LEO-CEDARVILLE – It was already a prototypical grind-it-out game of run-heavy football, but then at halftime Mother Nature decided to get involved.
She unleashed a 15-minue deluge that left the field at Leo sopping wet, muddy, slippery – and it would test the mettle of both teams.
The Lions handled it best Friday night.
Stellar back-to-back defensive plays from Logan Wood sealed a 14-7 victory for the Lions over the Woodlan Warriors.
Wood tackled wildcat quarterback Greg White in the backfield and then intercepted a Corbin Smith pass on third and 21 from the Leo 29 with 23 seconds remaining, setting off a raucous celebration on homecoming night, as the Lions, ranked ninth in Class 4A, remained unbeaten at 7-0 (4-0 in the ACAC).
Wood is a senior. Hes got leadership at our mike linebacker position, and he makes plays when we need him to, Lions coach Jared Sauder said. In a game like this, thats what we need. We need kids to step up and make plays. Fortunately for us, our guys did at the end of the game.
Leo did a decent job holding Jaylin Bennett in check. Bennett came into the night as northeast Indianas leading rusher with 1,148 yards and 10 touchdowns on 166 carries. Against the Lions, he gained 112 yards and a touchdown on 35 carries.
In the second quarter, Woodlan (4-3, 2-2 in the ACAC, ranked 13th in Class 2A) went up 7-0 because of a successful 45-yard run off a fake punt by White. That set up a 1-yard Bennett touchdown with 5:50 left in the first half.
Leo quarterback Jordan Hissong answered. On a fourth and 2 at the Woodlan 15, he overcame a busted play to scramble for a first down. Then, he scored on a 3-yard bootleg with 1:21 left to tie it at 7.
Its just about the reps in practice during the week and running the plays that we use on Friday nights, Hissong said. Our offensive line, they just do a really great job getting to the other guys and blocking.
After the showers, the Lions used a heavy dose of running back Logan Leiter – he finished with 85 yards on 19 carries – and Hissong did the rest.
We had to take some extra snaps (after halftime) and make sure we could get those down and not be fumbling, said Hissong, who ran for a 1-yard touchdown with 11:14 remaining in the third quarter on fourth down.
I knew wed get in.
Hissong rushed 15 times for 86 yards, and he completed 2 of 3 passes for 41 yards.
Our guys did a great job. It was the first time this season we really had to face real adversity, Sauder said. We had to come out and play a full game and really had our backs on the line a little bit. But we got after it in the second half, and Im proud of our guys for fighting for the full 48 minutes and getting a win.