Leopards Run Over Frisco Heritage In Season Opener
Lovejoy made sure their slow start of last season that led to an 0-5 start was not going to be repeated as they cruised to a 42-26 win over Frisco Heritage in the Tom Landry Classic. Playing at Allen Stadium the Leopards, led by a career high in rushing yards from Jahi Rainey, took the lead on their first touchdown early in the second quarter and never trailed again to go 1-0 for the season.
Heritage started the game opposing their will in the running game and marching up and down the field in the first quarter but the Leopards defense, despite giving up a lot of yards, kept the Coyotes out of the endzone in the first half. With the defense holding Heritage in check the offense flipped the script and began rolling over the Coyotes behind the running of Jahi Rainey and efficient passing by Carson Collins to take a 14-3 lead into halftime. Lovejoy added to their lead in the third quarter on 2 yard run by Jahi Rainey making it 21-3 Leopards. The Coyotes responded to with a touchdown run making it 21-9 but Carson Collins answered by connecting with Jacob Terwilliger on a 15 yard pass on the next drive mazing the score 28-9. The Leopard defense made a goal line stand on the next drive stopping the Coyotes on fourth down and goal from the 2 yard line. On the ensuing drive Lovejoy faced a fourth and one and the possibility of a momentum shifting stop but once again Rainey provided the spark breaking free for a 45 yard run and a commanding 35-11 lead. Hudson Wallace scored the final touchdown for the Leopards and the Coyotes never posed a threat for the remainder of the game.
Supporting Rainey's big night were Carson Collins with 154 yards passing and two touchdowns and Tyler Loop with six extra points. Defensively Austin King and Coleman Christensen led the Leopards with 9 tackles each, Ralph Rucker had 7 tackles and Matt Jonke and Hunter Broughton contributed with 6 tackles each.