LEO-CEDARVILLE – As if facing the mighty Leo Lions wasnt enough, the Bishop Luers football team was staring right into the gut of a dubious part of history Friday night.
Ultimately, it was too much to bear, even for the Knights, who have 11 state championships, second most in state history.
Led by Logan Leiters 149 rushing yards on 28 carries, Leo ran roughshod over Luers 34-7.
That dropped Luers, which won the last four Class 2A state championships and was ranked fifth in Class 3A, to 0-4 for the first time in program history.
But first-year coach Kyle Lindsay believes the Knights can weather this storm.
In all honesty, these kids have worked their butts off, and they know that the last couple of weeks, they very easily could have won some ballgames, Lindsay said. Weve practiced very well and handled the adversity. This is going to be a new feeling – not just losing a ballgame, but having our butts handed to us by a big, physical team.
Early in the game, Luers showed its speed and athleticism. A drive heavy on runs by Jeremiah Gaston got the Knights to the 23, but a fourth down run by Gaston was stuffed by Logan Glaze and Logan Wood.
On Luers next drive, a 36-yard pass from Quinn Cook to Austin Mack set up first-and-goal at the 1-yard line. But the Lions stopped three straight runs by C.J. McCarter, a fabulous feat that was undone by a flag for roughing the field-goal kicker. That gave McCarter another chance and he capitalized with a 3-yard run for a 7-0 lead with 9:49 remaining in the second quarter.
Leo answered in thunderous fashion, though, as Chandler Fields took the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
A crucial fourth-down bootleg by Leo quarterback Jordan Hissong for 12 yards set up a 25-yard Zach Ferran field goal for a 10-7 lead.
Mack fumbled the ensuing kickoff – it was recovered by Leos Mason Kern – and that set up a touchdown on Hissongs first pass of the game. On fourth down, and after a Luers timeout, Hissong connected with Chris Horn for a 28-yard score and a 17-7 lead with 1:08 remaining in the first half.
Hissong completed both of his passes in the game for 80 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown pass to Matt Lichti that made it 31-7 in the fourth quarter.
We knew we had to be physical tonight and, overall, Im really proud of our effort, said Leo coach Jared Sauder, whose Lions (4-0) are ranked 13th in Class 4A. Especially up front. Our offensive line did an outstanding job. Our defensive line did an outstanding job. They are an experienced group – five seniors up front (on the offensive line) – and they like to get after it and they did that tonight. Im super proud of their effort.
Wood rushed 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. And Jordan Eldridge had a fourth-quarter interception in the end zone for Leo.
Really, we just thought we could run the ball, Glaze said. Everyone up front just drove and sustained our blocks. The running backs hit the holes and ran hard.
Cook completed 9 of 14 passes for 85 yards. Mack had seven catches for 79 yards.