The Lightning needed just three plays to convert two Beau Roth interceptions into touchdowns before halftime. And a fourth-quarter fumble recovery by Charlie Kim led to a two-play scoring drive for the winners.
Offensively, Sage drove 53 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown on its opening possession, then did just enough for the hosts to maintain control.
"We knew we had some monsters on our schedule," Sage Coach J.R. Tolver said. "It was one of those things where you want to play up to a certain level, so when it's time to play games that count and matter, you're in a good spot. For us, right now, we're in a good spot."
Friday was surely not a play-up situation for the Lightning, as Animo (2-7) came in surrendering 45.5 points per game.
But the Lightning certainly didn't play down, unless allowing a winding 51-yard touchdown run to Earl Moore on the fifth play of the fourth quarter could be considered such a lapse.
Moore had just picked up 28 yards on the previous play, producing 79 of the Aztec Eagles' 125 yards of total offense on two snaps, after Sage had built a 42-point cushion and began substituting liberally.
Animo did not complete a pass and fumbled 10 times, losing three.
Schidlovsky added a second fumble recovery and Thomas Fenner also pounced on a fumble for the Lightning, who did not allow the visitors to cross midfield until the aforementioned 51-yard scoring run with 8:28 left in the contest.
Senior outside linebacker David Fenner was a consistent catalyst for the smothering Sage Hill defense. The 5-foot-8, 150-pounder was a frequent visitor to the Animo backfield, either pressuring the quarterback or nailing ballcarriers for losses.
Senior defensive end Ford Hanour, junior end Sebastian Sadeghi and tackle Jason Cowan also halted Animo ballcarriers for negative yardage.