Prior to Tuesday night, it had been 15 months since the Louisa County football team had taken the field for a competitive game because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coach Will Patrick’s team looked undeterred by the layoff as they rolled to a 49-0 victory over Charlottesville at Theodose Stadium. The game was originally scheduled to be played at Louisa, but was moved to CHS because of soggy field conditions on the natural grass surface in The Jungle.
Landon Wilson ran for a touchdown and threw for another, while Kalup Shelton added two more scores on the ground as the Lions increased their Jefferson District winning streak to 20 straight games.
“It was definitely weird, but it was fun,” Patrick said. “I had so much fun, to be honest with you. It’s just good getting the blood flowing again and getting back out here.”
Despite having fewer than 10 players who had taken a varsity snap prior to Tuesday’s game, the Lions had the look of a veteran squad as they dominated on both sides of the ball.
Offensively, Louisa scored on its first two possessions and never looked back.
Following an early Charlottesville fumble, the Lions cashed in. Wilson showed no ill effects from the broken ankle he suffered last season as he rumbled 13 yards to the end zone for the opening touchdown of the game.
Louisa County’s offense struck again on its next possession when Wilson hit Chase Miller on a crossing pattern and the junior coasted into the end zone for a touchdown and 13-0 Lions lead with 6:43 left in the first quarter.
“We always talk about starting fast. Hit them in the mouth first and carry that momentum throughout the whole game,” Wilson said. “That’s what we did tonight.”
While Louisa’s offense was humming, Lowell Johnson, Qwenton Spellman and Andy Proffitt paced a Lions defense that made it tough for Charlottesville to find traction offensively. The trio were in the backfield for most of the night and held the Black Knights to minus-25 yards of total offense in the first half.
“The defense really stepped up tonight,” Wilson said. “They had a goose egg, and that’ll be good at practice tomorrow — less running.”
Louisa County continued to pour it on in the second quarter, scoring 29 points to put the game out of reach.
A 42-yard punt return from Jaylen Beach set up Logan McGhee’s 14-yard touchdown run on an inside reverse to make it 21-0 with 8:51 left in the first half. On the next possession, Patrick broke out the counter play and Shelton rumbled 30 yards for a touchdown out of the wildcat.
The points didn’t stop there.
Jacob Bundrick’s jarring hit on defense popped the ball loose and Proffitt scooped up the fumble and rumbled 10 yards for a score to make it 35-0 with 2:45 left in the half. The Lions added another touchdown just before halftime when Shelton plowed his way over a defender on the final play of the half to build a 42-0 lead.
Louisa County closed out the scoring with another touchdown in the second half following a muffed punt. Quinton Wash scored the game’s final TD from a yard out to stretch the lead to 49-0.
“We had some juniors that really stepped up, first time playing in a varsity game, and made some plays tonight,” Patrick said. “We had some sophomores making some big plays. We are a very young team, there’s no doubt about it. We have to watch the film and we’ve got to get better.”
Shelton carried 12 times for 92 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Lions. Wilson threw for 50 yards and a touchdown and ran for 46 yards and another score, while McGhee had two catches for 50 yards for the Lions.
Caldwell Boyles was 5-of-10 passing for 60 yards to lead Charlottesville (0-1). Jabari Jones had 10 carries for 16 yards to lead the Black Knights’ ground attack.
Louisa County has now won 29 straight regular season games. Patrick hopes to extend that winning streak Saturday when the Lions face Orange County in a rivalry game.
“This whole process with this spring season, every week we’re got to get better,” Patrick said. “We’re fighting not only the opponent, we’re fighting COVID, we’re fighting weather, so there are a lot of different scenarios that could happen. I told all the kids and all my coaches; I just want to enjoy each day and have fun. You just never know what could happen next.”