second time since 2010.
Senior quarterback Chance Roddy completed 17 of 28 passes for 319 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, while rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown. Schultz had three catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
“We preach being mentally tough, all of us. You might make one bad play, but you just make a good play after it,” said Schultz, whose Hornets trailed 22-7 before Roddy's 80-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Schnepf with 6:08 remaining in the first quarter.
After the Lions went up 29-14 on junior Alex Wertman's 4-yard touchdown run up the middle, the Hornets answered with a 4-yard touchdown run by Roddy with 1:36 remaining in the second quarter.
Led by a solid night from their quarterback, junior A.J. Restivo, it looked as if the Lions might have the victory in hand when they went up 35-27 on a time-consuming drive that culminated with a 26-yard touchdown catch in the back of the end zone by senior Jason Gause with 7:07 remaining.
But a 62-yard touchdown catch by Schultz along the left sideline, cutting the Leo lead to 35-33, let everyone know nothing was decided quite yet. The Hornets (2-0) had to shake off a failed two-point conversion and then made a defensive stand in the waning seconds after facing first down at their 36-yard line and forcing four incompletions.
“No question, our kids fought like crazy,” Angola coach Andy Thomas said. “Not only did we beat an outstanding program, a well-coached team that has a ton of great players. We got down in the game and we had chances to fold, but our kids refused to do it. This is about our culture, our toughness, our conditioning.”
Restivo completed 16 of 29 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while rushing for 55 yards. Senior Colton Grahovac had seven catches for 86 yards and a score for Leo (1-1). Senior Trenton Bonner rushed for 73 yards.
Both teams returned interceptions for touchdowns; Leo junior lineman Jayden Elwood reached the end zone from 18 yards out and Angola junior linebacker Marcques Tagliaferri did so from 36 yards.
“There was just so much motivation. The whole team, the last half, it just blew up. There was a lot of motivation that kept us going. The sidelines, the stands, everybody was going crazy,” Angola senior offensive lineman Cole Trick said, adding that the importance of beating Leo cannot be understated.
“This win right here means the whole season to me. We'd lost this game my whole high-school career, and it just means so much to me.”