Louisville Leopards at Pickerington Central Tigers 2003 Football Highlights
Louisville 35, Pickerington Central 34
In a game that featured 750 Yards of offense and 69 points scored it was a missed extra point that determined the outcome. With 2:44 remaining, missed game-tying extra point was the undoing of the host Pickerington Central Tigers as they fell to the visiting Louisville Leopards 35-34 in the DII, Region 7 Quarterfinals on October 31, 2003.
The Playoffs opened on Halloween Night and the way the Leopards moved the ball during the game was spooky. Louisville racked up 454 yards of offense for the game which was led by their air attack. Quarterback Josh Vacha finished 23 of 34 passing for 264 Yards and threw all three of his touchdown passes in the opening quarter.
Vacha completed all four passes he threw on the Leopards opening possession including 2 to John Stallings for 39 yards. Their 80 yard drive ended with an 8 yard swing pass to Dan Kolp for a touchdown. Although this was technically ruled a catch, Kolp would make his presence known throughout the game on the ground as he rushed for 103 yards.
After Pickerington Central tied the game, Paul Aslanides intercepted a pass for Louisville. This setup a 25 yard touchdown strike from Vacha to Justin Haddad to put the Leopards ahead 14-7. Haddad would finish with 6 catches for 98 yards on the evening.
The breaks kept coming for Louisville as the ensuing kickoff was fumbled and Curt Moore recovered the ball on the Tigers 30. Four plays later, Vacha hit Stallings down the left sideline for a touchdown on 4th-and-10 to put the underdog Leopards ahead 21-7 at the end of the first. Stallings would finish as the games leading receiver with 10 catches for 113 yards.
Louisville drove deep into Pickerington Central territory again looking to take a three touchdown advantage. However, the Leopards fumbled and Ryan Manalac returned it 70 yards for a Tigers scored. Louisville answered that momentum shift by driving right back down the field and scoring via a Kolp 10 yard touchdown run.
In the third quarter, Vacha looked to break the backs of the Tigers when he scrambled and weaved his way to a 35 yard touchdown to give Louisville a 35-14 lead. Vacha would match Kolp’s team high total on the ground with 103 yards.
“Nobody gave us a chance coming down here,” Head Coach Paul Farrah spoke of his underdog Leopards. “We just wanted to buckle up. We come after people and played our best three quarters. I was upset in the fourth quarter when we couldn’t pick up a couple first downs and run the clock.”
Pickerington Central was led by the Ohio State recruited A.J. Trapasso who rushed for 147 yards and scored on touchdown runs of 63, 13, & 4 yards. His final two touchdowns came during a furious Tiger fourth quarter comeback that was only stunted by a missed extra point. Aaron Korbar provided the other Pickerington Central touchdown via a 6 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Aaron Johann.
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LEOPARDS 35, TIGERS 34
Pickerington Central 7-7-0-20–34
Louisville – Dan Kolp 8 Yard Pass from Josh Vacha (Kyle Dougherty Kick), 7-0
Pickerington Central – A.J. Trapasso 63 Yard Run (A.J. Trapasso Kick), 7-7
Louisville – Justin Haddad 25 Yard Pass from Josh Vacha (Kyle Dougherty Kick), 14-7
Louisville – John Stallings 30 Yard Pass from Josh Vacha (Kyle Dougherty Kick), 21-7
Pickerington Central – Ryan Manalac 79 Yard Fumble Return (A.J. Trapasso Kick), 21-14
Louisville – Dan Kolp 10 Yard Run (Kyle Dougherty Kick), 28-14
Louisville – Josh Vacha 35 Yard Run (Kyle Dougherty Kick), 35-14
Pickerington Central – A.J. Trapasso 13 Yard Run (A.J. Trapasso Kick), 35-21
Pickerington Central – Aaron Korbar 6 Yard Pass from Aaron Johann (A.J. Trapasso Kick), 35-28
Pickerington Central – A.J. Trapasso 4 Yard Run (Kick Failed), 35-34
Rushing: Louisville 45-190, Pickerington Central 24-134
Passing: Louisville 23-34-264-0, Pickerington Central 12-25-162-2
First Downs: Louisville 21, Pickerington Central 16
Fumbles-Lost: Louisville 1-1, Pickerington Central 4-3
Records: Louisville 7-4, Pickerington Central 9-2