Purple Hornets earn first win of the season

L’ANSE — Down 14-7 with just over a minute left, L’Anse Purple Hornets football coach Mark Leaf had a decision to make: take a shot at the end zone, or go for the first down. He chose to go for it.

A 28-yard pass from Reese Waara changed the game for the Purple Hornets, who ended up earning their first win of the season, 15-14 over the visiting Houghton Gremlins (0-2) Thursday night.

Waara rolled out and was able to buy time for Terry Reed to find a soft spot in the Gremlins’ defense in the end zone. Waara threw a strike that Reed caught, pulling the Purple Hornets within one with 1:08 remaining in the contest.

A two-point conversion later, L’Anse had the final lead of the contest.

“It was a tough battle,” said Leaf. “Houghton’s defense was very tough.”

After losing to the Hancock Bulldogs on a late touchdown the week before, Leaf felt that his team needed a shot of confidence, and that was exactly what they got.

“This was a big confidence boost for our kids,” said Leaf. “It was the kind of thing where, if we didn’t make it and lost, it could really turn the season downhill, but instead, we made it and got some confidence from it.”

The Gremlins had one last look at the end of the contest, but could not convert before the final buzzer.