LaCrosse and Plainville met two times in 2011, once in the regional championship and once for a trip to the state championship. The Leopards win both games by a touchdown. Friday night's game had far less on the line, after all it was just a week four regular season game. But this has developed into a pretty good rivalry.
LaCrosse jumped out to the quick early lead when Kip Keeley went 35 yards for a touchdown, it was 6-0 two minutes into the game. Fast forward 1:30 and this time it's Levi Morss, going 70 yards for the score. LaCrosse had run two offensive plays from scrimmage, both were touchdowns. Leopards lead 12-0 after one quarter.
Early in quarter number two, LaCrosse would find paidirt again, and again it was Morrs from four yards out. The lead grew to 20-0.
The Cardinals would find a little fight just before the half. Plainville forcing a LaCrosse fumble and then cashing in with a four yard pass from Hadley Gillum to Connor Collins. The touchdown with 16 seconds until the half, made it 20-6 at the break.
In the second half, Morss, who had a monster night made another big run, this one covered 80 yards, that makes the score 26-6. LaCrosse would go up 34-6 when William Storie scampered 10 yards for the score.
At that point Cardinal head coach Joe Simon implored his team not to give up, and they didn't. Trevor Axelson broke free for a 70 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-14. And then after another LaCrosee turnover, Axelson took it 1 yard for the score. The Cards were within 12.
But Morss, who was a Cardinal killer all night, had one more touchdown in him. The forth score covering 67 yards.
LaCrosse, despite 5 fumbles on the night, improved to 4-0 on the season after beating Plainville 42-22.
"I'm proud of the way the kids battled," said Leopards head coach Jon Webster. "But we shouldn't have put ourselves in that possession. Fumbling the ball, penalties that kind of stuff. We got to clean it up. People are going to tell us we are a good football team, because we beat a good football team tonight, but we have a long way to go."
Morss finished with 355 yards rushing on the night and said the early turnovers motivated him.
"Some of those runs, I felt like I had to pay my team back for my fumble I made down there," said Morss. "They scored a touchdown on it, so I felt like I had to pay my team back for what I had done wrong."
The number one ranked Leopards are back home next Friday to host Thomas More Prep.
Plainville falls to 2-2 on the season. They will hit the road to Ell Saline in week five.