Cardinals Fly Past Leopards in Opener 48-28 – Varsity Football

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Canfield 48, Louisville 28

's Sports Louisville Leopards Football Schedule Shirt 2017The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team fell to the visiting Canfield Cardinals 48-28 in the season opener Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium.

Junior Quarterback Jared Mathie finished 24 of 37 passing for 354 yards and threw 4 touchdowns to lead the Leopards. Bryce Zuppe also caught 7 passes for a team leading 127 yards and caught 2 fourth quarter touchdowns.

Trailing 27-14, Louisville marched 80 yards on 17 plays for their first fourth quarter endzone strike. Mathie hit Zuppe for a gain of 11 on 3rd-and-10 from the Canfield 40 to extend the drive. A few plays later, Mathie went airborne to get the needed yardage on a 3rd-and-5 conversion to set up a 1st-and-Goal. Finally, Mathie rolled left and threw off his back foot to Zuppe in the endzone for a 5 yard touchdown on 4th-and-Goal. 

The Cardinals added to their advantage with a 7 play, 78 yard scoring journey in return. The drive began with Quarterback Vinny Fiorenza scampering for a 31 yard gain into Leopards territory. It ended with Runningback Paul Breinz blasting through the middle for a 2 yard touchdown to up their lead to 34-21.

Grove Appliance Alliance Ohio AdLouisville wasted no time in answering back. Two plays into their next drive, Mathie rolled to his right and heaved a pass to a wide open Zuppe at midfield. Zuppe was a few steps ahead of the closest charging Canfield defender when he made the catch. The potential tackler was thwarted by a blind side block from Leopards Receiver Jack Davis. It was a foot race from there and Zuppe won by the tune of a 72 yard score to get Louisville to within 34-28 with 6:56 left.

The Cardinals machine refused to breakdown as their rushing attack spearheaded their final two game-icing drives. Fiorenza scored on a 19 yard touchdown run with 4:54 left in the game. He then broke loose for a 59 yard sprint down the right sideline to set up Canfield with a 1st-and-Goal from the 1. Breinz pounded home his third rushing touchdown of the game on the next play to ensure Canfield their first win over the Leopards since the 2005 DII Regional Finals and first victory at Louisville since the 2000 Regional Quarterfinals

Fiorenza finished with 480 yards of total offense for the Cardinals with 4 total touchdowns. He accounted for 354 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground & threw for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns through the air. Breinz caught a 42 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and Matt Zaremski made a 22 yard touchdown grab in the left corner of the endzone.

Altogether Canfield racked up 580 total yards of offense, which included 46 carries for 454 yards rushing. They held an advantage in first downs 26-19 and were an efficient 5 of 7 on third down conversions.

All five Leopards receivers made multiple grabs during the contest. In addition to Zuppe, Max Hartline caught 7 passes for 67 yards and recorded a first half tochdown. Davis made 3 catches for 49 yards which included a 33 yard touchdown catch that put Louisville ahead 7-0 early. Davis Burick also finished with 5 catches for 84 yards and Logan Thomas made 2 receptions for 27 yards.

The alertness of Thomas helped sustain the Leopards second scoring drive. Facing 3rd-and-7, Mathie rifled a ball that tipped off the outstretch finger tips of Zuppe, deflected off a Cardinal defender, and landed into the arms of the diving Thomas for a gain of 21. Three plays later, Mathie found Hartline for a 13 yard touchdown reception on a 3rd-and-9 to knot the game at 14-14.

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The loss snaps Louisville’s 5-game winning streak against Canfield over the last five season openers. The Leopards still lead the all-time series 5-3, but the series is now an even 2-2 when played at Louisville Leopards Stadium. This is by far the highest scoring affair in the between the two squads with 76 points scored, eclipsing the mark of 54 set in the 2015 game. Louisville is now 61-31-2 all-time in season opening games and this includes a 40-17 record in first game home openers.

UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the North Canton Hoover Vikings on Friday, September 1. Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM at Louisville Leopards Stadium.

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Scoring Summary


Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Canfield 7-14-6-21–48

Louisville 7-7-0-14–28

1st Qtr:
L: 6:18 – Jack Davis 33 yd pass from Jared Mathie
Hannah Baughman PAT
5 plays 70 yds

C: 3:27 – Vinnie Fiorenza 30 yd run
Sam Accordino PAT
9 plays 93 yds

2nd Qtr:
C: 10:05 – Paul Breinz 42 yd pass from Vinnie Fiorenza
Sam Accordino PAT
6 plays 68 yds

L: 6:44 – Max Hartline 12 yd pass from Jared Mathie
Hannah Baughman PAT
8 plays 59 yds

C: 0:59 – Paul Breinz 15 yd run
Sam Accordino PAT
11 plays 81 yds

3rd Qtr:
C: 3:20 – Matt Zaremski 22 yd pass from Vinnie Fiorenza
Kick Failed
4 plays 68 yds

4th Qtr:
L: 10:47 – Bryce Zuppe 5 yd pass from Jared Mathie
Hannah Baughman PAT
17 plays 80 yds

C: 7:20 – Paul Breinz 2 yd run
Sam Accordino PAT
7 plays 78 yds

L: 6:56 – Bryce Zuppe 72 yd pass from Jared Mathie
Hannah Baughman PAT
2 plays 72 yds

C: 4:54 – Vinnie Fiorenza 19 yd run
Sam Accordino PAT
5 plays 53 yds

C: 1:31 – Paul Breinz 1 yd run
Sam Accordino PAT
2 plays 63 yds

Team Stats

First Downs:
Canfield: 26
Louisville: 19

Canfield: 46 carries 454 yds 5 TD’s
Louisville: 21 carries for 48 yds

Canfield: 7 of 10 for 126 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT
Louisville: 24 of 37 for 354 yds 4 TD’s 0 INT

Canfield: 0/0
Louisville: 1/0

Canfield: 7/65
Louisville: 2/10

3rd Down Conversions:
Canfield: 5/7
Louisville: 6/13

4th Down Conversions:
Canfield: 0/0
Louisville: 1/3

Individual Stats

Canfield: Vinnie Forenza: 26 carries 354 yds 2 TD’s

Louisville: Jared Mathie: 10 carries 28 yds
Gavin Van ZantL 10 carries 21 yds

Canfield: Vinnie Fiorenza: 7 of 10 for 126 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT

Louisville: Jared Mathie: 24 of 37 for 354 4 TD’s 0 INT

Canfield: Matt ZaremskiL 2 catches for 29 yds 1 TD

Louisville: Bryce Zuppe: 7 carries for 127 yds 2 TD’s
Max Hartline: 7 carries 67 yds 1 TD
Davis Burick: 5 catches 84 yds
Jack Davis: 3 catches 49 yds 1 TD
Logan Thomas: 2 catches 27 yds

Records: Canfield 1-0, Louisville 0-1

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