Leopards Rewrite Record Book in 41-28 Statement Win Over Lake – Varsity Football
Louisville 41, Lake 28
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team rewrote the team record book in a 41-28 victory over the visiting Lake Blue Streaks Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium. With the win, Louisville now evens their record at 2-2 on the season.
Quarterback Colton Jones finished 28 of 37 passing for a school record 502 yards and 6 touchdowns to lead the Leopards offense. Jones connected with Ryan Pukys for 4 touchdowns, also believed to be a school record. Pukys was also Louisville’s leading receiver with 8 catches for 196 yards, but he wasn’t alone.
Jones also hit Zuppe 4 times for 101 yards which included a 47 yard second quarter touchdown pass that put the Leopards ahead 21-7 with 3:24 left to play before halftime. The Senior Wideout racked up plenty of yards after catch by stiff arming, dragging, slamming through, and carrying Lake defenders to a century mark of receiving yards.
Jones spread the ball to 5 different targets who all had 4 or more catches and 48 or more yards each. Jared Mathie hauled in 7 catches for 87 yards. Davis Burick made 5 receptions for 70 yards including an 8 yard touchdown catch that broke a 21-21 tie in the third. The score gave Louisville a lead that that they would never relinquish the rest of the way.
Runningback Max Hartline also racked up 136 yards of offense. He led the Leopards rushing attack with 21 carries for 88 yards and also made 4 grabs for 48 yards.
Louisville’s offense clicked on all cylinders racking up 600 yards of total offense (502 passing yards and 98 rushing yards), also likely a school record. The Leopards accumulated 27 first downs and only turned the ball over once in the process.
That giveaway came just before halftime as Louisville was looking to add to a 21-7 lead marching inside the redzone. A pass tipped off a receiver, a defender, and into the hands of Lake Defensive Back Bryce Snow at the 1 yard line. Snow returned the interception 55 yards to the Leopards 44 with 9.8 seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock. That gave the Blue Streaks just enough time for one Hail Mary prayer that was answered. Quarterback Paul Troyer’s pass found the hands of Tye Hunt in traffic and he crossed the goal line with just 1 second remaining. An unintentional pick by the referee of a Leopard defender helped aid Lake on the play as Louisville took a narrow 21-14 lead into the break.
The Blue Streaks defense forced a three-and-out on the Leopards first possession of the second half and they took over from their own 31 after a Louisville punt. Lake faced a 3rd-and-3 on their first series and they converted when Troyer hit Logan Fedor near the right sideline. A personal foul was called on the Leopards for a face mask and also an unsportsmanlike conduct after the play which gave the Blue Streaks a free 30 yards. Their 6 play, 69 yard drive ended with Runningback Noah Collins scoring from 7 yards away to knot the game at 21-21 midway through the third quarter.
Lake had all the momentum, but Louisville snatched it right back when Pukys returned the ensuing kickoff 47 yards across midfield to the Blue Streaks 46. Pukys would finish the night with 72 return yards to give him 268 all-purpose yards for the game. Jones then hit a wide open Burick in the flat for a gain of 16. The same combination was used a few plays later to produce the go ahead score at 27-21 with 4:03 left to play in the third quarter.
While the the Leopards offense racked up record-breaking numbers, the Louisville defense proved a menace to Lake all night long. The Leopards defense held the Blue Streaks to only convert 2 of 10 third downs in the game. Like clockwork, Defensive End Jason Goard stormed into the backfield to get to the Quarterback seemingly every time the third down gong of doom rang throughout Louisville Leopards Stadium. His 3rd third down sack of the night may have been the most crucial of all as it forced a three-and-out and preserved the Leopards 27-21 advantage.
Neither team could score on their next offensive possession and both had to punt around midfield. Mathie stormed into the backfield for the Louisville defense forcing a third down incompletion for Lake and a punt.
The Leopards took over on their own 14 and began a season-rebirthing drive. Mathie laid out for a 13 yard grab on the second play of the drive. Three plays later, Jones found Burick to convert a 3rd-and-10 to the the Louisville 42. This started a string of big gains for Louisville as Jones found Pukys in the middle of the field for a 29 yard completion and Hartline ran hard to the left to pick up another 16 yards to set up 1st-and-Goal from the 9. After a penalty, Jones delivered a strike to Pukys who had curled then cut across the middle for a 14 yard touchdown pass. The Leopards were in command at 33-21 with 8:14 to play.
Just like lightning, the Blue Streaks answered with a touchdown only 71 ticks later when Cameron Martin ran in his second touchdown of the game from 3 yards away. Martin would finish the evening as Lake’s leading rusher with 18 carries for 80 yards.
The score was setup by a controversial Troyer to Hunt over the top 44 yard reception on the play before. Hunt looked to have caught the ball initially but then lost it going to the ground. The back judge appeared to start to signal incomplete, but the side judge overruled him to confirm the gain. The Troyer to Hunt combination connected 6 times for 143 yards throughout the night. Troyer finished 12 of 23 passings for 200 yards overall.
Now ahead 33-28, Louisville elected to remain aggressive on offensive and it paid off. After a 32 yard kick return by Cam Lingle, the Leopards needed just 5 plays to travel 66 yards to the endzone in a span of 2:12. Jones hit Burick over the middle for a gain of 19 to move the ball into Lake territory. Facing 3rd-and-3, Jones began to move to his left a few steps to potentially run for the first down. However, when he looked right he saw a wide open Pukys, paused, and went for broke throwing a 39 yard touchdown pass to his fellow Junior for the fourth time that night. Jones found a wide open Burick near the back of the endzone for the two-point conversion to put the Leopards up 41-28 with 4:51 left to play.
The defense shutout the Blue Streaks the rest of the way to preserve that lead. After a Lake penalty brought back a first down gain, the Blue Streaks aired it out deep on their second play from scrimmage. Louisville Defensive Back Dillon Rebuck was there to make a leaping interception at the Leopards 48 yard line for their lone takeaway of the game. The Leopards offense took some time off the clock before Zuppe was forced to punt.
Lingle and Pukys were there on the punt coverage to nail the returner at his own 12 but a Louisville penalty moved the ball up to the 27. Air tight Leopards coverage forced an incompletion on first down and Goard rampaged in to force a hurried throw on second down. The ball hit the fence of the away bleachers and the intentional grounding flag came out. The play netted a loss of 16 for the Blue Streaks who were now backed up on their own 11. Defensive Lineman Riley Brendle and Lingle rushed hard into the backfield to force another quick throw and the Lake receiver dropped the pass which brought up a 4th-and-26. The Leopards sent the blitz and Lingle found a hole between the double teamed Goard and Blake Robbins who was taking care of the center. Lingle busted through the blocking runningback and sacked the Blue Streaks Quarterback for a generous loss of 9 back to the Lake 2. Louisville took over from there and used the victory formation to run out the remaining 49.2 seconds.
This was the first meeting between the two schools since the opening round of the 2007 playoffs when the Leopards defeated Lake in Louisville 34-21 en rout to their only ever State Championship run. The Blue Streaks had won the previous 5 meetings before that and with Friday’s victory this is the Leopards first winning streak in the series. Lake leads the all-time series 8-4, but the matchup is even at 3-3 when played at Louisville. This is the Leopards first regular season victory over the Blue Streaks since they pulled out a 12-6 double overtime victory at Lake in 1989. This is the first time Louisville has won at home against Lake since their inaugural meeting when the Leopards blanked the Blue Streaks 23-0 back in 1985. The 69 combined points is the highest in terms of the regular season for these two squads, but the two teams put up 81 points at Memorial Stadium during a 48-33 Lake playoff win over Louisville on November 12, 1993.
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UP NEXT: The Leopards will next hit the road to take on the Perry Panthers on Friday, September 21 at 7:00 PM.
LEOPARDS 41, BLUE STREAKS 28
LAKE – Cameron Martin 1 Yard Run (David Harbaugh Kick) | LOUISVILLE 0, LAKE 7, 6:32
11 Plays, 71 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Ryan Pukys 13 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Travis Pape Kick) | LOUISVILLE 7, LAKE 7, 3:34
9 Plays, 78 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Ryan Pukys 68 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Travis Pape Kick) | LOUISVILLE 14, LAKE 7, 7:55
2 Plays, 79 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Bryce Zuppe 47 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Travis Pape Kick) | LOUISVILLE 21, LAKE 7, 3:24
7 Plays, 80 Yards
LAKE – Tye Hunt 44 Yard Pass from Paul Troyer (David Harbaugh Kick) | LOUISVILLE 21, LAKE 14, 0:01
1 Play, 44 Yards
LAKE – Noah Collins 7 Yard Run (David Harbaugh Kick) | LOUISVILLE 21, LAKE 21, 6:37
6 Plays, 69 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Davis Burick 8 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Attempt Failed) | LOUISVILLE 27, LAKE 21, 4:03
7 Plays, 46 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Ryan Pukys 14 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Pass Failed) | LOUISVILLE 33, LAKE 21, 8:14
9 Plays, 86 Yards
LAKE – Cameron Martin 3 Yard Run (David Harbaugh Kick) | LOUISVILLE 33, LAKE 28, 7:03
4 Plays, 65 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Ryan Pukys 39 Yard Pass from Colton Jones (Davis Burick Pass from Colton Jones) | LOUISVILLE 41, LAKE 28, 4:51
5 Plays, 66 Yards
Records: Louisville 2-2, Lake 3-1
Lake: 26 carries for 106 yds 2 TD’s
Louisville: 31 carries for 98 yds
Lake: 12 of 23 for 200 yds 2 TD’s 1 INT
Louisville: 28 of 37 for 502 yds 6 TD’s 1 INT
3rd Down Conversions:
4th Down Conversions:
Cameron Martin: 18 carries for 80 yds 2 TDs
Max Hartline: 21 carries for 88 yds
Paul Troyer: 12 of 23 for 200 yds 2 TD’s 1 INT
Colton Jones: 28 of 37 for 502 yds 6 TD’s 1 INT
Tye Hunt: 6 catches for 143 1TD
Ryan Pukys: 8 catches for 196 yds 4 TD’s
Bryce Zuppe: 4 catches for 101 yds 1 TD
Jared Mathie: 7 catches for 87 yds
Davis Burick: 5 catches for 70 yds 1 TD
Max Hartline: 4 catches for 48 yds