Leopards 23-Game NBC Winning Streak Snapped at Marlington
Marlington 24, Louisville 21
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team lost a heartbreaker to the host Marlington Dukes at Marlington Stadium Friday Night. With the loss, the Leopards drop to an even 3-3 and fall out of first in the NBC with a record of 2-1.
Runningback Gavin VanZant finished with 14 carries for 151 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns to lead Louisville. Both scores finished off the Leopards first two scoring drives as he scored on runs of 26 and 4. Quarterback Brody Hahn also had 81 yards rushing and finished 11 of 26 through the air for 137 yards.
The Leopards final touchdown came midway through the fourth quarter. Marlington had just stormed in for a sack the play before and Louisville faced a 4th-and-Goal as a result. On the ensuing play, Hahn broke free of the Dukes pass rush, scrambled to his right, and heaved a pass to the back of the endzone. Wide Receiver Tyler Adams pulled it in from his knees to knot the game at 21-21 with 6:03 left to go.
The score was Adams’ record-breaking 26th career touchdown grab. He passed Justin Boudler (2000-02) who held the previous mark. Adams would finish as the Leopards leading receiver for the game with 4 catches for 59 yards.
Marlington answered by mounting what proved to be the game-winning drive. The Dukes 8 play, 52 yard drive was keyed by a 26 yard completion from Quarterback Chris Pennell to Wide Receiver Brock Himmelheber. Runningback Jaquiez Sampson ran to the left for a first down two plays later to setup Marlington in a goal-to-go situation.
Louisville’s defense would hold the Dukes out of the endzone forcing a field goal try. The Dukes Sean Cooley booted home the 25 yard field goal from the left hash to give Marlington the lead at 24-21 with just 3:06 left to play.
The Leopards had one last chance, but turned the ball over on downs without moving the chains. The Dukes took over at the Louisville 42. Sampson burst to the left for a 9 yard gain and then pushed Marlington past the sticks on 4th-and-3 to ice the contest.
Sampson carried the ball 29 times for 151 yards and scored thee touchdowns for the Dukes. Sampson scored on touchdown runs from 23 and 7 yards out in the second quarter. He also broke open in the flat for a 17 yard touchdown catch from Pennell to give Marlington a 21-14 lead early on in the fourth.
Pennell was 16 of 22 for 191 yards passing with his top target being Justin Allen who made 4 catches for 88 yards. The Dukes stay undefeated at 6-0 overall and remain in first atop the NBC with a record of 3-0.
The Leopards won their previous 3 meetings over the Dukes before Friday. Louisville still leads the all-time series 43-6, which includes a 19-5 mark at Marlington.
The loss snaps the Leopards 23-game NBC winning streak dating back to 2013. Canton South was the last league team to defeat Louisville 41-20 back on October 26, 2012. Louisville was also carrying a 12-game road winning streak against the NBC before Friday.
After the action finished up Friday, the Leopards found themselves out of the playoff picture at 13th in Division III, Region 9. The Dukes remain in first for the DIII, Region 9 computer rankings. The two squads could potentially meet again in the playoffs.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the West Branch Warriors on Friday, October 7 at 7:00 PM at Louisville Leopards Stadium.
Cover Photo Taken By Jim & Laura Photography
View & Purchase Louisville Leopards Pictures on the Jim & Laura Photography Website
DUKES 24, LEOPARDS 21
M – 11:51 – Jaquiez Sampson 23 yd run
Sean Cooley PAT
5 plays 43 yds
L – 11:00 – Gavin Van Zant 26 yd run
Hannah Baughman PAT
3 plays 65 yds
M- 1:53 – Jaquiez Sampson 7 yd run
Sean Cooley PAT
12 plays 80 yds
L – 8:26 – Gavin Van Zant 4 yd run
Hannah Baughman PAT
10 plays 54 yds
M – 9:37 – Jaquiez Sampson 17 yd pass from Chris Pennell
Sean Cooley PAT
5 plays 28 yds
M- 3:06 – Sean Cooley 25 yd Field Goal
8 plays 52 yds
First Downs: Louisville: 17
Rushing: Louisville: 35 carries for 248 yds 2 TD’s
Marlington: 43 carries for 191 yds 2 TD’s
Passing: Louisville: 11 of 26 for 137 yds 1 TD 1 INT
Marlington: 16 of 22 for 191 yds 1 TD 0 INT
Fumbles / Lost: Louisville: 1 / 0
Marlington: 0 / 0
Penalties: Louisville: 3 / 35 yds
Marlington: 3 / 31 yds
3rd Down Conversions: Louisville: 3 / 10
Marlington: 3 / 10
4th Down Conversions: Louisville: 1 / 4
Marlington: 2 / 3
Rushing: Louisville: Gavin Van Zant: 14 carries for 151 yds 2 TD’s
Brody Hahn: 18 carries for 81 yds
Casey Nau: 2 carries for 12 yds
Tyler Adams: 1 carry for 4 yds
Marlington: Jaquiez Sampson: 29 carries for 151 yds 2 TD’s
Receiving : Louisville: Tyler Adams: 4 catches for 59 yds 1 TD
Logan Thomas: 2 catches for 32 yds
Max Hartline: 2 catches for 27
Jack Davis: 2 catches for 15 yds
Gavin Van Zant: 1 catch for 4 yds
Marlington: Justin Allen: 4 catches for 88 yds
Passing: Louisville: Brody Hahn: 11 of 26 for 137 yds 1 TD 1 INT
Marlington: Chris Pennell: 16 of 22 for 191 yds 1 TD 0 INT
Records: Marlington 6-0, 3-0, Louisville 3-3-, 1-2