Louisville Leopards at Alliance Aviators 2011 Football Highlights
Louisville 43, Alliance 14
With their backs against the wall, the Louisville Leopards restored their winning ways with a solid victory over the Alliance Aviators 43-14 at Mount Union Stadium Friday Night.
However, the win didn’t come without a price. Leopards star quarterback Chad Neff was carried off the field in the second quarter with a possible season-ending injury and Lucas Poyser also left the field in the fourth quarter with an injury as well.
Despite the loss of their leader, the Leopards endured. After giving up two quick scores, the Louisville defense shutout Alliance for the final 40 minutes of the contest. The Leps also took advantage of four Aviator turnovers that help diffuse any Alliance comeback as well as flip field position.
The game eerily felt like a replica of last year’s 44-14 win over Alliance. Two quick first quarter touchdowns by Alliance was followed by a Louisville onslaught. Last year, Neff was out for half the contest before returning to spark a comeback. This year Neff succumbed to injury after the Leopards were in control. The final in Friday’s contest was just a single digit away from being a clone of last year’s score.
The Aviators air attack combination of quarterback Taurice Scott and wide receiver Vernon Martin accounted for the first two Alliance touchdowns of 53 and 6 yards respectively. Alliance’s first endzone strike was set up by an interception and their second scoring drive was aided by a 53 yard X-Box like run by Scott putting the Aviators on the Louisville 6-yard-line.
In between the Aviators lightning strikes, Louisville got a touchdown of their own. A 30 yard run by Neff put Louisville on the Alliance 2-yard-line and on the next play Neff finished what he started by running it up the gut for the score. After a penalty against Alliance, Neff punched it in again for a two-point conversion giving Louisville an early 8-7 lead.
The Leopards would score two more touchdowns before the quarter ended. Poyser answered Scott’s run with a dazzling 48 yard run of his own. An Alliance penalty at the end of the play put Louisville inside the Aviator 10-yard-line. Two plays later Poyser easily ran it to the left side for a 10-yard touchdown.
Louisville got great field position on the next drive after the Aviators went three-and-out and shanked a punt that netted just 2 yards. A 4 play 39 yard drive ended with a Neff 14-yard touchdown run to make it 21-14. Then Louisville made it a two score contest by faking the PAT kick and passing for a two-point conversion. The holder Jeremy McQuilkin took the snap and rolled to his right before finding Trevor Meredith wide open in the back of the endzone. 23-14 Leps.
After Neff’s injury midway through the second, Louisville got a huge break when Alliance’s punter bobbled the snap and fell on it on his own 5-yard-line. The Leps went backwards for a couple plays, before Poyser dragged Aviators into the endzone for an 11-yard score and his second rushing touchdown of the contest.
Then on the ensuing kickoff, Alliance’s Nathan Rice bobbled the ball on the short kick before being run over by a caravan of Leopards who came up with the ball. But, Louisville turned it back over just before half when Kordelle Phillips picked off backup quarterback Joey Duckworth. The Aviators missed a golden opportunity just before break when Scott heaved a rocket from midfield to Martin who let it slip out of his hands at the 15-yard-line. Martin would have undoubtedly been gone had he caught the ball, but he didn’t and the half expired with Louisville in front 30-14.
A sloppy third quarter led to no scoring, but produced 3 turnovers between the two squads. Jake Sluss recovered a fumble and McQuilkin intercepted a pass ending Alliance drives. Phillips also recorded his second pick of the day on a desperation 4th-and-18 throw by Duckworth.
After throwing those two interceptions, the fourth quarter story would be all about the Leps sophomore QB. Duckworth would find Gavin Lovejoy for a 19-yard touchdown pass and later score on a Neff-like run up the middle to bury the Aviators 43-14.
Duckworth’s first touchdown pass at the varsity level came after the Leopards defense had shut down the Aviators in the redzone. Alliance advanced the ball quickly down the field inside the Louisville 10. A sack by Alex Schooley and Aaron Reynolds set up a 4th-and-11 play. Scott rolled backwards out of the pocket to his left, but couldn’t find anyone open. Louisville popped him and Gary Anile picked up the ball and flipped field position in a hurry bringing the ball all the way back to the Aviator 17. The stand crashed any hope of an Aviator comeback and gave Louisville momentum to pull ahead with Duckworth’s final two scores.
Star quarterback or not, the Leopards are back in the hunt.
NEXT UP: The Leopards will host to the Carrollton Warriors for Homecoming on Friday, October 7 at 7:00 PM. Be sure to come back to Leopard Nation later in the week to get an in-depth preview on the game and series history.
Featured image & other images taken by Dave Andrew of Championship Photos.
LEOPARDS 43, AVIATORS 14
1 2 3 4 Final
Louisville 23 7 0 13 43
Alliance 14 0 0 0 14
A – 6:59 – Vernon Martin 53 yd pass from Taurice Scott
DeQuan Hawkins PAT
6 plays 70 yds
L – 5:19 – Chad Neff 2 yd run
Chad Neff 2pt run
6 plays 52 yds
A – 4:33 – Vernon Martin 6 yd pass from Taurice Scott
DeQuan Hawkins PAT
3 plays 59 yds
L – 3:41 – Lucas Poyser 10 yd run
Merrick Storlie PAT
3 plays 64 yds
L – 1:15 – Chad Neff 14 yd run
Trevor Meredith pass Jeremy McQuilken 2pt
4 plays 39 yds
L – 3:44 – Lucas Poyser 11 yd run
Merrick Storlie PAT
3 plays 6 yds
L – 10:12 – Gavin Lovejoy 19 yd pass from Joey Duckworth
2 plays 17 yds
L – 5:33 – Joey Duckworth 9 yd run
Justin Romy PAT
8 plays 46 yds
Louisville – 19
Alliance – 14
Louisville – 53 carries for 262 yds 5 TD’s
Alliance – 22 carries for 141 yds
Louisville – 7 of 14 for 112 yds 1 TD 3 INT
Alliance – 13 of 36 for 115 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT
Louisville – 5/1
Alliance – 4/3
Louisville – 3 for 20 yds
Alliance – 5 for 42 yds
3rd Down Conversions:
Louisville – 6 of 9
Alliance – 5 of 13
4th Down Conversions:
Louisville – 1 of 1
Alliance – 1 of 4
Louisville – Lucas Poyser – 21 carries for 152 yds 2 TD’s
Chad Neff – 12 carries for 98 yds 2 TD’s
Alliance – Taurice Scott – 19 carries for 145 yds
Louisville – Joey Duckworth – 7 of 12 for 112 yds 1 TD 2 INT
Alliance – Taurice Scott – 13 of 36 for 115 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT
Louisville – Trent Ohman – 3 catches for 45 yds
Gavin Lovejoy – 3 catches for 35 yds 1 TD
Joshua Rouse – 1 catch for 32 yds
Alliance – Vernon Martin – 2 catches for 59 yds 2 TD’s
Records: Louisville 3-3, 2-1; Alliance 4-2, 2-1
***STATS COURTESY OF MIKE BURK***