MINERAL – Most teams would be ecstatic following a 38-13 victory in their first home game of the season.
But when you’ve won back-to-back Jefferson District championships and made deep runs in the playoffs, expectations are higher.
There were plenty of somber looks on the faces of Louisa County players as they listened to Coach Will Patrick’s postgame comments.
“It’s 38-13 and most people would be excited, but what I like is that my guys aren’t excited,” Patrick said. “You can see it and you can feel it. They’re disappointed a little bit, which I think speaks volumes.”
Chancellor (0-2) looked to play spoiler early on, scoring on its first drive. Quarterback Trevin Edwards faked the handoff and then rumbled 24 yards off the right side for a touchdown to give the Chargers a 7-0 lead nearly three minutes into the game.
Things looked dicey on Louisa County’s first play as star running back Jarett Hunter had his ankle rolled up on behind the line of scrimmage on the first carry of the game.
Hunter went to the sidelines for the rest of the quarter, but the Lions’ offense didn’t miss a beat as Robert Morgan IV put on a display.
The junior rumbled 21 yards on a great cutback run up the middle to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:43 left in the quarter.
Hunter returned to the game on the second drive and left his mark. The reigning Jefferson District offensive player of the year scored from 14 yards out on the first play of the second quarter to give Louisa County (2-0) a 14-7 lead.
The Lions’ defense made its presence felt on the next drive as Aaron Aponte dropped Iavonte Mickens for an 8-yard loss to set up fourth down from the Chargers’ own 1. On the next play, punter Bryan Rivas fielded the punt at the back of the end zone, but stepped over the back line, which resulted in a safety and a 16-7 lead for Louisa at halftime.
“Chancellor’s a good football team,” Patrick said. “They’ve got a great quarterback, they’ve got a huge running back and they’ve got some fast guys. They play great defense and run around to the ball. That team is only going to get better every week.”
Patrick’s team went back to work in the second half, utilizing an old Louisa County staple, the single wing. The new formation worked like clockwork as the Lions scored on the opening drive with a 21-yard touchdown run from Morgan.
After another defensive stand, Louisa’s offense went back to work and Morgan scored from two yards out. Hunter added the two-point conversion as the Lions went up 31-7.
“Robert Morgan is a beast and so is Kalup Shelton,” Patrick said. “We’re kind of nicked up, Jarett twisted his ankle, Kalup Shelton had a dislocated finger last week, but he got it splinted up and he played well tonight. Robert Morgan, he gave us that third back. He ran hard.”
Louisa’s special teams had a miscue in the fourth quarter as a muffed snap gave Chancellor the ball at the Lions 6. Chancellor scored two plays later when Krisshaun Scott scored from three yards out. The extra point was blocked as the Lions led, 31-13.
The Lions put an exclamation point on the victory late in the fourth quarter as Hunter faked the run and hit Austin Sims on a 50-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring.
Shelton rushed for 131 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown to lead Louisa County. Hunter added 89 yards and a touchdown, while Morgan finished with 76 yards on five carries and two scores.
Despite the victory, Patrick said there are plenty of things to work on.
“We’ve got to prepare better,” Patrick said. “That’s the whole goal – preparation and then execution. Tonight, we had some miscues, built we’re going to get better from it.”
Scott had 72 yards on the ground on eight carries and a touchdown to lead Chancellor. Edwards finished with 42 yards on the ground and a score.
Louisa County hosts Class 6 Massaponax next week and Patrick said his team must be ready to play.
“We’ve got to start faster,” Patrick said. “We came out a little flat on D and they scored on us, but after that, our defense played lights out. Our defense flew around. They had that one drive at the beginning and then our defense turned it up.”