Leopards Iced At Home By Polar Bears 42-14 – Varsity Football

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Jackson 42, Louisville 14

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The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team fell to the visiting Jackson Polar Bears 42-14 Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium. With the loss, Louisville drops to 2-7 on the year.

Leopards Scoring Drives Setup By Short Field

Senior quarterback Tyler Jackson passed for a touchdown and ran for another to lead the Leopards offense. He connected with senior wide receiver Dan Kennedy on an 18 yard touchdown pass to cut the Louisville deficit in half at 14-7 with 3:40 left to play in the second quarter. Jackson later scored on the ground from 3 yards away to cut the Polar Bear advantage in half at 28-14 with 10:34 remaining in the game.

Lingenhoel Group - Arden and Lisa Lingenhoel - Cutler Real Estate AdBoth Leopard scoring drives were setup by great field position. Kennedy intercepted a pass in the secondary and returned it 47 yards to the Jackson 28 to setup Louisville’s first scoring drive. Later in the third quarter, the Leopards turned the ball over on downs in the redzone. But the LHS defense forced a three-and-out in response. The ensuing Polar Bear punt netted only 17 yards taking a Louisville hop before it was downed at the 36 yard line.

Samantha's Grill AdKey late down conversion runs by Jackson keyed the Leopard scoring drives. Following Kennedy’s interception return, Jackson ran for 8 yards on 3rd-and-10 and then converted a 4th-and-2 with a 4 yard run keeper to the right. On their final scoring driving, Jackson broke multiple tackles in earning an extra effort 7 yards on 3rd-and-6 to move the sticks to the Polar Bear 25. He also gained 2 yards on 3rd-and-1 on the play before he reached pay dirt in the fourth quarter. Jackson would finish as Louisville’s leading rusher with 16 carries for 39 yards.

Louisville 2nd Half Drives Stall in Jackson Territory

My Fit Life Personal Trainer AdLeopard junior kicker Myles Lab opened the second half with a squib kick aimed toward the right sideline. Two Jackson players were unable to gain control of the unpredictable bouncing ball and junior Zack Seaman fell on it for Louisville at the Polar Bear 27 yard line. 

A holding penalty on the first play of the drive set the Leopards back into 1st-and-22 from the 39 and LHS was unable to recover. The ensuing 4th-and-14 pass near the right sideline fell incomplete and the Polar Bears took over on their own 31.

Louisville found success moving the ball on their next drive as they marched 51 yards on 8 plays to the Jackson 14 yard line. Sophomore runningback Andrew Essik carried the ball 4 times for 24 yards on the drive and Jackson hit Seaman for a 12 yard completion. Seaman would finish as the Leopards leading receiver for the night with 4 catches for 40 yards. 

Louisville went back to the air again on the next play and senior wide receiver Broc Pickens made a catch out of bounds deep down the left sideline. However, the play drew a 15 yard defensive pass interference call which moved the ball into the redzone. Essik ran to the left for a 3 yard gain on the next play to put the Leopards on the Polar Bear 14 yard line.

The drive stalled from there. Louisville’s second down play went for no gain and on 3rd-and-7 Jackson forced a fumble in the backfield before junior right tackle Cameron Brazek alertly fell on it for a 2 yard loss. On 4th-and-4, another pass down the left sideline sailed high and incomplete out of bounds which ended the Leopards scoring threat.

Polar Bears Offense Rolls to Victory

The Polar Bears out-gained the Leopards 439-169 in total offense which included a 249-98 edge on the ground. Jackson was led on the ground by junior runningback Brenden Craig who carried the ball 15 times for 142 yards and scored 3 second half touchdowns. Craig broke loose for scoring runs of 31, 44, and 22 yards.

Junior quarterback Hunter Geissinger led the Polar Bears in helping them take 21-7 halftime lead. He finished the game running the ball 9 times for 49 yards, which included scoring on a 5 yard touchdown run to cap off Jackson’s opening drive. Geissinger also finished 10 of 16 passing for 190 yards through the air. He also hit senior wide receiver Johnny Kulich on a short screen pass that went for a 37 yard touchdown with 1:24 remaining before halftime.

Kulich finished as the Polar Bears leading receiver with 4 catches for 77 yards. Senior wide receiver DJ Harris also had 2 receptions for 65 yards. 

Jackson Forces 3 Takeaways and Blocks 2 Punts

Jackson junior defensive back Dylan Fonte intercepted a pass on Louisville’s opening drive of the game giving the Polar Bears the ball on their own 35. Geissinger hit Harris on a screen pass to the far left two plays later for a 43 yard gain to the Leopard 19. Four plays later, Geissinger hit Kulich over the middle for an 8 yard gain on 4th-and-4 to set up the Polar Bears 1st-and-goal from the 5. Geissinger would then run it in himself on the next play.

Louisville went three-and-out on the next drive and Jackson found themselves in an eerily similar scenario a few plays later. Facing 4th-and-4 from the LHS 27, Geissinger found senior Brett Blauner who tipped the ball into the air before gaining possession of it for an 18 yard gain to the Leopards 9 yard line. Two plays later, junior runningback Griffin McKinney ran in a touchdown from 4 yards away.

The Leopards put the ball on the turf on the second play of their next drive and McKinney came out of the pile with it for the Polar Bears at the LHS 47. Jackson was unable to capitalize on the takeaway as the Louisville defense came up with a 4th-and-1 stop in the redzone. The Leopards defensive line stuffed McKinney led by Brazek who made the tackle for no gain.


Louisville Vs. Jackson Football Series

The Leopards have now lost 4 of their last 5 meetings with the Polar Bears with their lone victory in that run a 35-12 win in 1999. Louisville still leads the all-time series 13-11 dating back to their first meeting in 1967, which includes an 8-4 record when playing Jackson at home. The 56 combined points scored is the most for any game in the series. 

This was the 300th loss in program history as the Leopards sink to 0-5 when playing at Louisville Leopards Stadium this season. Louisville is also now 1-2 against Federal League foes this year and they will have a chance to even their mark against their former league when they host Green next Friday in the season finale.

<<< Previous 2000 | Jackson All-Time Series

UP NEXT: The Leopards will next host the Green Bulldogs on Friday, November 6. Game time for the season finale is set for 7:00 PM from Louisville Leopards Stadium.

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Game Statistics

Scoring Summary


Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Jackson 14-7-7-14–42

Louisville 0-7-0-7–14

1st Qtr:

J – 6:25 – Hunter Geissinger 5 yd run

                  Garrett Wright PAT

                 7 plays 65 yds


J – 2:00 – Griffin McKinney 4 yd run

                  Garrett Wright PAT

                    8 plays 48 yds


2nd Qtr:

L – 3:40 – Dan Kennedy 18 yd pass from Tyler Jackson

                  Myles Lab PAT

                   6 plays 28 yds


J – 1:24 – Johnny Kulich 37 yd pass from Hunter Geissinger

                  Garrett Wright PAT

                   5 plays 89 yds


3rd Qtr:

J – 6:27 – Brenden Craig 31 yd run

                 Garrett Wright PAT

                  7 plays 69 yds


4th Qtr:

L – 10:34 – Tyler Jackson 3 yd run

                     Myles Lab PAT

                     8 Plays  36 yds


J – 6:40 – Brenden Craig 44 yd run

                  Christian Buccigross PAT

                   2 plays 49 yds


J – 3:16 – Brenden Craig 22 yd run

                  Christian Buccigross PAT

                  2 plays 25 yds

Records: Jackson 4-5, Louisville 2-7

Team Stats

First Downs:

Jackson: 17

Louisville: 13



Jackson: 37 / 249 5 TD’s

Louisville: 36 / 98 1 TD



Jackson: 10 / 16 / 1 190 yds 1 TD 1 INT

Louisville: 10 / 24 / 1 71 yds 1 TD 1 INt


Fumbles / Lost:

Jackson: 1 / 1

Louisville: 3 / 2


Penalties / Yds:

Jackson: 4 / 40

Louisville: 4 / 25


3rd Down Conversions:

Jackson: 4 /9

Louisville: 4/ 13


4th Down Conversions:

Jackson: 2 / 3

Louisville: 2 /3

Individual Stats


Jackson: Brenden Craig: 15 / 142 3 TD’s

                Hunter Geissinger: 9 / 49 1 TD

Louisville: Tyler Jackson: 16 / 39 1 TD



Jackson: Johnny Kulich: 4 / 77 1 TD

                DJ Harris: 2 / 65

Louisville: Zack Seaman: 4 / 40

                   Dan Kennedy: 2 / 16 1 TD



Jackson: Hunter Geissinger: 10 / 16 / 1 190 yds 1 TD

Louisville: Tyler Jackosn: 10 / 24 / 1 71 yds 1 TD


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