Lions roar on Homecoming

Louisa lineman Aiden Riley (60) helps a teammate bring down a Charlottesville runner during the Lions’ Homecoming game against the Black Knights on Sept. 24.

 

The Louisa County High School varsity football team picked up their second district win of the season with a 31-0 victory over Charlottesville in their homecoming game on Sept. 24.

The Lions wasted no time in getting points on the scoreboard, with Landon Wilson scampering around the defense on the second play of the game for a 55-yard touchdown run. Caden Lundy put the extra point away and the Lions were up 7-0 with 11:06 left in the first quarter.

Louisa’s defense quickly got the Lions the ball back, with Jordan Smith deflecting a pass into the arms of Stephen Dean to set Louisa up on Charlottesville’s 38-yard line. Smith carried the ball to the 16, but the Lions were unable to get any closer to the end zone. Wanting to get more points on the board, Lundy took the field and put a 40-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to extend Louisa’s lead to 10-0 with just over five minutes left in the opening quarter.

The Black Knights made an honest effort over the remainder of the quarter, driving from their own 36-yard line down to Louisa’s 10-yard line before being stalled. They attempted a 26-yard field goal to get some points on the board, but a fumbled snap gave the Lions the chance to block the play and they got the ball back on the 20-yard line.

The Lions ate up most of the remaining time of the half on their next drive, working their way down the field with a series of short runs. Smith, Wilson and Austin Talley covered most of the yards, getting the ball to the 17-yard line before Smith took it to the house. Lund’s kick was good and the Lions now led 17-0 with 4:54 remaining in the half.

Louisa’s defense forced a Charlottesville three-and-out to give the offense one more chance to add to the score before halftime. The Lions started on their own 24-yard line and began making their way down the field. Wilson connected with Smith for a 32-yard pass to get the ball past midfield, and a penalty against Charlottesville a couple of plays later moved them to the 19-yard line. Wilson fired off another pass, finding Takai Comfort in the end zone for the score. Lundy’s extra point was good, giving the Lions a 24-0 lead heading into the halftime break.

The Black Knights took the opening kickoff of the second half but didn’t keep it for long as the Lions’ defense forced yet another three-and-out. Louisa’s next drive was cut short when Nasir Lindsay picked off a pass from Wilson, but the Lions held the Black Knights in their own territory and forced a turnover on downs, setting them up on the Charlottesville 26-yard line. 

This time it took the Lions only a few plays to score, with Wilson finding Aidan Perry for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the drive. Lundy’s kick was good and the Lions led 31-0 with 3:02 left in the third quarter.

Wilson ended the night with four passes for 116 yards. In addition to his scoring passes, his longest throw of the night went to Jaylen Beach for 41 yards.

“Coach [Dillon] Hollins stayed after practice this week to work with the recievers,” Wilson said. “Aidan has been working hard and Takai has been getting a lot more reps in.”

“Our receivers really stepped up tonight,” Coach Will Patrick added. “Landon threw some great balls and the receivers caught them.”

The Black Knights’ next drive with Dean snagging his second interception of the night, and Louisa’s defense continued to keep Charlottesville off of the board for the rest of the game to secure the shutout. Louisa held the Black Knights to just 100 yards of total offense for the night.

“I can’t speak highly enough of my defensive staff and players,” Patrick said. “It’s hard to put up shutouts, and this is our third one this season. Our defense is built on three things: effort, attitude and physicality. The boys really showed up tonight and played hard.”

Louisa’s offense totaled 333 yards for the night. In addition to Wilson’s passing yardage, he led the Lions on the ground with 85 yards on eight carries. Smith added 69 yards over 13 carries and Talley ran eight times for 49 yards.

“Our offense really clicked tonight,” Patrick said. “We talked a lot this week about positive plays, about getting positive yardage on every play. We had a couple of holes there, a couple of three-and-longs that we were able to get out of ... apart from that one pick, I thought our offense played really well tonight.”

The Lions were scheduled to take on the Monticello Mustangs this week, but Monticello forfeited the games due to a combination of injuries and COVID-19 protocols resulting in the Mustangs having a reduced number of players. The game goes on Louisa’s record as a win, giving the Lions a season record of 5-1. The Lions will be back in The Jungle on Oct. 8, hosting the Orange County Hornets for their Senior Night game. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.

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