SPOTSYLVANIA — The 2018 season didn’t end the way the Louisa County football team envisioned it.
On a cold November night in front of their home crowd, the Lions found themselves stunned and in absolute disbelief after a one-point lead evaporated on a twice-tipped Hail Mary pass in the closing seconds of a 19-14 loss to Eastern View in the Region 4B semifinals.
With the lions’ share — no pun intended — of that squad back this fall, head coach Will Patrick has said that they’re determined to turn the page and erase the memory of that heartbreak.
The determination to do just that was apparent on Friday night, as Louisa dominated host Courtland in every facet of the game on its way to a season-opening 39-6 victory.
“That [Eastern View] game has been sitting with us for nine months,” Patrick said. “It’s been a long offseason, but these kids are incredibly motivated and have put in a lot of hard work.”
After fumbling away an opportunity to score inside the Cougars’ 10-yard line on their opening possession of the game, the Lions’ offense operated with the efficiency of a unit that looked more like it was in playoff form than playing its first game of the year.
Senior running back Jarett Hunter ran over and around the Courtland defense for 216 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, pacing a Louisa rushing attack that generated 334 yards.
Hunter, a Class 4 all-state selection after rushing for more than 1,500 yards as a junior, said he’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Louisa’s loaded backfield.
“I’m only as good as our offensive line and my teammates allow me to be,” he remarked. “We’ve got more than just me [in the backfield]. There are two or three other guys back there that can hurt you as well.”
One of those “other guys” Hunter referenced is junior Robert Morgan IV, who scampered for 62 yards and a pair of scores on just seven carries.
Freshman quarterback Landon Wilson and senior Adrain Williams each added touchdown runs for the Lions.
“I’m happy that we won, but we know we can continue to get better,” Morgan said. “We have to keep working hard and never let our foot off the gas pedal.”
Louisa’s offense wasn’t the only impressive outfit on Courtland’s brand-new blue turf on Friday night.
The Lions’ defense forced three turnovers (two fumbles and an interception), registered a safety and limited the Cougars to 169 yards of total offense.
— 99 of which came on their final two drives.
Senior Maurice Howard scored Courtland’s lone touchdown on a 15-yard run with 21 seconds left in the game.
Courtland head coach J.C. Hall was quick to identify what went wrong for his team.
“We knew coming in that we’d have to play mistake-free football and be strong at the line of scrimmage,” he said. “We didn’t do either of those things, and it snowballed on us pretty quickly against a heck of a team.”