Louisa wrapped up its non-district slate of Region 4B Battlefield District foes with a resounding, though at times sloppy, 42-12 triumph over King George.
“You strive for perfection and we’re going to chase it,” said Louisa coach Will Patrick, whose tenure is off to a 3-0 start. “We’re going to try every single practice, every single day to chase it down.”
A packed house witnessed the Lions’ secure their 13th consecutive regular-season victory, although fans who watched every snap had their evening at The Jungle stretch more than three-and-a-half hours thanks to a 71-minute delay starting in the closing seconds of the first quarter for lighting in the vicinity.
“It was kind of like we were playing hockey tonight and we had two intermissions,” said Patrick. “I think the boys handled it well. It’s a fine line there — you’ve got to stay a little loose and also keep focused.”
With Louisa taking a modest 14-0 lead into an abbreviated halftime, it wasn’t until the Lions dominated the third quarter by a 21-6 margin that the outcome seemed settled. The Foxes had to kickoff after the break and decided to try a short squib, but the center man in Louisa’s front line, Derrick Barbour, fell on the kick. It took only two plays to cover 54 yards as senior quarterback Rob Allinder connected with junior receiver Noah Robinson for completions of 10 and 44 yards, the latter ending in the endzone just 15 seconds into the half.
“I think we’ve got a special one in number 4 (Robinson),” Patrick said. “He works hard every day in practice, he put in the work in the offseason. He’s got great hands. People don’t realize he’s a great blocker, and he’s playing safety for us. The kid can play.”
Both sides then suffered special teams miscues, as King George went three-and-out and then shanked a 6-yard punt. Louisa quickly drove into the redzone but stalled, and then a 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. The Foxes then unleashed their offensive highlight of the night as senior quarterback Sammy Delgrande hit senior receiver Zion White for a 74-yard pickup. Four plays later, sophomore running back Javon Campbell broke through on fourth-and-goal, and KG was on the board at 21-6.
The visitors tried and failed with another onside kick, as Barbour again corralled it near midfield. The Lions covered 47 yards with eight running plays, capped by junior Jarett Hunter’s 4-yard touchdown. King George tried to go back to the air attack on its ensuing series, but after two incompletions, disaster struck on third-and-10.
“It was an overthrown ball, and I knew I could get to it and make a play,” said Robinson, as he hauled in the pass sailing toward the home sideline from his safety position. “When I broke two guys, I saw my teammates blocking for me and I knew I could score.”
Robinson did take it all the way, but officials spotted one of those blocks being in the back. Taking over at the Foxes’ 36 after the penalty, it was another ground-focused series for the offense. Hunter and sophomore Kalup Shelton traded carries before Shelton scored from 3 yards out to open a 35-6 lead.
Louisa briefly achieved a running clock after Allinder’s second passing touchdown, this one covering 16 yards to Austin Sims, made it 42-6. King George responded with a 74-yard drive propelled by Campbell’s 23-yard run and a 26-yard pass from Delgrande. Campbell crossed the goal line with 4:30 remaining to put 12 on the board for the Foxes. With Louisa reserves in action, KG reached the Lions’ 1 yardline with nine seconds left, but time expired after the defense made a backfield stop for a two-yard loss.
“They got a lot of bodies to the line of scrimmage,” said King George coach Will Thompson. “We’ve got to a better job blocking and clean things up assignment-wise.”
Even while points were scarce early in the game, the defense set a strong tone. King George went three-and-out on four of its six first half possessions and had minus-4 yards rushing at the break. Louisa drove 67 yards in nine plays on its first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead on Hunter’s 7-yard run midway through the opening quarter. Just before the lightning delay, Louisa reached the Foxes’ 8-yardline, but Hunter was stuffed on a fourth-and-2 run.
“Fourth and short, I’m going to run it up the middle,” Patrick said to his team postgame. “I’m kind of disappointed in that. We got a little sloppy in the first half.”
Louisa doubled the on its next possession once play finally resumed. Allinder hit Robinson for a 45-yard gain on third-and-13, and Shelton cashed in on a 5-yard carry. From there, both defenses locked down for the last 8:24 of the half, with each offense only managing one first down between four punts. Actually, it was three successful punts—a snap through the legs cost Louisa 21 yards and setup King George with its first redzone opportunity. However, after the offense moved six yards in reverse, Barbour blocked KG’s 43-yard field goal attempt to keep it 14-0 at halftime.
Hunter led all rushers with 25 carries for a game-high 121 yards and two scores. Shelton added 67 yards on 13 rushes for the Lions. Allinder completed 11-of-15 passes for 163 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Campbell managed 72 yards on 15 carries for King George (0-3). Delgrande completed 5-of-16 through the air for 125 yards. His top target was senior Redcay Matthew, who made three receptions for 96 yards.
Louisa has a bye next Friday before opening Jefferson District play on the road at Albemarle (0-2).