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Lions claw past Hornets to remain undefeated

Posted on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 11:07 am

Jarett Hunter tries to shake a pair of Hornet defenders during Louisa’s homecoming game against Orange on Oct. 19.

The Louisa Lions remain undefeated for the season following a 36-12 win over the Orange County Hornets on Oct. 19, winning the annual Battle of the Gordonsville Tastee Freeze.

Both teams struggled to get offensive momentum going in their opening drive, finding themselves unable to move the ball past midfield. The Lions finally got things going as the first quarter wound down, with junior Alex Washington picking off a pass and scampering back down the field toward the end zone. He was tackled just short of pay dirt and Louisa took over on the Orange 3-yard line.

Junior Jarett Hunter made short work of the distance, covering it on the first play for his first of five touchdowns that night. Junior James Payne put the extra point on the board and the Lions were up 7-0 with 3:12 remaining in the opening period.

“Offensively, I believe we can score at any given moment anywhere,” Louisa head coach Will Patrick said. “We’ve got kids who can make plays; we’ve just got to get them the ball and we’ve got to block. In my offense, everyone has to block. We’re young, a lot of juniors and sophomores. We’ve just got to get it going.”

The game returned to being a battle of defense, with Orange continuing to struggle to get past midfield and Louisa unable to add to their lead. The Hornets eventually found their response, with Jaylen Alexander breaking through the Lions’ defense for a 70-yard touchdown run. The extra point attempt failed, and the Lions held a narrow 7-6 lead with seven minutes left until halftime.

The score remained unchanged until late in the half. After returning an Orange punt to midfield with just under two minutes left before the break,  Hunter found an opening for his biggest run of the half, sprinting 28 yards to the 22-yard line. A penalty against Orange moved the ball to the 11 and Hunter covered that in one shot, boosting Louisa’s lead to 14-6 with 1:32 left on the clock.

“My O-line, they were telling me, ‘J, you’ve got to get going,’” Hunter said. “Any time those guys get on me, I know I’ve got to do better.”

Both teams made one final effort to add points before halftime, but neither was successful.

The Lions got the ball to start the second half and came out swinging. Starting on the 50-yard line, Hunter carried the ball two times, once for 26 yards and the other for 24 to give Louisa its third score of the night. Payne kicked the extra point to give Louisa a 21-6 lead with 11:22 left in the third quarter.

The Hornets responded on their next possession. Washington  fired a 30-yard pass to Jireek Washington to move the ball into Louisa’s territory, and a pair of penalties against the Lions moved the ball to the 12-yard line. Alexander finished things off from there. The Hornets attempted a two-point conversion, but were denied by the Lions’ defense, leaving the score at 21-12 with 9:21 left on the clock.

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