Week 1 was the dawn of a new era for Angola Hornets’ football after the completion of their renovated Hornets’ Nest which includes their brand new turf field, making them the NECC’s lone school with turf. That game saw the Hornets getting off to a good start on the young 2022 season as they defeated rival DeKalb 21-14. Angola QB Tyler Call recorded 72 rushing yards, 93 passing yards, and 3 total touchdowns on the game to lead Angola to a strong opening win.

The first quarter was gifted to a defensive battle early on where both teams were trying to figure each other out on the floor, while their offenses were stagnated by strong defenses. Angola’s front 7 suffocated Caiden Hinkle and the Barons’ running game, while DeKalb showed fight against Angola’s speedy pistol offense. 

The second quarter would eventually shift the tides of this game when the Barons forced Andre Tagliaferri to fumble the ball at the Angola 10-yard line where the Barons recovered. With 9:38 left in the first half, the first points were scored on Angola’s turf field when Tegan Irk threw a rainbow pass to a wide open Derek Overbay from the left side to give the Barons a 7-0 lead. DeKalb only led for 19 seconds, until Angola’s senior quarterback Tyler Call threw a 43-yard cannon to a wide open Andre Tagliaferri in the end zone. Just like that momentum sharply shifted to Angola, and the Purple Craze as they call Angola’s student section was in a frenzy. Quite frankly the entire town of Angola was getting loud by that point. 

DeKalb kept coming back trying to get the tying score when Irk missed his target down the middle on 3rd and 4 that would have created a great scoring chance. Then later, Micheal Burrelson deflected a downfield pass from Tegan Irk and denied a potential 42-yard touchdown play. The Barons ended that drive with a failed 4th down conversion, and momentum went back to Angola. 

This next Angola drive would change the entire second half as we know it as the Hornets marched down the field. Angola would grab their first lead of the game with 16.9 seconds left in the half when Tyler Call, on 3rd and Goal, made the short 4-yard pass to tight end Lane King into the end zone to give the Hornets a 14-7 halftime lead. 

The second half had Angola getting the ball to start the half and they would use this to control the game clock and try to get the insurance marker. But then, the Barons’ defense made a play by forcing a fumble near the line of scrimmage and DeKalb regained possession with 8:36 left in the 3rd. 

Following a DeKalb punt, Angola thought they scored the back breaker on an 80+ yard run, but a holding penalty took the winds out of their sails. Following a Angola punt, DeKalb turns it over for the first and only time of the game. Following another crucial Angola penalty that negated another big jet sweep by Andre Tagliaferri, the Barons pick off a Tyler Call pass, and momentum suddenly was on DeKalb’s side. The Barons used this drive to tie the game when Tegan Irk found freshman Xavier Bell from 10-yards out. 

This game would have to be decided in the 4th quarter tied at 14. But fans wouldn’t have to wait long before Angola broke through. Tyler Call recorded his third touchdown of the game when he undressed the entire DeKalb defense for a 5-yard run into the end zone to give Angola a 7-point lead once again. 

Now, it came down to the defense. Despite Angola’s great gameplan on defense, DeKalb wasn’t ready to call it quits. Tegan Irk had a glorious opportunity, shortly after the Angola score, but Overbay was unable to secure the football and it halted what could have been a huge touchdown for the Barons. DeKalb would have one last opportunity with 2:18 left in regulation when the Barons reached the Angola 6. However, as the game went, the Barons usual lethal spread offense couldn’t make that one huge play as DeKalb’s pass on 4th and goal was deflected out and the fireworks began with an Angola win.

The Hornets will look to go 2-0 when they host Leo in Week 2. DeKalb will debut their new turf field in week 2 when they host county rival Garrett in Waterloo.