Senor staff writer
Roncalli needed just a little more momentum Friday night against 2A No. 1-ranked Scecina on Catholic Youth Organization night at Roncalli Stadium. The Rebels had taken a 28-21 lead in the third quarter when Roncalli senior defensive back Cody Carmody came up with the defensive play of the game.
Carmody broke through and blocked a Scecina punt that was recovered on the 14. Two plays later, freshman quarterback Aiden Leffler scored on a 7-yard run that put the Rebels ahead 35-21.
“My adrenaline was rushing, and I saw the low snap, so I blitzed and ran as hard as I could,” Carmody said.
“I ran the guy (blocker) over but my helmet had broken on the previous play. I couldn’t see the ball, but I jumped as high as I could.” Carmody and the Rebels were ecstatic when Leffler scored because they knew the Crusaders could not come back, although they tried. The final count went to Roncalli, 38-28.
“We started off a bit rough, but then the offense played great,” Carmody said. Roncalli, ranked 15th in 5A, snapped its season-opening fourgame losing streak because the offensive line stepped up, running backs Elijah Mahan and Baron Huebler were in the backfield at the same time, and Leffler, who took the reins after the first series, was fantastic as a freshman.
Leffler ran for 106 yards and three TDs and completed 6-of-9 passes for 160 yards, including scoring strikes of 53 yards to Luke Dill and 31 yards to Huebler. Leffler is a product of Nativity Catholic School, where he led seventh- and eighth-grade teams to CYO championships in football and basketball. He is the grandson of the late Scecina coach Ken Leffler, who died in 1988. The Rebels’ running game produced 297 yards. Mahan rushed for 106 yards.
“The dimension he gives us in the running game is something we needed,” Roncalli coach Scott Marsh said. “We had to do something offensively to put more stress on the defense. “We’ve had to reinvent ourselves on the fly due to injuries. We’ve had to use kids on the field together who weren’t necessarily part of the plan four weeks ago. The young kids are bringing us a lot of energy.”
The Rebels could not contain Scecina senior quarterback Mac Ayres, who completed 24-of-45 passes to six different receivers for 256 yards and a TD.
“We’re turning this around; we’re coming back,” Carmody said. “The nerves are going away, and we’re staying calm.”
• Beech Grove rolled over host Brown County as Sergio Hulse rushed nine times for 116 yards and two TDs and scored on a 32yard return of an intercepted pass; the Hornets racked up 531 yards of offense.
• Lutheran held Park Tudor to only 121 yards of offense, and Marcus McFadden ran for two TDs to keep the Saints in the Indiana Crossroads Conference title chase.
• Host Center Grove fell to North Central for the first time since 2011 in a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference game; Carson Steele scored for the Trojans in the second quarter and ran for 120 yards on 21 carries.
• Perry Meridian fell to Whiteland after being tied at 14 in the Falcons’ best offensive performance of the season with Dekhari Jones and Brooks Davis rushing for a combined 259 yards … Franklin Central remains winless in its first season in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference … Greenwood tied Plainfield on TD runs by Oliver Rau and Nick Willham (24 carries for 165 yards), but the Quakers broke it open with two late-game scores … Manual fell to Crispus Attucks, 12-6.
Eddie Schott watch
Southport quarterback Eddie Schott threw four TDs, completing 26-of-48 passes for 277 yards in a 45-26 loss to Bishop Chatard. For the season Schott is 121-of-195 attempts (62.1 percent) for 1,711 yards and 22 TDs. The Cardinals average 417 yards of offense.