CMA season ends, bond stays strong

Dalton Tinklenberg
Staff Writer

The Angola Hornets traveled to Culver Friday night to face the Culver Academy Eagles under the lights on a chilly November day. The Hornets came away with a 31-30 thrilling overtime win to claim the sectional championship and advance to regionals.
The game started with the Eagles getting the first crack on offense. CMA senior Michael Bocker dropped back on third and five to survey the field. The defense closed in and with men wrapped around his waist Bocker fired a pass forward for a first down. The Eagles continued their march downfield until their momentum stalled on the Angola 17-yard line. Sophomore kicker Alejandro Septien trotted onto the field and knocked down a 38-yard field goal to put CMA on the board first.
The following drive, Angola showcased the running game so many have boasted about this season. Facing a third and one from just inside their own territory, the Hornets ran a sweep for junior Chase Schnepf who took the carry 56 yards for a touchdown. The score gave Angola its first lead of the night at 7-3.
After forcing a three and out on the following Eagles’ possession, Angola took over from deep within its own territory. The Eagles could not contain the edges as the Hornets ran sweep after sweep on their way down the field. With just 48 seconds left in the first quarter, Schnepf struck again. This time he scored from 19 yards out to increase the Angola lead to 14-3.
Again CMA took possession and again they were unable to muster any offense as they were forced to punt after just three plays.
The next play, Angola senior quarterback Chance Roddy spun out of a would-be sack and found junior Jarrett Gibson downfield for a 57-yard gain. After the Eagles defense stiffened, the Hornets were forced to try for a 36-yard field goal. The attempt was no good and the momentum seemed to be shifting for the Eagles.
Bocker took a keeper up the middle for 28 yards on the first play of the drive to electrify the home crowd. The very next play, senior Brian Loudermilk picked up another 12 on the ground. Then things hit a wall. Bocker fumbled on a keeper and Angola recovered at its own 13.
After stopping the ensuing Angola drive, CMA got yet another chance to put points on the board. After a long drive that included a fake punt, Bocker took a keeper in from 18 yards out to draw the Eagles with four points, 14-10.
Just before halftime with the Hornets threatening to score, Loudermilk intercepted Roddy on a deep fade to the end zone with four seconds remaining.
Angola must not have learned much from the end of the first half because their first drive of the second half ended the same way. Loudermilk again picked off Roddy once again. Several plays later the Eagles scored on a 15-yard pitch and catch from Bocker to senior Sam English.
Schnepf took a pitch from Roddy seven yards into the end zone late in the third quarter to give the Hornets a 21-17 lead.
The Eagles took possession of the ball at their own 20-yard line after a punt with just over ten minutes remaining. On the first play of the drive, Loudermilk took the ball to the right and bolted for 80 yards to the end zone. The Eagles led 24-21.
Angola took the ball with under five minutes remaining and drove deep into Eagles’ territory before finally being forced to attempt a field goal. With three and a half minutes remaining the Hornets connected from 38 yards to tie the game, 24-24.
Just before the end of regulation, CMA drove well within field goal range and with six seconds remaining they took a timeout. The Hornets busted through the line and blocked the kick attempt, sending the game to overtime.
The Eagles scored on their first possession of overtime on a three-yard run by Loudermilk. Perhaps the most shocking play of the night followed. Septien came onto the field to attempt the extra point and missed.
“I’m just so fortunate to coach a bunch of guys who care so deeply about each other,” said CMA coach Andy Dorrel. “We had some talented players on our football team and their talent was magnified by the fact that they play so hard for one another. This team never got down and never doubted themselves. They just kept battling back. We put ourselves in position to win at the end and unfortunately, we weren’t able to execute at the most critical moment but there are so many other plays. I give their staff and their player’s so much credit because they are very similar to us. I knew coming in it was going to be a battle like this.”
When asked what the kids had taught him this season, coach Dorrel responded,”Just to trust the kids and believe in them. I mean Michael made some plays tonight that I didn’t know he would be able to do. Our offensive line continued to make progress throughout the year. Our defense has been so solid all season. It was just so many different components of a team that you want to be able to say that was the difference but there’s not. Our group worked so hard in so many different ways to be truly special and I’m just proud of them.”
Two plays later the Hornets scored and with the extra point, ended the CMA season.
• ANGOLA 31, CMA 30
At Culver
CMA 3 7 7 7 6 - 30
Angola 14 0 7 3 7 - 31