Marlington Dukes at Louisville Leopards Week 8 Football Preview
Marlington Dukes (6-1, 4-0) at Louisville Leopards (7-0, 4-0)
WHEN: Friday, October 18 at 7:00 PM
WHERE: Louisville Leopards Stadium
HIGHLIGHTS: Will be available following the game late Friday night or early Saturday morning right here on louisvilleleopards.org
ALL-TIME SERIES: Louisville holds a 40-5 all-time record over Marlington, which includes a 22-1 record at Louisville. VIEW FULL ALL-TIME SERIES
LAST MEETING: Marlington defeated visiting Louisville 34-24 on September 14, 2012.
LAST MEETING AT LOUISVILLE: Louisville defeated Marlington 35-28 on September 15, 2011.
LAST MARLINGTON WIN AT LOUISVILLE: The only time the Dukes ever defeated the Leopards at Louisville was on October 9, 1987 by the score of 16-6.
|Marlington Schedule||Louisville Schedule|
|1||at Poland Seminary||L 14-35||Canfield||W 13-10|
|2||Crestwood||W 28-6||North Canton||W 14-13|
|3||St. Thomas Aquinas||W 30-0||at Ravenna||W 36-22|
|4||at West Branch||W 52-7||Salem||W 41-28|
|5||at Minerva||W 34-33||Carrollton||W 20-0|
|6||Canton South||W 47-27||at West Branch||W 48-0|
|7||Salem||W 74-32||at Minerva||W 31-7|
|9||at Carrollton||at Alliance|
|10||Alliance||at Canton South|
Louisville has dominated the series through the years, but the series is dead even in the past four meetings. The Leopards are looking to continue their tradition with another NBC Title, while the Dukes are looking to rewrite history and become the NBC team of the 2010’s. While Louisville looks to continue their undefeated Revenge Tour, Marlington is looking for their first win at Louisville since 1987 a place they are 1-22 at all-time. Much like last week, it will be the high-powered Dukes offense against the shut down Leopards defense. Who will prevail? Find out Friday in a game that will decide the fate of the NBC.
1985 Louisville Vs. Marlington Football Highlights
OFFENSE: Louisville is averaging 312 yards (186 rushing, 126 passing) of offense and 29.0 points per game. The Leopards have outscored their opponents 169-45 through the first three quarters this season, but just 35-34 in the fourth quarter. They will likely need four quarters of effective offensive production to defeat Marlington. Their success starts under center with Quarterback Connor Zwick who leads the team in both passing, in completing 65 of 94 passes (69%) for 848 yards and 9 touchdowns against 4 interceptions, and rushing with 115 rushes for 511 yards (4.4 Avg.) and 7 touchdowns. Runningbacks Walter Schrock (97 rushes, 481 yards, 5.0 avg., 5 touchdowns) and Dakota James (33 rushes, 141 yards, 4.3 avg., 3 touchdowns) have both come on strong in the backfield. After throwing just 14 combined passes in weeks 5 & 6, Zwick posted his best throwing performance at Minerva by completing 17 of 21 passes for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Junior Quarterback has a variety of weapons in the passing game that include Andy Minster (23 catches, 259 yards, 3 touchdowns), Alex Hollifield (15 catches, 226 yards, 3 touchdowns), Kyle Bast (11 catches, 178 yards, 2 touchdowns), and Bryce Mathie (12 catches, 150 yards, 1 touchdown). The Leopards have only committed 8 turnovers this season. Taking care of the ball will be a high priority Friday night against the Dukes takeaway machine on defense.
DEFENSE: The Leopards defense is surrendering 207 yards (107 rushing, 100 passing) and 11.4 points per contest. The Leps have started strong all season as they have outscored opponents 63-0 in the opening quarter this season. Dylan Kline leads a disruptive Louisville defensive line with 35 tackles, 10 sacks, and 6 tackles or loss. Cory Neff, who also plays on the line, has recorded 33.5 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for a loss, and recovered a fumble. The anchor of the defensive line is Cole McElroy who has recorded 15 tackles, 1 sack, 2.5 tackles for a loss, and recovered a fumble last week at Minerva. Linebacker Zach Shea is tied for the team lead in tackles with 35.5 and has also tallied 3 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, recovered a fumble, and returned an interception for a touchdown this season. Louisville’s other linebackers include Frankie Falcone (12 tackles, 1 sack, 5.5 tackles for loss) and Josh Brown (32.5 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 tackles for loss) who recorded a safety against the Lions last week. In the secondary, Garrett Yoder is also tied for the team lead in tackles with 35.5, but leads the team with 23 solo tackles overall. The Leopards defensive backs have forced 5 fumbles, recovered 4 fumbles, and picked off 2 passes this season. AJ Minster has recovered 3 fumbles & intercepted 2 passes himself and Yoder has forced 3 fumbles & recovered 1. Also in the secondary, Stephen Kerzan has 22.5 tackles and Lewis Adkins has made himself known in the backfield with 21 tackles, 4 sacks, 3 tackles for loss. The key to victory will be if Louisville can shutdown Marlington’s high-powered rushing attack.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Garrett Yoder and Andy Minster have shared returning duties this season. Yoder is averaging 24.2 yards with a long of 41 on 6 kick returns and 8.5 yards with a long of 34 on 17 punt returns this year. Minster is averaging 32.8 yards with a long of 69 on 5 kick returns and 10.3 yards with a long of 23 on 6 punt returns. Connor Zwick has averaged 36.5 yards on 24 punts, his longest punt is 58 yards, and he has pinned opponents inside the 20 on 5 occasions. Kicker Jordan Hughes has buried 22 of 25 extra points and 7 of 11 field goals this season for a total of 43 points. His leg could prove to be a game-changer Friday.
1993 Louisville at Marlington Football Highlights
OFFENSE: Marlington is averaging 404 yards (315 rushing, 89 passing) of offense and 35.6 points per game. The Dukes offense goes through Quarterback Shawn Kirk who is not only a threat passing, but running as well. Kirk has completed 45 of 77 (58.4%) passes for 621 yards and 4 touchdowns against 4 interceptions in the passing game and has also racked up 686 yards on 101 rushes (6.8 avg) and 14 touchdowns in the running game. Runningback Adam Blake is the team’s leading rusher with 911 yards on 120 carries (7.6 avg.) and 13 touchdowns this season. Also making an impact on the ground for Marlington are Caleb Simmons (40 carries, 226 yards, 1 touchdown), Zach McCord (7 carries, 76 yards, 1 touchdown), Dylan Byelene (16 carries, 65 yards), Steven Masters (14 carries, 61 yards, 1 touchdown), Chris Andrews (9 carries, 59 yards), and Chris Pennell (5 carries, 54 yards, 1 touchdown). Andrews is also Marlington’s top receiver this season with 18 catches for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns. The rest of Kirk’s receivers include Jake Walker (9 catches, 158 yards, 2 touchdowns), Dylan Simmons (8 catches, 145 yards), Cam Cooper (3 catches, 46 yards).
DEFENSE: The Dukes defense is surrendering 238 yards (141 rushing, 97 passing) and 28.9 points per contest. Marlington has recorded 19 takeaways (11 interceptions, 8 fumble recoveries) this season as well. The Dukes ball-hawking secondary has been a large part of their takeaway success this season and they include Jake Walker (12 tackles, 5 interceptions), Chris Andrews (27 tackles, 3 interceptions), Garrett Floyd (28 tackles, 1 interception), and Ben Martin (21 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 1 interception). The Marlington defensive line has accounted for 6 of the Dukes 8 sacks this season. These linemen include Austin Zufall (28 tackles, 8 tackles for loss), Luke Schoeppner (24 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 interception), Anthony Collins (18 tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks), and Matt Jakubiak (12 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 3 sacks). Most of the tackles on defense have come from Marlington’s linebacking core that is led by Tyler Tokos (60 tackles, 4 tackles for loss) and Steven Masters (36 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 2 sacks).
SPECIAL TEAMS: Garrett Floyd is both the kicker and punter for Marlington this season. Floyd has made 27 of 32 extra point attempts and all 3 field goals he’s attempted this season. He is also averaging 38.4 yards on 18 punts with a long of 58. Chris Andrews is the Dukes main return man as he has averaged 20.6 yards on 8 kick returns and 5.0 yards on 7 punt returns. Adam Blake has also averaged 20.3 yards on 6 kickoffs and both Caleb Simmons & Jake Walker are averaging over 20 yards on 3 kickoffs each.