West Branch Ends Louisville’s Home Winning Streak 21-17
West Branch 21, Louisville 17
The West Branch Warriors snapped the Louisville Leopards 7-game home winning streak with a 21-17 win Friday Night at Louisville Leopards Stadium. Quarterback Jeremey McQuilkin threw for 117 yards and completed two touchdowns to Alex Schooley and Trevor Hostetler to lead the Leopards.
The Leopards shutout the Warrior in two very different defensive series to start the game. West Branch was threatening to score early on when Louisville linebacker Josh Brown came from behind to strip the ball from West Branch runningback Brenden Wells. Kyle White fell on the ball at the Leopards 20 yard line to give Louisville possession. On the next defensive series, the Leps forced a three-and-out and Trent Ohman returned a short Warrior punt to midfield.
With the great field position, the Leopards offense began to click as they marched 50 yards in 6 plays. The key play in the drive came on a 3rd-and-9 from the 49 when McQuilkin scampered to the right side and stretched just past the first down marker to keep the chains moving. The drive ended with McQuilkin finding Schooley for a 30 yard touchdown pass. After Merrick Storlie’s extra point sailed through, the Leopards led 7-0.
After the Louisville defense forced another three-and-out punt. Garret Yoder brought back a solid return on the punt and drew a personal foul penalty against the Warriors. Starting at the West Branch 47, Louisville look poised for another score. However, on the third play of the drive the Warriors’ Wells blew up a screen pass and Bo Utley fell on it for West Branch on their own 43 yard line.
Wells bounced his way through defenders for a 14 yard gain on the next play. Then Quarterback Troy James tossed to runningback Tyler Pidgeon who threw a pass down field. On the other end of the connection was a wide open Kip DeShields who caught the ball and sprinted to the endzone to tie the game at 7-7.
Later on in the second quarter, West Branch marched 59 yards in 10 plays to set up a 4th-an-Goal from the Louisville 1. On the play, James ran a quarterback sneak and the Louisville defense clogged the middle to hold him out of the endzone.
Backed up on their own 1 yard line, Louisville got out of the hole when the Warriors were flagged for pass interference on an incomplete pass from McQuilkin to Ohman. After that McQuilkin found both Alex Hollifield and Hostetler for first down throws to get the ball past midfield. That’s where the drive stalled though and Louisville was forced to punt. On the ensuing punt, the Warriors Brandon Woolf muffed the return and the ball fluttered towards the endzone. Louisville fell on the ball, but the referees ruled the ball dead because it had entered the endzone. West Branch ball on the 20.
The Warriors appeared to have seized momentum to begin the second half when Jerry Sanor recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff. However, Leopards linebackers Gary Anile and Charles Beamer stormed in for a sack to eventually force West Branch into a 4th-and-8. On the fourth down play, Yoder leaped in front of the receiver to pick off a pass and halt the Warriors scoring opportunity.
Louisville’s defense continued to remain strong through the scoreless third quarter. Brown and Defensive End Mike Weiss converged in on a sack to end a late third quarter West Branch drive. But, Louisville gave the ball right back after Warriors defensive tackle Steve Sosnick recovered a fumble on the first play of the Leopards series.
The Warriors would capitalize on the turnover when Wells scored from 5 yards out to cap off an 11 play 57 yard drive. Wells would finish the evening with 38 carries for 161 yards on the ground. With 11:10 left in the game the Warriors had snatched the lead at 14-7.
It did not take long for Louisville to respond. Schooley found a seam and returned the Warrior kickoff 52 yards to the West Branch 30 yard line. Two plays later, McQuilkin hit Hostetler on a quick pass and he broke loose before diving into the endzone for a 33 yard score. Just 51 seconds after the Warriors had taken the lead the game was tied at 14-14.
On the ensuing kickoff, Beamer jarred the ball loose from the returners hand and Dale Welsh fell on it for Louisville. After that, runs by McQuilkin and Ohman landed Louisville with a 1st-and-Goal on the West Branch 1. But instead of scoring the game-clinching touchdown, the Leps went in reverse 12 yards on the next three plays. Louisville settled for a 30 yard field goal by Storlie to take the lead 17-14.
The following kickoff ended up in the hands of one of West Branch’s main kick returners for the fist time all game and Woolf made them pay. He returned the kick 46 yards to the Leopard 29. The Warriors then converted on two more big first downs before James ran in what proved to be the game-winning score. James ran to the right side for a first down on 2nd-and-13 and also rolled to his right for a first down completion to Pidgeon on a 4th-and-3 from the 9. James’ score on a quarterback sneak from 4 yards out a play later gave West Branch a 21-17 lead with 4:15 left to play.
Louisville’s final drive went in reverse in large part due to a personal foul penalty. They were forced to punt on 4th-and-27 from their own 15 and the boot was shanked giving the Warriors the ball on the Leopards 34. West Branch ran for two more first downs and ran out the clock to move to 4-4 overall and 4-1 in the NBC for the season.
Despite showing heart and laying it all on the field, the Leopards fell to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in NBC play. Their 18-game winning streak against NBC opponents at home was also snapped as this is the first NBC Louisville loss in the new stadium. West Branch is the first NBC foe to beat Louisville in back-to-back years since Northwest did it in 2006-07. The Leps will look to prepare for a road game at winless Salem next Friday.
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UP NEXT: The Leopards will next travel to Salem to take on the Quakers on Friday, October 19 at 7:00 PM. JV will travel to West Branch on Saturday, October 13 at 10:00 AM and Freshman will host Salem on Thursday, October 18 at 5:00 PM.
Pictures Taken By Mark Holbrook and Edited by Leopard Nation
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1 2 3 4 Final
West Branch 7 0 0 14 21
Louisville 7 0 0 10 17
L – 4:22 – Alex Schooley 30 yd pass from Jeremy McQuilkin
Merrick Storlie PAT
6 plays 50 yds
WB – 1:33 – Kip DeShields 43 yd pass from Tyler Pidgeon
Brock Trimmer PAT
2 plays 57 yds
WB – 11:10 – Brenden Wells 5 yd run
Brock Trimmer PAT
11 plays 57 yds
L – 10:19 – Trevor Hostetler 33 yd pass from Jeremy McQuilkin
Merrick Storlie PAT
2 plays 30 yds
L – 6:59 – Merrick Storlie 30 yd Field Goal
8 plays 38 yds
WB – 4:15 – Troy James 4 yd run
Brock Trimmer PAT
7 plays 29 yds
West Branch – 18
Louisville – 14
West Branch – 56 carries for 230 yds
Louisville – 28 carries for 146 yds
West Branch – 4 of 10 for 77 yds 1 TD 1 INT
Louisville – 10 of 20 for 119 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT
West Branch – 2/2
Louisville – 4/4
3rd Down Conversions:
West Branch – 5 of 12
Louisville – 4 of 10
4th Down Conversions:
West Branch – 1 of 2
Louisville – 0 of 0
West Branch – Brenden Wells – 38 carries for 161 yds 1 TD
Louisville – Jeremy McQuilkin – 12 carries for 72 yds
Trent Ohman – 14 carries for 60 yds
Walter Schrock – 2 carries for 14 yds
West Branch – Kip DeShields – 3 catches for 72 yds 1 TD
Louisville – Alex Schooley – 3 catches for 30 yds 1 TD
Alex Holliefield – 3 catches for 28 yds
Trevor Hostetler – 2 catches for 49 yds 1 TD
Trent Ohman – 2 catches for 12 yds
West Branch – Troy James – 3 of 9 for 34 yds 0 TD’s 1 INT
Tyler Pidgeon – 1 of 1 for 43 yds 1 TD 0 INT
Louisville – Jeremy McQuilkin – 9 of 17 for 11 7 yds 2 TD’s 0 INT
Trent Ohman – 1 of 2 for 2 yds
Garrett Robbins – 0 for 1 0 yds