Leopards Storm Out of the Gate, Stun Hoover 43-36 – Varsity Football
Louisville 43, North Canton Hoover 36
The Louisville Leopards Varsity Football Team stunned the visiting North Canton Hoover Vikings 43-36 Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium. With the victory, Louisville improves to 1-1 on the young season.
Trailing 36-35, Senior Wide Receiver Davis Burick took a direct snap up the middle for a 5 yard touchdown run on what proved to be the game winning score with 5:49 left to play in the contest. Three plays from scrimmage later, Senior Defensive Back Justin Broad picked off a Vikings pass to give the Leopards the ball back with 4:36 to play and they never gave it back.
Leopards Run Wild, Outgain Vikings
The Leopards out-gained the Vikings 467-363 in total yards to win the highest scoring game in the rivalry’s 96 year history. The 79 points scored eclipses the rivalry’s previous high combined mark of 64 points scored in the 2005 game that LHS won 35-29.
Burick finished with 135 total yards of offense and scored a pair of touchdowns on the ground. Mostly out of the Wildcat, he ran the ball 12 times for 61 yards and was also Louisville’s leading receiver with 5 catches for 74 yards.
The Leopards wore down Hoover by running the ball 58 times for 255 yards. Sophomore Runningback Connor Adelman took on most of the workload with 25 carries for 74 yards which included scoring a pair of short touchdowns in the first quarter. Senior Runningback Nathan Guiley finished as Louisville’s leading rusher with 10 carries for 76 yards. His third carry was a 30 yard rushing touchdown on 3rd-and-3 that put LHS ahead 35-29 with 2:26 left to play in the third.
Louisville Rolls to a 21-0 Lead Over North Canton
Louisville faced adversity at the beginning of the contest when Vikings Junior Defensive Back Andrew Robinson intercepted a pass at the Hoover 41 yard line. But it would be the Leopards that dominated the next 14 minutes of game action starting with a three-and-out by the defense.
Louisville took over on their own 22 yard line after the punt and systematically drove 78 yards on 16 plays chewing up a significant portion of the first quarter clock. The Leopards converted 3 third downs and a 4th-and-1 en route to a 5 yard touchdown run by Adelman. A Hoover hold in the secondary allowed a third down conversion on the first series of the drive. Then Quarterback Colton Jones found Wide Receiver Carter Rode to convert a 3rd-and-3 across midfield. The pair connected again for a 14 yard gain and Jones later found Ryan Pukys going to his right to setup a 4th-and-1.
Under center, Jones pushed forward to convert the 4th down. Facing a 3rd-and-6 three plays later, Jones looked left then scrambled back to his right for a first down and drew a late hit out of bounds in the process. Adelman ran left to paydirt on the next play through a gaping hole created by Lineman Tony Brahler, Jason Goard, and Josh Stafford.
Playing the role of a decided underdog, Louisville successfully recovered two consecutive onside kick attempts. Burick unexpectedly tapped the first kick straight ahead and Junior Kurt Haren pounced on it at the Hoover 49. On the first play from scrimmage, the Leopards went into the bag of tricks again. Jones lateraled to Adelman on his right and the defense bit leaving Burick wide open downfield. Adelman, who quarterbacked the freshman team a year ago, delivered a perfectly thrown pass to Burick for a 32 yard gain into the redzone. Five plays later, Adelman walked into the endzone on 3rd-and-Goal from the one yard line. Left side blocks by Goard and Blake Robbins helped part the sea for Adelman to make it 14-0.
Staying aggressive, Louisville lined up in their normal kickoff formation but Kicker Myles Lab booted a line drive onside kick to the left. The ball hit off a Viking and was recovered by backup quarterback Tyler Jackson at the Leopards 49 yard line. Louisville ran out the rest of the clock on a first quarter and was forced to punt on the first play of the second quarter. The Leopards lined up as if to run a play before Jones dropped back into punt formation at the last second. The punt hit around the 22 yard line and took a few Leopard bounces all the way to the 1 yard line where Burick downed it. The punt netted 51 yards, but more importantly pinned the Vikings back deep on their own end.
Louisville’s defense forced a three-and-out and North Canton punted out of their own endzone. The Leopards took over on the Vikings 43. Louisville ran a hook and lateral play involving Jones, Burick, and Adelman that netted 14 yards and another Hoover late hit out of bounds pushed the blue and white ahead to the 14 yard line. Burick scored on the next play after taking a direct snap and running through the hole generated by Robbins and Junior Wide Receiver Dan Kennedy. That put the Leopards comfortably in front 21-0 with 9:30 left to play in the second quarter.
Hoover Rallies Back to Take the Lead 22-21
The tide began to turn in favor of the Vikings who scored two quick touchdowns to answer. Hoover Quarterback Connor Ashby found Grant Ficiu for an 18 yard touchdown strike just 1:43 after Louisville went ahead 21-0. The Leopards went three-and-out on their next drive and the Vikings retained possession on their own 27 after Burick booted a 64 yard punt out of his own endzone. Ashby found Wide Receiver Brock Henne down the right sideline for a gain of 38 on the first play of the drive. He later capped the 10 play, 73 yard drive with a screen pass to Wide Receiver Drew Johnson for a 7 yard touchdown that made it 21-14 with 3:04 left to play before halftime.
The Leopards began their next drive on their own 16 yard line with a little over three minutes to play. A short gain and a facemask call netted a total of 18 yards on their first play. Jones then connected with Kennedy on back-to-back plays to flip the field from the Louisville 34 to the Hoover 33. After that, Jones rifled a pass down the right sideline to Pukys for a gain of 28 yards to the Vikings 5. The Leopards ran the ball up the middle four straight times after that, but the Hoover defense held to keep the score at 21-14 heading into halftime.
North Canton needed just three plays to score on their opening second half drive. Louisville attempted another onside kick, but this time Johnson recovered it for Hoover on their own 49 setting them up with great field position. Three plays later a sweep to the right allowed the speedy Johnson to score from 37 yards out to get the Vikings to within 21-20. North Canton looked to tie the game with a kick, but an offsides on the Leopards changed their decision and they went for two instead. Runningback Adam Grigulou ran in the conversion try and the comeback was completed. In just nine minutes of game time the Vikings erased a 21-point deficit and had taken a 22-21 lead.
Louisville and Hoover Score on 6 Straight Possessions
The game was a shootout from there as six straight possessions ended in touchdowns with the lead changing hands 6 straight times. Broad returned the ensuing kickoff 75 yards down the left sideline to the North Canton 19 yard line. Seven plays later Jones hit a wide open Rode on a short pass to his left for a 4 yard touchdown on 4th-and-Goal. That put Louisville back in front 28-22.
Hoover answered with a 5 play, 75 yard drive that concluded with Ashby throwing a rope to a diving Johnson in the back of the endzone from 7 yards out. Ficiu ran 49 yards on a toss play to the right on the play before to setup the score. That made it 29-28 Vikings with 5:41 to go in the third.
The Leopards converted 12 of 15 third downs for the game with two of those conversions keying their final third quarter scoring drive. After two incompletions to begin the drive, Jones found the sure handed Kennedy over the middle to move the chains on 3rd-and-10. Louisville faced a 3rd-and-3 later on in the drive out of a Hoover timeout. Guiley took the handoff and ran right 30 yards to the endzone to put LHS ahead 35-29. Center Austin Griggy took out the nose tackle on the play and both Brahler and Goard crossed over from the left side of the line with key blocks to spring Guiley to the right.
Hoover retook the lead on the final play of the third quarter. Ashby again spiraled a pass into the endzone to Johnson who cradled the ball into his arms going to his knees. The pair would hook up 7 times for 90 yards. Their third touchdown connection of the night capped off a 5 play, 76 yard scoring drive that began with a 36 yard pass from Ashby to Henne down the left sideline. The fourth extra point attempt of the night by Yanni Volas was good and the Vikings had a 36-35 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Starting from their own 27, the Leopards went to the ground on the first seven plays of their opening fourth quarter drive. The trio of runners of Guiley, Burick, and Adelman carried the Leopards across midfield to the Hoover 47. Facing a 3rd-and-7, Jones lofted a pass to Beamer who used his 6’5 frame to make a 26 yard catch over the 5’9 Vikings defender for an LHS first down. That would be the only pass of the drive as Louisville continued to pound with Guiley and Burick on the next five plays. On 3rd-and-4, Burick faked a handoff to Guiley and ran straight up the gut for the go ahead touchdown from 5 yards out. Going to the run on 12 out of 13 plays, the Leopards drove 80 yards and milked 6:11 off the fourth quarter clock. After a penalty on the first try, Jones found Pukys on the right side of the goal line for the two-point conversion to make it 43-36 LHS with 5:49 left in the game.
Leopards Defense Gets the Takeaway It Needs
Louisville’s defense took the field on the next drive determined to get a stop. North Canton started from their own 34 and went to the ground attack on their first two plays from scrimmage. On the second run, Goard made a stop at the line of scrimmage to setup a 3rd-and-5. As a result, the Vikings went to the air with Ashby attempting a quick pass to the left sideline. Broad aggressively jumped the route to get the takeaway the Leopards needed and returned the pick to the Hoover 41 with 4:36 left to play.
Leopards Smash Mouth Ground Attack Runs Out the Clock
Louisville ran out the rest of the clock going to Adelman on 5 of 6 straight running plays up the middle that netted 40 yards to the Vikings 1. Adelman rushed for 3 first downs during the sequence which included converting on a 3rd-and-7 run. The Leopards went into victory formation following that to run off the final 1:07 and claim the 97th meeting and Louisville football victory #633.
Louisville Now Holds 20-Game Lead Over Hoover All-Time
The victory snaps the Leopards three game losing streak against the Vikings. Louisville now holds a 20-game lead over North Canton in the all-time series dating back to 1924 with a mark of 56-36-5. The Leopards have won 7 of their past 8 home matchups against the Vikings as they are now 31-15-3 all-time when the rivalry game is played at Louisville. Hoover has never held a winning streak of longer than three in the series with the exception of 1982-1986 when they won five straight.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next hit the road to face the Green Bulldogs on Friday, September 13 at 7:00 PM. Freshman will travel to face the New Philadelphia Quakers on Thursday, September 12 at 5:00 PM. JV will travel to North Canton Hoover on Saturday, September 7 at 10:00 AM and then host the Revere Minutemen on Saturday, September 14 at 10:00 AM.
LEOPARDS 43, VIKINGS 36
L – 4:04 – Connor Adelman 5 yd run
Myles Lab PAT
16 plays 78 yds
L – 1:40 – Connor Adelman 1 yd run
Myles Lab PAT
6 plays 49 yds
L – 9:30 – Davis Burick 19 yd run
Myles Lab PAT
3 plays 43 yds
NC – 7:47 – Grant Ficiu 18 yd pass from Connor Ashby
Yanni Volas PAT
6 plays 70 yds
NC – 3:04 – Drew Johnson 7 yd pass from Connor Ashby
Yanni Volas PAT
10 plays 73 yds
NC – 10:47 – Drew Johnson 37 yd run
Adam Grigulou run
3 plays 51 yds
L – 7:35 – Carter Rode 4 yd pass from Colton Jones
Myles Lab PAT
7 plays 19 yds
NC – 5:41 – Drew Johnson 9 yd pass from Connor Ashby
Yanni Volas PAT
5 plays 75 yds
L – 2:26 – Nathan Guiley 30 yd run
Myles Lab PAT
10 plays 73 yds
NC – 0:00 – Drew Johnson 23 yd pass from Connor Ashby
Yanni Volas PAT
5 plays 76 yds
L – 5:49 – Davis Burick 5 yd run
Ryan Pukys pass from Colton Jones
13 plays 80 yds
Records: Louisville 1-1, North Canton Hoover 1-1
Louisville: 58 Attempts for 203 Yards
Hoover: 23 Attempts for 138 Yards
Louisville: 16 of 25 for 212 Yards, 1 Interception
Hoover: 12 of 16 for 225 Yards, 1 Interception
Louisville: 3 for 11 Yards
Hoover: 7 for 55 Yards
3rd Down Conversions:
4th Down Conversions:
Nathan Guiley 10 Carries for 76 Yards
Connor Adelman: 25 Carries for 74 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Davis Burick: 12 Carries, 61 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Adam Griguolo: 16 Carries for 73 Yards
Drew Johnson: 1 Touchdown
Colton Jones 15 of 24 for 180 Yards, 1 Interception
Connor Adelman 1 of 1 for 32 Yards
Connor Ashby 12 of 16 for 225 Yards
Davis Burick: 5 Catches for 74 Yards
Carter Rode: 4 Catches for 30 Yards, Touchdown
Daniel Kennedy: 3 Catches for 31 Yards
Grayson Beamer: 2 Catches for 44 Yards
Ryan Pukys: 2 Catches for 33 Yards
Drew Johnson: 7 Catches for 90 Yards, 3 Touchdowns
Grant Ficiu: 1 Touchdowns