NEW HAVEN — A tough Leo defense caged the Bulldogs Friday night for a 35-8 road win.

“Our defense stepped up tonight, just like last week,” Leo head coach Jared Sauder said. “Outstanding special teams as well. We had a punt return by [Kaeden] Miller, and then I think it was a 71-yard punt by Carson McCauley.”

Our goal is to play really good defense and special teams, and control the ball with the run game. I’m proud of our guys and how they did that.”

McCauley set a Leo record with his 71-yard punt. Miller, the Lions’ running back, had 134 rushing yards, including three touchdowns as well as an 83-yard punt return touchdown.

New Haven quarterback Jakar Williams scored his team’s only touchdown in the third quarter, making a 12-yard run to the end zone. Williams finished the night with 159 passing yards and three interceptions. Freshman wide receiver Mylan Graham had five receptions for 71 yards, while senior Jalan Carpenter caught three passes for 28 yards. Junior defensive back Trevien Thomas caught the Bulldogs’ sole interception of the game.

Leo ran in two touchdowns in the last three minutes of the first quarter. The Bulldogs held the Lions until the half, letting in another touchdown shortly into the third. The Lions’ final two touchdowns came in the fourth quarter. They rushed 219 yards total, with just two passing yards.

Leo’s Rylan Crawford had a 45-yard pick-6, and his fellow junior Landen Livingston had one interception and a fumble recovery.

“Hats off to New Haven,” Sauder said, “they made some adjustments and made it hard for us a little bit in the end of the first half and second half.”

This Friday, New Haven (3-1) is at Norwell (3-1) and Leo (3-1) hosts East Noble (3-1). The Lions travel to Bellmont (0-2) and the Bulldogs will travel to Columbia City (4-0) for their Sept. 25 games.

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