While their varsity counterparts were working their way toward a third straight undefeated season, the Louisa Lions’ junior varsity football team was making noise of their own this season. Ending their regular season with a 7-3 record, including a 5-1 Jefferson District record, the Lions had one more game to play: The Jefferson District championship.
Louisa took on the Orange County Hornets in the Nov. 9 game at Porterfield Park in Orange, winning the title with a 21-6 victory.
The Lions didn’t get off to a great start, though. After their opening drive ended with a lost fumble before they’d gotten out of their own territory, they made another push on their next possession, getting to the Hornets’ 29-yard line before another turnover, an interception this time, ended the drive.
Louisa’s defense held steady throughout the quarter, forcing a pair of three-and-outs on the Hornets to keep them off of the scoreboard, resulting in a scoreless first quarter.
The Lions remedied that on their next drive, starting on Orange’s 43-yard line and working their way toward the end zone. Troy Fischer came up with the score, pushing into the end zone from the 1-yard line. The extra point attempt failed, giving Louisa a 6-0 lead with 6:49 left in the half.
The Hornets’ response came quickly, with a 78-yard scamper into the end zone on the kickoff return to tie the score. The extra point attempt fell short.
The Lions managed to get the lead back before halftime, with the defense coming up with the points this time around. Jacob Bundrick brought down an Orange runner in the end zone for a 2-point safety conversion, putting Louisa back on top 8-6 with 4:22 left in the half.
The Lions added to that lead late in the third quarter, with the defense again coming up with the points as Avery Quarles recovered an Orange fumble in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Our defense flew around from start to finish,” Lions’ head coach Casey Brown said. “We shut down everything they tried to do against us and I’m so proud of each and every single one of those guys.”
Louisa attempted a 2-point conversion, but came up short. With 1:22 left in the third quarter, the Lions led 14-6.
The Lions wasted little time in coming up with another score. Getting the ball back just inside Orange territory, Tyler Walton broke loose on the first play from scrimmage for a 39-yard run to set Louisa up with a first-and-goal. Fischer powered through the Orange line for the 5-yard score a couple of plays later, and Caden Lundy put the extra point away to make the lead 21-6 with nine minutes left in the game.
Efforts by both teams to put more points on the board in the remaining time didn’t yield any results and the Lions emerged with the win.
“I tell these guys, ‘If you do the little things right every single day, you’re going to get opportunites,’” Brown said. “We had an opportunity today and we took advantage of it and we came out and won the championship.”
Walton led the Lions’ offense on the ground with 114 yards over nine carries. Katrell Fortune added 60 yards and Fischer carried for 48. Quarterback Gavin Lindner completed three of eight pass attempts for 26 yards, including two to Joel Lindner for 23.