Towing the line: Louisa runs over Powhatan behind big first half

Photo: Ryan Yemen

Louisa County was looking to get a solid jump on visiting Powhatan. It got more than that. It was a great jump and one that came by dominating the line of scrimmage early and often. The Lions improved to 6-0 on the year after their 40-14 win over the Indians behind a big first half in game that was never in doubt after the first or second quarters.


“Our MO is to be the most physical and aggressive team we can be,” said Louisa coach Mark Fischer. “We want to get off the ball as hard and violently as we can and I think we have kids capable of doing that and I think tonight we showed that.”


The Lions stopped Powhatan on the opening drive of the game and thanks to three big runs from Malik Bell including a 27-yard fourth down conversion and a 1-yard keeper to the end zone. After Raquan Jones powered in with a 2-point conversion, it was 8-0 early in the first quarter.


Louisa was able to to come up with another stop on the next Powhatan drive and march down field behind an offensive line in sync with Bell, Jones and Whalen’s toting the ball. That set up an 8-yard pass from Bell to Jones and with Whalen punching in the 2-point convert, the Lions had a 16-0 advantage late in the second. They would score twice more in the first half before Powhatan could muster an answer despite two Louisa turnovers, a fumble and an interception.


Whalen broke off a long run early in the second quarter to set the Lions up in the redzone and after Jones set up first and goal, Whalen was able to punch through for a 1-yard rushing TD. This time it was Bell on the 2-point convert and it was 24-0 with just over seven minutes until the break.


“That’s how we had to come out this week,” said Louisa offensive lineman Dustin Matney. “It seems like nowadays everyone plays their best game against us even if their record doesn’t show. Powhatan is an absolute great team, very well coached. It’s just that we had a little more fight, more dog in us tonight.”


When Louisa got the ball back next, the opened up the playbook and Bell sold a run fake only to find a wide open Jones flying down the left sideline uncovered for a 55-yard touchdown pass. With a Whalen rush into the endzone on the convert, the game was essentially in the back with the Lions up 32-0 and just 2:12 remaining until halftime.


“Our game was just block, block, block and then for us to hit the holes,” Jones said. “They couldn’t stop all of us, we’ve got a lot that we can go to.”


Powhatan was able to put a two minute drill together late with Noah Dowdy eventually finding Ryan Hall with the clock expiring for a 12-yard touchdown pass.


Things were quiet in the third quarter with neither team scoring. But the beginning of the fourth saw the Lions cap one last drive with their starters in with Jones getting his third score of the game with a 1-yard rush and making it 40-6 after an Alex Washington 2-point convert run.


The Indians managed to strike one more time late in the fourth against the second team defense. This time it was Dowdy finding Jared Somerville for a 14-yard touchdown receptions to wrap up the scoring at 40-14.


On the night, Bell led Louisa with 136 yards on the ground on 13 attempts while going 5-for-8 passing with 83 yards.  Whalen had 11 carries for 80 yards. Jones finished with seven touches for 45 yards and two catches for 63 yards. Matt West had three carries for 45 yards.


Defensively, the Lions held Powhatan to -1 yards on 30 carries.


“We want to make you play left handed,” Fischer said. “If we can do that, take away the run, that’s at least 50 percent of the game that you don’t have left. We’ll take our chances with the rest.”


Louisa (6-0, 3-0 Jefferson District) will host unbeaten Monticello (6-0, 3-0) on Friday for homecoming next week at 7:30 p.m.


“I don’t know a lot about them other than that they’re loaded and they’re dynamite,” Fischer said. “It should be a heckuva of a ball game.”