Louisville Wins 90th Battle with Rival Minerva 45-7 – Varsity Football
Louisville 45, Minerva 7
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team downed the host Minerva Lions 45-7 at Dr. Robert H. Hines Stadium Friday Night. With the victory, Louisville improves to 2-4 on year and now holds a 2-1 mark in the NBC.
Max Hartline finished with 219 total yards of offense and scored 4 touchdowns to lead the Leopards. Hartline carried the ball 3 times for 109 yards scoring from 31 yards out on a jet sweep in the first quarter and taking a direct snap for a 65 yard touchdown later on in the second period. Hartline also made 4 receptions for 110 yards in catching a pair of touchdowns.
After three scoreless possessions and a flurry of penalties to begin the game, Louisville got on the board first during their second drive. The Leopards marched 87 yards on 5 plays and took a 7-0 lead when Bryce Zuppe broke wide open for a 57 yard touchdown reception from Quarterback Colton Jones. Zuppe would finish with 4 catches for 89 yards during the contest.
Jones completed 10 of 11 passes for 182 yards and threw 3 touchdowns all in the first half. One play after a Minerva turnover, he hit Hartline in the endzone for a 25 yard second quarter touchdown. On the next drive, he went 4-for-4 finding Zuppe for a beautiful over the shoulder grab to gain 20 yards, completing to Runningback Gavin Van Zant for 16 yards, and Logan Thomas twice for 35 yards. The second Thomas reception was made in the middle of the endzone which put the Leopards ahead 35-0 before the break.
Out of the locker room, Lions Linebacker Shane Walters pounced in front of a Louisville pass at midfield and returned it all the way back to the Leopard 11. However, Minerva failed to capitalize on their best scoring opportunity of the night as the penalty plagued drive netted negative 22 yards. Jason Goard charged in for the Leopard sack on third down and Van Zant closed in on the Lions Quarterback to force an intentional grounding on fourth down. The Louisville offense would score 3 plays later when Senior Quarterback Trent Degenhard connected with Hartline for a 68 yard screen pass to pay dirt.
The Leopards defense came up with two interceptions of their own. Defensive Back Grayson Beamer picked off a Minerva pass in the second quarter to setup a 1-play Louisville scoring drive. Defensive Back Dillon Rebuck also made a diving interception at midfield late in the third quarter.
Minerva eventually scored when Wide Receiver Jason Williams gained separation and Quarterback Brock Croston delivered a 44 yard touchdown pass to him on the nose. The score got the Lions on the board with 5:54 left in the fourth quarter and snapped a string of 143 unanswered Leopard points in the rivalry.
Croston finished 7 of 10 for 78 yards passing for Minerva. Connor Fritz was the Lions top receiver with 7 catches for 55 yards and Runningback A.J. Vasilliu was the leading rusher for MHS with 52 yards on 11 attempts.
Louisville out-gained Minerva 468-186 in total offense for the game, which included a 219-77 advantage on the ground. Third-string Quarterback Carter Rode anchored the Leopards final drive and ran the ball 4 times for 56 yards to get Louisville on the doorstep of another score.
However, the drive stalled and the Leopards faced 4th-and-Goal from the 10 Yard Line. Louisville Head Coach John Demarco sent out the field goal unit and Louisville Kicker Hannah Baughman blasted the 26 yard attempt through the uprights to make it 45-7 Leopards. Baughman also went 6 for 6 on extra points to give her 9 points for the evening. In a rivalry that began in the decade that birthed women’s suffrage, it likely ends with Louisville’s first female football player scoring the final points.
With the victory, the Leopards have now defeated the Lions 6 straight times and in 16 of their past 17 meetings overall. After the result of this 90th rivalry game between the two schools, Louisville now leads the all-time series 65-20-5 which includes a 34-9-3 record in games played at Minerva.
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UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the Carrollton Warriors on Friday, October 6. Game time is set for 7:00 PM from Louisville Leopards Stadium.
LEOPARDS 45, LIONS 7
M – 5:54 – Jason Williams 44 yd pass from Brock Croston
Zerick Banner PAT
3 plays 65 yds
L – 0:21 – Hannah Baughman 26 yd Field Goal
6 plays 52 yds
Louisville: 24 carries for 219 yds 2 TDs’
Minerva: 22 carries for 77 yds
Louisville: 14 of 18 for 219 yds 4 TD’s 1 INT
Minerva: 10 of 23 for 109 yds 1 TD 2 INT’s
Louisville: 9 / 95
Minerva: 6 / 44
3rd Down Conversions:
Louisville: 3 / 8
Minerva: 3 / 12
4th Down Conversions:
Louisville: 0 / 0
Minerva: 1 / 2
Minerva: A.J. Vasilliu: 11 carries for 52 yds
Minerva: Brock Croston: 7 of 10 for 78 yds 1 TD 1 INT
Alex Kimble: 3 of 13 for 31 yds 0 TD’s 1 INt
Minerva: Connor Fritz: 7 catches for 55 yds
Records: Louisville 2-4, 2-1; Minerva 0-5, 0-3