There’s a saying in football that goes, “You can’t defend a perfect pass.” It’s a quote sometimes attributed to Dan Marino, and other times to various different names in the pigskin’s past.
In Louisa’s 42-15 loss versus Western Albemarle on Friday, Oct. 11, the Lions learned this firsthand.
Warriors senior standout quarterback Kent Henry rallied his team from a 10-7 halftime deficit to a dominating second half performance which featured four touchdowns on the team’s first four drives. Three of the touchdowns were passes that Louisa guarded to near perfection, only to have Henry put the ball in the one place that only his receivers could get to.
“It’s hard to stop a perfect ball and he threw three of them that I’m not sure he could have thrown any better,” head coach Jon Meeks said. “That’s 21 points right there. I thought we had great coverage, and Henry had pressure on him, my guys were right there.”
In the first half, it felt like the Lions were everywhere. A powerful hit on Henry by linebacker Jeffrey Morse jarred the ball out of the quarterback’s hands near the end of the first quarter, and cornerback Idris Davis added an interception the next time the Warriors had the ball. If not for a one-handed grab on third-down and six by Warriors receiver Nic Drapanas with six minutes left before halftime, Louisa very well may have headed into the locker room with a shutout and not just a 10-7 lead.
“For the first half, we played lights out,” Meeks said. “I couldn’t ask for more. We have to put an entire game together, but I’m not sure we didn’t do that. Henry just made some plays. Looking back at the film, there’s not a whole lot to correct. The coverage was outstanding, it was just a matter of him throwing an unbelievable ball.”
The Henry to Drapanas connection was a tough one for Louisa to stop throughout the second half. Henry hit his favorite receiver for a 46-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, and a 14-yard pass in the fourth. Henry also had two rushing touchdowns, showing the versatility that has made him the all-time total yardage leader in Virginia high school history.
There were some bright spots for Louisa in the defeat. They were only outgained in yardage by 13 yards, 342 to 329. Louisa’s new-look backfield also performed admirably, giving the team some hope that they can recover from the loss of the team’s leading rusher, Markel Groomes, who broke his ankle last week versus Powhatan.
To read the entire story, see the Oct. 17 edition of The Central Virginian.