Louisville Leopards at Northwest Indians 2002 Football Highlights

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Louisville 21, Northwest 7

A crowd of 5,000 was packed like sardines into Smilek Stadium to watch a battle of undefeated teams back on September 20, 2002. Louisville would rally to score three touchdowns in the final 12:40 to defeat host Northwest 21-7.

The Indians took the early lead via Cody Butzer’s 43 yard touchdown run with 3:14 left in the first quarter. Northwest looked to extend their advantage in the second quarter when Mac Griffin broke free for a long run all the way to the Louisville 15. However, Nate Bowman’s 27 yard field goal attempt missed to keep the Leopards deficit at 7-0.

“I knew it was my Senior Year and out dreams were starting to slip away,” Leopard Runningback Curtis Elsass said of the Indians lead that they carried late into the third quarter. “We were not going to let that happen.”

With 40 second remaining in the third quarter, Louisville Quarterback Gary Whaley found a wide open Justin Boudler over the middle for a 75 yard score to knot the game at 7-7.

“You’ve got to go through some adversity to win games like this, and we did,” Leopard Head Coach Paul Farrah said of the game and then talked of the Louisville tradition. “We talked about not letting the people down who came before you.”

Then, on just the second snap of the fourth quarter, the Leopard defense forced and recovered a fumble on the Indians 24 yard line. Not long after, Whaley connected with Mike Batdorff for a 24 yard touchdown via a play action pass.

Louisville recorded 3 of their 5 takeaways in the fourth quarter. Arguably the most costly came after a 48 minute weather delay when Northwest fumbled and the Leopards Adam Burris recovered inside the Indians 20. After two tough runs by Elsass, Louisville went ahead 21-7 to clinch the win.

“We knew it was time,” Elsass spoke of the final stretch. “We just had to step it up to a new level, and we did.”

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Scoring Summary

Team 1-2-3-4–TOTAL

Louisville 0-0-7-14–21

Northwest 7-0-0-0–07

1st Quarter

Northwest –  Cody Butzer 43 Yard Run (Nate Bowman Kick), 0-7

2nd Quarter


3rd Quarter 

Louisville – Justin Boudler 75 Yard Pass from Gary Whaley (Brian Potts Kick), 7-7

4th Quarter

Louisville – Mike Batdorff 18 Yard Pass from Gary Whaley (Brian Potts Kick), 14-7

Louisville – Curtis Elsass 8 Yard Run (Brian Potts Kick), 21-7


Rushing: Louisville 32-125, Northwest 39-124

Passing: Louisville 11-21-173-2, Northwest 3-13-23-1

First Downs: Louisville 11, Northwest 10

Fumbles-Lost: Louisville 2-2, Northwest 8-4

Records: Louisville 5-0, 2-0; Northwest 4-1, 1-1

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