FORT WAYNE – On a hot, humid Friday night, Snider turned up the heat on Bishop Luers at just the right time.
The Panthers blitzed the Knights in the final five minutes to overcome a 10-point deficit in a 31-27 season-opening win at Spuller Stadium.
Snider's David Turner scored two late touchdowns, including the game-winner with two minutes left.
“Nobody deserved to lose that game,” Snider coach Kurt Tippmann said. “It was unbelievably well-played and hard. Those guys left everything on the field. Everybody should be proud of how they played.”
Turner caught nine passes for 109 yards and the 28-yarder that cut the deficit to 27-24 and the game-winning 18-yarder.
“We just stayed together,” Turner said. “We didn't break apart. We put in the work all summer, and we knew we were going to be good and talented. This is great, but we have to keep it going. We kept our heads straight, and we came through.”
Bishop Luers coach Kyle Lindsay said: “They have some receivers over there that can make plays, and that offensive line gives them protection. It's hard to say (what went wrong late). We broke coverage. If we contain them and make them earn every yard, who knows?”
Damian Brough's 6-yard touchdown run gave Luers a 27-17 lead with 5:25 left.
Even before Brough's score, the Panthers looked to be done. After a couple of failed attempts from the Luers' 1, Snider fumbled, and C.J. McCarter returned the ball 80 yards to the Snider 15, leading to Brough's score.
Snider's change at quarterback helped get things going in its direction in the second half.
After throwing for 202 yards in the first half, Colton Painter was replaced by Isaac Stiebeling, who ran and passed the Panthers to the win with both touchdown passes to Turner.
“It was just getting everybody hyped and ready to go,” Stiebeling said. “When I was out there, there was a certain shift in the tone of the game, and it was great. I can't explain it any other way. It's never over until there are zeros on the scoreboard. That's how we came out and played.”
Snider's switch at quarterback seemed to catch the Luers' defense off-guard. Stiebeling threw for 89 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 61 yards on seven carries.
“Both quarterbacks played very well,” Tippmann said. “Stiebeling came in and was fresh and presents a different weapon than maybe some defenses are used to. He sparked us and got us rolling. He was very effective.”
Luers, which finished 2-10 last year that included the school's first-ever winless regular season, led the SAC-favorite Panthers 14-10 at halftime.
Stiebeling came off the bench and ran the Panthers' read-option offense to perfection. He put Snider on top 17-14 when he hit Mac Hippenhammer on a 20-yard scoring strike. But Austin Mack's 6-yard run gave the Knights a 20-17 advantage just 8 seconds into the fourth.
Mack had two touchdowns, one receiving and one rushing, while Luers quarterback Noah Wezensky threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns.