Hardy’s hand-eye grab on a deflected pass from quarterback Luke Lehnen highlighted the many outstanding offensive moments for North Central vs the Wheaton College Thunder in the Battle for the Little Brass Bell.
Lehnen’s pass looked to be incomplete, or worse intercepted by the Thunder defense. The crowd on the home side of the field were already cheering their defense’s apparent success. However, in their attempt to disrupt the play, the Wheaton defenders inadvertently deflected the ball in the air. Keeping his eye on it the entire time was DeAngelo Hardy, who was in the right place at the right time to secure the floating football and take off for a huge gain after the catch down the sideline.
It might even have been a touchdown if not for Hardy’s cleat getting stuck in the turf as he ran clear of the Wheaton defense.
A Big Man for Big Plays
Despite only five catches in two games, Hardy already has 145 yards receiving in two games. This includes two break-away touchdowns, one against Aurora where he simply outran his defender and another vs Wheaton in which he was left all alone in the middle of the field.
At 6-1 and 190 pounds, Hardy is still only a sophomore. He and Lehnen seem likely to only be at the beginning of a successful partnership that could see them both set North Central passing records.
Hardy played in all 15 games in 2019 as a true freshman, making 50 catches for almost 700 yards and six touchdowns.
He also scored on the opening kickoff vs Milliken that season, becoming the first Cardinal to run back a game’s opening kickoff in 30 years.
The Lake Villa, Illinois native is majoring in sports management.
This marks twice in the opening two weeks of the season that Cardinal wide receivers have taken home Play of the Game after Andrew Kamienski did so for an over-the-shoulder catch vs Aurora.