When the smoke settled from the fireworks that were set off before Louisa’s football home opener versus Courtland on Friday, Sept. 13, Louisa went to work. Their opening drive went exactly as scheduled: fifteen plays covering 50 yards over a seven-minute span that culminated in a seven-yard scamper into the end zone by quarterback Trey Cherry.
Unfortunately for Louisa, there were still 40 more minutes of football left to be played.
Courtland used an onslaught of downhill running plays from their classic wing-T offense to grind down the Lions defense en route to 264 rushing yards and a commanding 42-7 win over Louisa.
“I thought they won in every phase of the game, including coaching,” Louisa head coach Jon Meeks said afterwards. “You can’t get beat on offense, defense, special teams and coaching and win a game. They have some great kids over there.”
Going into the matchup, Meeks and the rest of Louisa’s defense knew the power that Courtland’s backfield boasted, and Cougar backs George Cheetham and Anton Jenkins lived up to their billing. Cheetham ran for 92 yards and one touchdown, while Jenkins added 85 yards and two touchdowns.
Shortly after the opening kickoff, it looked as if Louisa had a good grip on the matchup. Running back Markel Groomes converted on a fourth-and-three with a tough run up the gut, and a few plays later took Louisa to the nine-yard-line before Cherry punched in the game’s opening score with 4:34 in the first quarter.
From there, it was all Courtland.
The Cougars responded quickly with a touchdown drive of their own, boosted by two offside penalties on Louisa in three plays. A breakdown in coverage by Louisa’s defensive backs opened the door for a 47-yard touchdown pass by Cougars quarterback Jabari Allen to receiver Chase Timmons.
Louisa’s next four possessions before the half didn’t go as planned: punt, punt, turnover on a fumbled snap and a turnover on downs.
“We lost to a good team, who had a lot of help from us,” Meeks told the team afterwards.
Courtland capitalized on Louisa’s mistakes, and kept the ball on the ground with punishing rushes at the heart of Louisa’s defense to take a commanding 28-7 lead at halftime. The Cougars stuck with what worked, their running game, attempting only four passes in the contest.
To read the entire story, see the Sept. 19 edition of The Central Virginian.