Louisville Leopards Vs. Olmsted Falls Bulldogs 2002 Football Highlights
Olmsted Falls 21, Louisville 20
The AP Poll Champion and top-seeded Louisville Leopards lost a heartbreaker to the fifth seeded Olmsted Falls Bulldogs 21-20 in the DII, Region 5 Quarterfinals at Fawcett Stadium on November 8, 2002.
“There’s nothing I can say to help them right now,” Leopard Head Coach Paul Farrah said of his Senior-Laden squad. “I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
Despite falling behind 14-0 in the second quarter, Louisville had a chance to win the game in the final seconds. The Leopards final 9 play, 65 yard drive ended with a blocked field goal attempt. The Bulldogs took over with just 9 seconds remaining in the contest and ran the clock out after that.
Olmsted Falls took control of the game early when David Reith caught a 7 yard touchdown pass from Mickey Mental in the opening quarter.
Louisville had a golden opportunity to tie the game when Linebacker Matt Herbert stripped the Bulldogs ballcarrier and Marc Zustin fell on it at the Olmsted Falls 19. A penalty would later erase a 3 yard touchdown run by Whaley and the Leopards ended up turning the ball over on downs.
Later on in the second quarter, the Bulldogs Tim Curran returned a punt 42 yards to the Louisville 3. Two plays later, Mental scored from 3 yards out and the Leopards faced their biggest deficit of the season at 14-0.
Three possessions after that, Louisville cut the Olmsted Falls lead in half with a 27 yard touchdown pass from Quarterback Gary Whaley to Zustin. The pair also hooked up to convert a 3rd-and-7 and Whaley also broke free for a 25 yard gain earlier in the drive. Whaley would finish the night with 275 total yards of offense to lead the Leopards.
Louisville knotted the game at 14-14 after an 11 play, 75 yard third quarter drive. Another Whaley to Zustin connection down the left sideline for 25 yards sparked the march. Mike Batdorff also provided runs of 14 and 10 to get the ball down the field. Whaley also ran for a first down on 4th-and-inches from the Bulldogs 11 before scoring on a Quarterback Sneak 3 plays later from a yard away.
The Leopard defense shutdown the Bulldogs on their next drive. Louisville’s Mark Common returned the ensuing punt 47 yards to the Olmsted Falls 21. Four plays later, Whaley bulleted a 25 yard touchdown strike to Nick Vernon on 4th-and-14 to give the Leopards a 20-14 lead with 11:49 to go.
After a few possessions, the Bulldogs got the ball back with 3:21 remaining and 65 yards away from paydirt. Things looked good for Louisville when a penalty pushed Olmsted Falls into a 2nd-and-25. However, Mental ran for 24 yards on the next play and the Bulldogs converted the series to extend the drive. Four plays after that Mental hit Curran for a 23 yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 20-20. Olmsted Falls converted the extra point that Louisville could not to take a 21-20 advantage.
The Leopards were resilient on their final drive of the year. A 17 yard reception by Huston Hinkle put Louisville on the Olmsted Falls 21 with 1:32 remaining. With time ticking down, the Leopards moved the chains to setup a 1st-and-Goal from the 7. Two runs netted 6 yards and their third down pass attempt fell incomplete.
Louisville elected to kick on 4th-and-Goal from the 1 and their worst nightmare followed.
Don’t forget to Subscribe to Our Posts for Free
Olmsted Falls 7-7-0-7–21
Louisville – Mike Batdorff 37 Yard Run (Mike Batdorff Pass from Gary Whaley), 8-0
Louisville – Gary Whaley 3 Yard Run (Kick Failed), 14-0
Louisville – Gary Whaley 2 Yard Run (Pass Failed), 20-0
Louisville – Justin Boudler 69 Yard Pass from Gary Whaley (Brian Potts Kick), 27-0
Rushing: Louisville 36-199, Minerva 36-65
Passing: Louisville 10-12-130-0, Minerva 7-13-62-0
First Downs: Louisville 16, Minerva 8
Fumbles-Lost: Louisville 5-2, Minerva 3-0
Records: Louisville 10-0, 7-0; Minerva 3-7, 2-5