Lions fall to King George Foxes

Landon Wilson looks for a hole in the King George defense.

The Louisa Lions varsity football team hosted the King George Foxes for their final non-district game of the season on Sept. 10. The Lions battled hard but came up short, 33-15.

Both teams struggled to build momentum on offense throughout most of the first quarter. Louisa failed to pick up a first down on either of their first two possessions, and, though the Foxes had a bit more luck, the Lions’ defense was able to stall them well short of the end zone. Things shifted the Foxes’ way when the Lions lost a fumble deep in their own territory, setting King George up on the 35-yard line. A few plays later, at the start of the second quarter, quarterback Zach Ferguson connected with Mekhai White for a 16-yard scoring pass to get King George on the scoreboard. Max Lipinski kicked the extra point, giving the Foxes a 7-0 lead with 11:54 remaining in the first half.

The Foxes found their footing from there, with Ferguson capping their next possession with a one-yard scoring run. Jordan Smith blocked the extra point attempt, leaving the score at 13-0 with 4:28 left on the clock. 

The Lions were able to build a bit of momentum of their own late in the half. After stalling the Foxes on their 26-yard line and taking over on downs, Landon Wilson found Smith for a 34-yard pass to give the Lions their first first down of the game and move the ball into the Foxes’ territory. With time running short, the Lions used their final play of the half to set up for a 35-yard field goal. Caden Lundy put the kick away, cutting King George’s lead to 13-3 heading into the second half.

Louisa took the ball to start the second half and continued to build on their momentum. After a series of short plays got them to the 34-yard line, Smith broke loose for a 66-yard scoring run, chipping away at the Foxes’ lead even further. Lundy’s extra point attempt went wide, and the score was now 13-9 with 9:27 left in the period.

Ferguson came up with scoring passes on each of the Foxes’ next two possessions to extend their lead. He found Chanz Wiggins for a six-yard score and then connected with White for a 25-yard touchdown pass. The Foxes tried for a two-point conversion on the first score, but were stopped well short of the end zone. Lipinski kicked the extra point for the second and the Foxes closed out the third quarter with a 26-9 lead over the Lions.

The Lions started building a bit of momentum midway through the final quarter, pushing into King George territory before Xavien Thompson picked off a pass from Wilson, giving the Foxes the ball on their 34-yard line. Gabe Aley covered the 66 yards back down the field in a single burst and Lipinski’s kick was good, making the score 33-9 with 7:21 left in the game.

The Lions weren’t going down without a fight. Troy Fischer powered through the defense for a 49-yard scamper to get the ball deep into the Foxes’ territory. Fischer got the last word for the Lions, powering through for the score from six yards out a few plays later. The Lions tried for a two-point conversion of their own, but were denied, leaving the score at 33-15 with 5:40 left in the game. The Foxes held onto the ball for the rest of the time, but after starting deep in their own territory thanks to a pair of personal foul penalties, they were unable to add to their lead before the clock hit zero.

The result gives the Lions their first regular-season loss since 2016 and their first loss at home since 2015.

“The target on our back is huge; people want to beat us,” said Head Coach Will Patrick. “Now, let’s not get it twisted – we played a very, very talented King George team. I thought we flew around and played hard, but we’ve got to make plays when we have a chance.

“You’ll learn more from losing than you do from any win,” he added. “At the end of the day, I think we have a pretty darn good football team. We just have to learn from what happened tonight and keep moving forward.”

Smith led Louisa’s offense on the ground with 58 yards over eight carries. Fischer added 52 yards over two carries and Wilson ran 11 times for 40 yards. Wilson completed four of 14 pass attempts for 56 yards, three of them to Smith for 57 yards.

The Lions (2-1) return to The Jungle on Sept. 17, hosting the Fluvanna Flucos to begin Jefferson District play. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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