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Leopards Advance to Regional Final With Last Second Takeaway!

Originally Published in: THE HELLERVILL NEWSPAPER

By Jared Heller

Minutemen Field, Lexington – Backed up on their own goaline with less than a minute left, the Leopards defense still did not give in.  With a 28-23 lead the Leopards defense made the Dublin Scioto Irish offense pull an Ernest Byner.  Kevin Sears stripped the ball from the Irish runningback on the 3-yard line and Clay Swigert recovered it to clinch the victory.  The Leopards won 28-23 to advance to the Regional Finals for only the second time in the school’s history.

In the first quarter, Drew Kuhn ran a fake punt 13 yards for a first down, Brian Whaley ran 14 yards on the next play, and Kyle Smith followed that up with an 18-yard pass reception.  After, multiple personal foul penalties by the Irish, Kuhn found Ben Schmucker in the endzone for an 8-yard touchdown strike.  The Leopards led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Leopards jumped up to a 14-0 lead as Kuhn found Schmucker in the endzone for a 22-yard touchdown pass.  But, Scioto answered with an 85-yard drive on 6 plays that ended with a 29-yard touchdown run by Julius McCormick. 14-7.

However, the Leopards answered right back as Kuhn completed his third touchdown pass of the half, this time to a 34-yard completion to Bill Poyser to make it 21-7.  But, once again Scioto answered with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Dane Fowler to Brandon Cannon, but the kick went wide to make it 21-13 at the half.

In the third quarter, David Brewer made a 26-yard field goal to cut the Leps lead to 21-16 heading into the final quarter.

The on a fourth-and-inches, Drew Kuhn converted with a 34-yard touchdown run to make it 28-16 Louisville.  The Irish fired right back with a 9-yard run by Jason Rice with only 5:38 remaining.

The Leopards offense was then stopped by Scioto, who had one last drive before Sears and Swigert preserved the win for the Leopards.

Kuhn was 17 of 24 for 212 yards passing with 3 TD passes, 62 yards rushing and a TD run.  Brain Whaley had 59 yards rushing, Schmucker had 5 catches for 52 yards (2 of them for touchdowns), and Bill Poyser had 4 catches for 81 yards, one of them going for a TD.

Louisville improves to 12-0 and will face Canfield next week in Warren, while Scioto finishes 8-4.

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