The Central Virginian

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Lions take sting out of Hornets

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 5:00 am

Senior Dre Gross looks for an opening during Friday’s football game against Orange. Photo by Emily Weddle.

When the Louisa Lions and the Orange Hornets meet on the gridiron, you can throw out the yearly records of wins and losses.

This year’s “Battle of the Gordonsville Tastee-Freez” was no exception. Even though the  highly ranked Lions entered Sizemore Field at Porterfield Park at 7-0, the Hornets, at 4-3, were primed and ready for an upset.

Louisa quickly squelched those hopes. After senior Matt West returned the opening kickoff 63 yards to the Hornets’ 27-yard line, the Lions covered the remaining distance in only three plays. Senior Malik Bell got the score on a 4-yard run. Senior Thomas Henley’s extra point kick was uncharacteristically wide, and one minute 19 seconds into the game, it was 6-0 Louisa.

Next time they touched the ball, the Lions went 68 yards in a six-play, two-minute drive. Bell again took it in, from the 1 this time. Senior Job Whalen bulled in the 2-point conversion, bringing the Lions to 14-0  with 6:19 to go first quarter.

The stout Louisa defense held again and the offense started a twelve-play, 59-yard drive using up almost five minutes of clock. For the third consecutive possession, Bell was the touchdown-maker, this time from three yards out. Henley’s kick was true, making the score Louisa 21, Orange 0.

Then strange things started to occur. The sprinklers in one end zone came on as if to signal a turning of the tides. Once they finally stopped the water, the Lions defense had sprung a leak and sophomore Jaylen Alexander slipped through the Lions’ defensive line for a 46-yard scamper to pay dirt. The kick was no good, and the score was 21-6 in favor of the Lions with 10:11 remaining in the opening half.

Junior Nathan Morris recovered the kickoff, giving Orange possession at the Louisa 37-yard line. They drove inside the Lions’ 5-yard line, but Whalen intercepted a pass in the end zone for a touchback.

To read the entire story, see the Oct. 26 edition of The Central Virginian.