Louisville Falls to St. Vincent-St. Mary 35-7 in Home Opener – Varsity Football
St. Vincent-St. Mary 35, Louisville 7
The Louisville Leopards Football Team fell to the visiting St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish 35-7 Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium. With the loss, Louisville drops to 1-2 on the season.
Leopards junior wide receiver Zack Seaman caught an 80 yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tyler Jackson to cut the deficit in half at 14-7 on the opening play of the second quarter. Jackson would finish 10 of 19 passing for 150 yards. Seaman was his top target with 4 receptions for 91 yards.
Louisville’s defense came up with their only takeaway of the game on the ensuing St. Vincent-St. Mary drive. Irish sophomore quarterback Nathan Lenz faked a handoff and ran up the middle on second down from the LHS 31. Lenz was met by Leopard senior linebacker Kurt Haren who stopped him cold at the line of scrimmage. In the process of taking him down, Haren wrestled the ball away from him for a fumble recovery giving Louisville the ball back.
The Leopards ran the ball on three straight plays netting 9 yards to open the ensuing drive. Facing 4th-and-1 from their own 39, LHS ran the ball a fourth straight time. However, this time the Fighting Irish snuffed it out for a 1 yard loss. Senior middle linebacker Quinn Knox, sophomore Connor Jones, senior middle linebacker Evan Pelfrey, and senior defensive lineman Mayco Williams were amongst the St. Vincent-St. Mary defenders there to make the stop.
The backbreaker came one play later. Lenz handed off to senior wide receiver Darrian Lewis on a jet sweep to the right. Lewis then stopped and threw to wide open senior wide receiver O’Hadji Jackson for a 38 yard touchdown pass to complete the gadget play. That put the Fighting Irish ahead 21-7 with 7:36 to go before halftime.
It was undoubtedly the perfect call for St. Vincent-St. Mary. Lewis had wreaked havoc on special teams to that point and instantly drew the attention of the Louisville defense as a result. Lewis ran back the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown and also had a 73 yard punt return to setup the Irish on the Leopards 22 to start their first drive from scrimmage. Lewis’ lone hand-off on that drive was also a jet sweep to the right that drew the attention of most of the LHS defense. Senior defensive back Dan Kennedy dropped him for a 1 yard loss on the play, but the stage was setup successfully to execute the later gadget play.
Lewis would finish with 211 total return yards for the game which included 4 punt returns for 134 yard (33.5 average). These numbers would have been even higher if it weren’t for a block in the back wiping out a 54 yard punt return by Lewis in the second quarter. Louisville’s strategy was to boot it away from him as much as possible after his initial special teams outbursts. However, Lewis got his hands on the ball one last time in the fourth quarter in running a punt back 64 yards to the LHS 2 yard line.
Junior runningback George Linberger ran in his second touchdown of the game on the next play to put the Fighting Irish comfortably ahead 35-7 with 8:41 remaining. Linberger would finish as St. Vincent-St. Mary’s leading rusher with 17 carries for 124 yards.
Altogether the Irish carried the ball 37 times for 210 yards on the ground. Sophomore D’Anthony Kelker also had 6 touches for 53 yards and senior Josh Nickerson carried the ball 5 times for 33 yards. Nickerson scored from 11 yards out to cap off a 10 play, 67 yard Irish drive early on in the fourth quarter. Nine of those 10 plays were runs as St. Vincent-St. Mary drained the clock en rout to taking a three touchdown advantage with 10:01 to play.
The Leopards moved the ball successfully early on, but overall struggled on the ground for the game amassing 57 yards on 26 carries. Louisville gained 18 rushing yards alone on junior punter AJ Lingenhoel’s fake punt run to the right that converted a 4th-and -11 on the opening drive of the second half. Junior runningback Connor Adelman finished as the Leopards leading rusher with 10 carries for 23 yards.
All-in-all Louisville’s defense played well considering the scenarios they were put in. 3 of the Fighting Irish’s 5 touchdowns were setup by great field position after either big returns or the offense giving the ball over on downs in their own territory. The Leopards defense also held firm three other times in forcing field goal attempts of 28, 38, and 37 yards. All three missed their mark and Louisville was able to avoid a running clock at the end of the game as a result.
This was the first ever meeting. between these two teams in varsity football.
UP NEXT: The Leopards will next hit the road to renew their rivalry with the North Canton Hoover Vikings on Friday, September 18 at 7:00 PM from Memorial Stadium.
FIGHTING IRISH 35, LEOPARDS 7
ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY – Darrian Lewis 77 Yard Kickoff Return (Luke Dobson Kick) | LHS 0, SVSM 7, 11:49
1 Play, 77 Yards
ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY – George Linberger 5 Yard Run (Luke Dobson Kick) | LHS 0, SVSM 14, 0:07
3 Plays, 61 Yards
LOUISVILLE – Zack Seaman 80 Yard Pass from Tyler Jackson (Myles Lab Kick) | LHS 7, SVSM 14, 11:47
2 Plays, 75 Yards
ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY – O’Hadji Jackson 38 Yard Pass from Darrian Lewis (Luke Dobson Kick) | LHS 7, SVSM 21, 7:36
1 Play, 38 Yards
ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY – Josh Nickerson 11 Yard Run (Luke Dobson Kick) | LHS 7, SVSM 28, 10:01
10 Plays, 67 Yards
ST. VINCENT-ST. MARY – George Linberger 2 Yard Run (Luke Dobson Kick) | LHS 7, SVSM 35, 8:41
1 Play, 2 Yards
Records: Louisville 1-2
SVSM: 37 carries for 210 yards, 3 touchdowns
Louisville: 26 carries for 57 yards
SVSM: 7 of 13 for 105 yards, touchdown
Louisville: 10 of 19 for 150 yards, touchdown
Fumbles / Lost
Penalties / Yards
SVSM: 2 for 11 Yards
Louisville: 5 for 40 Yards
3rd Down Conversions
SVSM: 3 of 7
Louisville: 3 for 14
4th Down Conversions
SVSM: 1 for 1
SVSM: George Linberger – 17 / 124 2 TD’s
D’Anthony Kelker – 6 / 53
Josh Nickerson – 5 / 33 TD
Louisville: Connor Adelman – 10 / 23
AJ Lingenhoel – 1 / 18
Tyler Jackson – 9 / 10
Andrew Essik – 4 / 5
Caleb Miller – 2 / 1
St V St M: Darrien Lewis – 3 / 50
O’Hadji Jackson – 3 / 51 TD
Louisville: Zack Seaman – 4 / 91 TD
AJ Lingenhoel – 3 / 25
Broc Pickens – 2 / 27
Dan Kennedy – 1 / 7
St V St M: Nathan Lenz – 6 / 12 / 0 67 yds
Darrien Lewis – 1 / 1 / 0 38 yds TD
Louisville: Tyler Jackson – 10 / 19 / 0 150 yds TD