LEO-CEDARVILLE, Ind. (WANE) – Leo’s impressive run to the Class 4A semi-state round ended one win shy of a trip to Lucas Oil Stadium. The Lions fell to NorthWood in a 45-33 shootout on Friday.
After a scoreless first quarter, NorthWood turned to the ground game to get on the scoreboard. Landon Perry broke loose for a 41-yard rushing touchdown to get NorthWood on the board early in the second quarter. Quarterback Owen Roeder doubled the Panthers’ lead with a five yard score.
Leo answered just before halftime. Kylar Decker connected with Kamden Zeisloft on a short touchdown toss to help the Lions trail on 14-6 heading into halftime.
The offense picked up on both sides after halftime. NorthWood marched downfield on their first drive of the third quarter, capping the series with a touchdown pass from Roeder to Georgia commit NiTareon “Nitro” Tuggle.
Leo responded with another Kylar Decker touchdown pass, this time to Landin Hoeppner. A failed 2-point conversion kept the Lions behind by two possessions at 21-12.
NorthWood continued to march on offense, capping off another drive with a Roeder touchdown pass to Michigan commit Jo’Ziah Edmond. The Panthers held a commanding 28-12 lead heading into the final quarter.
Leo wouldn’t fold, cutting the deficit to a one-score game on a Decker touchdown pass to Hoeppner. A Zeisloft 2-point conversion made it a 28-20 game.
NorthWood held off Leo’s comeback with another touchdown drive. Roeder rushed from 10 yards out for his second score on the ground to make it a 35-20 game. The Panthers essentially iced the game when Edmond picked off Decker on the ensuing series.
Leo’s season ends with an 11-3 record. NorthWood advances to the Class 4A state championship, where the Panthers will face East Central on Saturday at 3 p.m.