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The Journal Gazette

  • Rachel Von | The Journal Gazette Senior Quarterback Jarrett Gibson has led Angola to an undefeated season with both his running ability and his throwing. The Hornets face Bishop Dwenger in a Class 4A regional game tonight at New Haven.

Friday, November 09, 2018 1:00 am

High School Football: Regionals

Hornets get rematch: Dwenger

Unbeaten Angola confident despite 34-0 loss year ago

ELIZABETH WYMAN | The Journal Gazette

Coming off its first sectional title in 25 years, an undefeated season and an “all-timer” playing quarterback, as Angola football coach Andy Thomas said about Chance Roddy, the Hornets looked poised for a storybook ending last season.

Bishop Dwenger had other ideas, crushing Angola in the 4A regional championship game 34-0 a year ago. In similar circumstances this season, Thomas and Angola (12-0) have their rematch.

“They were better than us overall, but we didn't make any plays and we have to take advantage of our opportunities this year; we have to make plays,” Thomas said.

This is a different Hornets team, one with 19 seniors, a new stud of a quarterback in Jarrett Gibson and a little bit of confidence.

“We've got a lot of guys that have played a lot of football, and with every year, obviously, kids become more mature and they have more experience. Having that experience on the big stage like that last year, I'm sure that will help,” Thomas said.

Gibson, a senior, has been waiting for his moment to lead the Hornets.

The 5-foot-9 speedster has always held the quarterback title, but with a player such as Roddy on the team the last few years, he took a back seat.

“He was a quarterback playing running back the last few years. He's been a quarterback his whole life and we just had a guy that was an all-time guy the previous two years, but we knew that Jarrett was too talented to not play,” Thomas said. “He's a team-first guy, so he was willing to play running back for us.”

As a former running back, Gibson gets it done with his legs, but his arm led the Hornets to a 27-26 sectional championship over NorthWood last week, as he threw three touchdowns.

“He just has an innate ability to make plays. He's gotten better at playing quarterback in every game, and he's really come on toward the end of the year throwing it,” Thomas said.

Hornets senior captain and inside linebacker Luke Honer saved the game though.

Facing a fourth and 1 from the Angola 16 with 2:45 left in the game, Honer stuffed NorthWood ball carrier Bronson Yoder – who had 288 yards at that point – behind the line of scrimmage, essentially icing the game for the Hornets.

“They've really played well all year. We've got really good players in all three levels of the defense,” Thomas said. “They study tendencies, they study film and it just kind of all came together.”

Angola has improved its record in Thomas' five seasons, going 3-7, 4-6, 7-3 and 12-1 before this season. But that's not enough.

“Our saying this year has been 'raise the bar,' and we try to do everything a little better every year,” Thomas said.

“We're on the right path and it (regional championship) would kind of validate all the things we've been working for.”

ewyman@jg.net