LEO — The five-game winning streak by Columbia City’s football team earlier this season switched gears and the team now has a three-game losing skid in the brut of its schedule.
Leo defeated Columbia City 34-13 Friday night.
The Columbia City offense struggled to move the ball for positive yardage in the first half. The Eagles were forced to a three and out in their first offensive possession. The Lions took advantage of the favorable field position and scored. Leo quarterback AJ Restivo connected to a receiver for a 22-yard gain. The Lions scored on a quarterback sneak to go up 7-0.
The Columbia City offense was forced to punt after another three-and-out. No harm was done as Leo fumbled on their first play and Tanner Martz recovered. The Eagles offense moved the chains for the first time with a 10-yard carry from Jacob Wigent. The offense was sloppy with a fumbled snap on second down, followed by an interception on third and long.
Columbia City’s Ethan Christen broke up a Lions’ pass, but Leo ended up scoring with a 48-yard fade pass to an open receiver. Leo led 14-0.
“We got beat on some deep balls, which were due to mental mistakes more than anything. Our offense wasn’t making first downs,” said Columbia City head coach Brett Fox.
Columbia City’s offense was halted once again in three plays. A blocked punt went the other way for a Leo touchdown. The Lions led 21-0, and carried that lead at the end of the first quarter.
Columbia City’s offense opened the second quarter with another three-and-out. The Eagles couldn’t rush for a first down on third and three.
The Eagles forced Leo to punt, but the Lions faked the punt by running the ball. The conversion did not lead to any points as Christen intercepted a Lion throw.
Columbia City started to gain yardage after the turnover. Michel Sievers rushed for a 13-yard gain. Quarterback Jacob Bolt then connected with Christen for a 32-yard gain. The Eagles went for a fourth down a few plays later, but their pass was broken up by the Lions defense.
The Lions added to their lead. A 31-yard pass was caught for a touchdown. The holder fumbled the extra point, and the defense cleared the play. Leo led 27-0 late in the first half.
Columbia City tried to get points on the board in the first half, but the offense was stopped for their fifth three and out of the game. The Leo offense made the lead swell with a 60-yard throw for a score with 1:49 left in the half.
The Lions took the 34-0 lead into halftime.
Columbia City had six yards on the ground in the first half. The Eagles had 54 passing yards.
The second half went much better for the Eagles than it did in the first. Columbia City’s defense shut out the Lions in the second half, and scored on an 18-yard pick six interception by Noah Judd. The extra point was blocked and trailed 34-6 with 10:02 left in the second half
The Eagle offense also scored in the fourth quarter. Jacob Bolt connected to an Eagle receiver on fourth and five into the red zone. Wigent rushed for a 9-yard run, and scored on a 4-yard rush. The Eagles trailed 34-13.
The Lions were one yard from scoring their first points of the second half, but the Eagles recovered a fumble that prevented the score with less than a minute left in the game. The Eagles outscored the Lions 13-0 in the second half but it wasn’t enough to pull off a win.
Leo had 347 yards of total offense, while Columbia City had 176 yards.
Quarterback Jacob Bolt completed 7 of his 20 passes for 65 yards. Wigent rushed for 47 yards and recorded a touchdown. Christen had one catch for 36 yards, and Max Bedwell also caught three receptions for 19 yards. Klayton Parker, Drew Rethlake and Austin Bolt all led with four tackles. Jacob Bolt punted seven times for an average of 29 yards per kick.
“The defense played well over all and we put some plays together,” said Fox. “We had a nice interception. I’m pleased that our defense played the way they did in the second half, but I’m disappointed the offense wasn’t able to score more points.”