By Ben Sheridan / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
For the second straight year, the Jungle was the site of a Region 4B Semifinal game.
For the second straight year, the game came down to the wire.
For the second straight year, Louisa County didn’t come out on top.
History repeated itself Friday night as Patrick Henry took the lead at the last minute and edged out Louisa County 16-15 to earn a spot in the Region 4B title game.
“Hats off to them, they’re very good up front. I knew they had a good o-line and a good d-line, they really took it to us offensively and kept our defense on the field, and they had the ball the whole third quarter,” said Lions Coach Will Patrick.
That third quarter-plus drive for the Patriots was just one of the things that provided an eventful second half. The Lions were able to carry a 9-7 lead into the break, lifted by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jarett Hunter to Noah Robinson in the closing moments of the first half. Then the Patriots received the ball to start the second half at their own 27-yard line.
They went on a 20-play, 73-yard drive that extended into the beginning of the fourth quarter, giving them a 13-9 lead after the 2-point conversion failed. Quarterback Alex Sikkar scored the go-ahead touchdown and ended the night with two scores on the ground and 97 yards rushing.
In the fourth, it was the Lions’ turn to answer, but the Patriot defense forced an interception in Lion territory. Louisa’s defense had just been on the field for over a quarter, but found the energy and will to provide a huge turnover on downs. That got the Lion offense back on the field at their own 18, and led by Hunter they began to march. Eighty two yards and nine plays later, Hunter punched it in the end zone to give the Lions a 15-13, with them going for two points afterward but failing to convert to convert. Hunter finished with 77 passing yards and 85 rushing yards with two total touchdowns on the night.
Down two with close to two and a half minutes remaining, Sikkar stepped up to the moment for his team, helping make big plays to get the Patriots into field goal range.
“Sikkar’s a heck of an athlete, keeping a couple plays alive by running for his life,” said Patrick.
Sikkar and the Patriots were eventually held to a fourth down and an incoming 32-yard field goal attempt from Will Dorsey. Dorsey lined up and knocked it right down the middle with plenty of room to spare, giving the Patriots a 16-15 lead 15 seconds left, leaving Louisa heartbroken once again, a repeat of last year’s Eastern View go-ahead touchdown that knocked Louisa out of the playoffs.
The Lions lose a deep and talented senior class, who have left their mark on the program. “We’ll be alright, but this is one of the best senior classes of all time here, 36-3, and they sold out tonight and left it all on the field,” Patrick said.