Leopards Fall to Tornadoes 19-10 in Season Opener – Varsity Football
Dover 19, Louisville 10
Junior Zack Seaman blocked two extra points on special teams and scored the Leopards lone touchdown. His 14 yard endzone grab, thrown by senior quarterback Tyler Jackson, got Louisville to within 13-10 with 1:48 left in the third quarter.
Jackson would finish 11 of 22 passing for 127 yards. His top targets included Seaman who made 4 catches for 43 yards, senior Dan Kennedy with 3 catches for 45 yards, and senior Broc Pickens who had 3 catches for 22 yards.
Tornadoes Answer Leopards Touchdown
Dover answered with a 7 play, 59 yard drive to move them back in front by two scores. The Tornadoes faced a 3rd-and-3 at midfield early on in the drive and junior runningback Connor McCarry got just enough to move the chains (much to the dismay of the Leopards faithful) on his only carry of the night.
On the next series, senior runningback Jacob Hostetler converted a 3rd-and-1 with an 8 yard burst up the middle. Hostetler was a workhorse for the Tornadoes carrying the ball 26 times for 129 yards and picking up key first down after key first down.
On the next play, junior quarterback Ayden Hall hit senior wide receiver Nathan Ravine on a slant route. Ravine made a man missed, spun out of another tackle, and ran down the left sideline into the endzone for a 32 yard touchdown. Seaman blocked the extra point leaving the score at 19-10 in favor of the Tornadoes with 10:38 remaining in the game.
Hall finished 10 of 22 for 154 yards through the air. Ravine was his favorite target with 6 receptions for 125 yards and a pair of scores for Dover.
Louisville’s Final Drives End in Dover Interceptions
Louisville countered with sophomore runningback Andrew Essik who carried the ball for three first downs into Dover territory on the ensuing drive. Essik would finish as the Leopards leading rusher with 16 carries for 125 yards in his varsity debut. A pair of incompletions plagued Louisville in the next series, but they were bailed out when Jackson hit Seaman over the middle for a 16 yard gain on 4th-and-7 to the DHS 16.
Two plays later, Jackson rifled a pass toward the outstretched hands of 6’3 Pickens. But the 5’8 McCarry out of his inside linebacker position leapt into the air to deflect the pass away. The ricochet instead found the arms of senior strong safety William McCrate who made a leaping interception at the 4 yard line.
The Leopards defense held firm, minimizing the Tornadoes rushing attack and forcing Dover into a 3rd-and-9 from their own 5. Out of the Shotgun, Hall faked a handoff and threw a bullet to his left. Seaman was perfectly positioned for a potential pick six, but the ball sailed just above his hands incomplete granting the Twisters a huge break.
Still, Louisville was poised for great field position with Dover punting out of their own endzone. Seaman fielded the boot at the DHS 42, juked out a defender who aimlessly fell to the turf, and razzled/dazzled his way to the Tornado 31 yard line. However, the referees dropped some laundry in the form of an illegal blind side block against LHS. This flipped field position from the Dover 31 back to the Leopard 45.
The next play ended with 6’4, 220 pound junior outside linebacker Michael Beal intercepting a pass across the middle to give the Tornadoes the ball back with 4:47 to go. Dover ran the ball 9 straight times for 52 yards on their final drive to wipe away the rest of the time and earn their first victory of the 2020 campaign.
Tornadoes Take Early 13-0 Advantage
Both teams failed to find their offense early on as the first three drives of the game ended with a three-and-out.
Ravine sparked the Tornadoes with a 25 yard punt return of junior AJ Lingenhoel’s 34 yard punt. Beginning at their own 45, Dover needed only five plays to find the endzone. Hall targeted Ravine three times on the drive which included a 25 yard touchdown connection on 3rd-and-8. Seaman stormed in to block the extra point to leave the score at 6-0.
The Tornado combination of Hall and Ravine also keyed the next Dover scoring drive. After a 14 yard run by Hostetler, a beautifully executed bubble screen let Ravine break free down the right sideline for a 36 yard gain, the longest play of the night by either team. Hall followed that with a completion over the middle to senior wide receiver Evan Klar for a 21 yard gain to the Louisville 1 yard line. Two plays later, Hall kept the ball himself for a 1 yard touchdown run up the gut. Junior kicker Matthew Dummermuth’s kick was true this time giving Dover a 13-0 lead with 1:13 left in the opening quarter.
Mother Nature Intervenes as the Leopards are Driving
The second quarter began with the fourth consecutive three-and-out for the Leopard offense. The Tornadoes ate up a lot of clock in response with a 14 play drive that was plagued by penalties on both sides. The Leopards defense bent, but it did not break and Dover was forced to punt.
Louisville picked up their first first down of the season at the 5:43 mark of the second quarter. On 3rd-and-1, Jackson handed off to Essik who ran to his left between the senior blocking of Tony Brahler and Josh Stafford. The run netted 27 yards and put the Leopards into Tornado territory for the first time.
A penalty, an incompletion, and a sack pushed Louisville back into a 3rd-and-21 and the drive appeared to have stalled. Instead Jackson found a seam in the Dover defense and hit Kennedy for a 20 yard reception. Jackson then drew the Tornado defense across the line to pick up the 4th-and-1.
Just as the Leopards appeared to seize momentum, Mother Nature got involved. Lightning was spotted at the 3:33 mark of the second quarter and a 100-minute weather delay ensued. Fans cleared the stadium to their vehicles and players headed into the locker room. The heavens erupted and multiple downpours ensued along with constant lightning.
Louisville Rallies with 10 Straight Points
At about 9:30 PM play resumed and Louisville continued to march. Jackson found Kennedy again for a 15 yard reception to the Tornado 13. However, the next three plays netted only one yard for the Leopards. Facing 4th-and-9, junior kicker Myles Lab booted home a 30 yard field goal to put Louisville on the board with 1:28 to go before halftime. That ended a 12 play, 80 yard scoring drive that lasted almost two hours in real-time.
Much like the first half, the two teams traded punts on the first three possessions of the second half. The Leopards then strung together a 9 play, 57 yard scoring drive that resulted in their first touchdown of the new season. Essik and Kennedy ran for a pair of first downs to put Louisville deep in Dover territory. Jackson then hit Pickens for a gain of 7 on 3rd-and-4 to the Tornado 20.
Facing another 3rd-and-4, Jackson rolled to his right and found Seaman who broke free in the right corner of the endzone. The 14 yard touchdown reception along with Lab’s successful extra point kick put the Leopards within 13-10 with 1:48 left in the third quarter. But they would get no closer.
Louisville-Dover Football Series
Thursday’s game was the first meeting between the Leopards and Tornadoes since both teams were in the NBC back in 1992. Dover’s win halts Louisville’s 2-game winning streak in the series. The all-time series is now tied at 3-3 which includes an even 2-2 record in games played at Crater Stadium.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next stay on the road when the take on the GlenOak Golden Eagles on Friday, September 4. Game time is set for 7:00 PM from Bob Cummings Field. The Leopards Freshman Team will host Dover on Friday, August 28 at 5:00 PM and the JV will also host the Tornadoes on Saturday, August 29 at 10:00 AM.
TORNADOES 19, LEOPARDS 10
DOVER – Nathan Ravine 25 Yard Pass from Ayden Hall (Kick Blocked) | LHS 0, DHS 6, 4:40
5 Plays, 55 Yards
DOVER – Ayden Hall 1 Yard Run (Matthew Dummermuth Kick) | LHS 0, DHS 13, 1:13
5 Plays, 62 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Myles Lab 30 Yard Field Goal | LHS 3, DHS 13, 1:28
12 Plays, 80 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Zack Seaman 14 Yard Pass from Tyler Jackson (Myles Lab Kick) | LHS 10, DHS 13, 1:48
9 Plays, 57 Yards
DOVER – Nathan Ravine 32 Yard Pass from Ayden Hall (Kick Blocked) | LHS 10, DHS 19, 10:31
7 Plays, 59 Yards
Records: Dover 1-0, Louisville 0-1
Louisville: 52 plays for 301 yards
Dover: 55 plays for 310 yards
Louisville: 30 carries for 174 yards
Dover: 33 carries for 156 yards, 1 touchdown
Louisville: 11 of 22 for 127 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions
Dover: 10 of 22 for 154 yards, 2 touchdowns
Louisville: 7 for 55 yards
Dover: 7 for 53 yards
3rd Down Conversions:
Louisville: 3 of 11
Dover: 8 of 14
4th Down Conversions:
Louisville: 2 of 2
Dover: 0 for 0
Andrew Essik 16 carries for 125 yards
Connor Adelman 3 carries for 21 yards
Dan Kennedy 4 carries for 19 yards
Tyler Jackson 7 carries for 9 yards
Jacob Hostetler 26 carries, 129 yards
Ayden Hall 6 carries, 24 yards, touchdown
Connor McGarry 1 carry, 3 yards
Tyler Jackson 11 of 22 for 127 yards, touchdown, 2 interceptions
Ayden Hall 10 of 22 for 154 yards, 2 touchdowns
Zack Seaman 4 catches for 43 yards, touchdown
Dan Kennedy 3 catches for 45 yards
Broc Pickens 3 catches for 22 yards
Connor Adelman 1 catch for 17 yards
Nathan Ravine 6 catches for 125 yards, 2 touchdowns
Evan Klar 3 catches for 29 yards
Jacob Hostetler 1 catch, 0 yards