November 18, 2017

Football marks senior day with demolition of Syracuse

By Matt Bradshaw —

On a rainy senior day, football (7-4) destroyed Syracuse (4-7) 56-10. The Cardinals had more than double total yards (727-335) as the Orange.

Senior running backs Reggie Bonnafon and Malik Williams combined for 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns in their final suit-up at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Lamar Jackson led the offense in his usual fashion: 270 passing yards, 111 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

First half

Jackson made a blazing 29-yard sprint through the middle of the field on the first play of the game. Williams immediately followed with a run of his own, rushing for a 46-yard touchdown and early 7-0 lead.

On Syracuse’s next drive, cornerback Jaire Alexander forced an interception. Jackson then completed a 19-yard pass to Jaylen Smith on the following possession, passing Chris Redman as Louisville’s all-time leader in total career yards.

Despite a shaky year, Louisville’s defense kept the Orange off the U of L side of the field.

Fifteen seconds into the second quarter, Jackson make an impressive 43-yard run down the field for a touchdown.

One possession later, Jackson lobbed to hometown hero Bonnafon for a 33-yard rushing score and 21-3 lead.

Heavy rain persisted throughout the contest, leading to a 43-minute weather delay in the second quarter.

After the delay, Jackson completed a 72-yard pass to Smith and 34-yard pass to Bonnafon for a pair of touchdowns. Louisville led 35-3 at the half.

Second half

The third quarter saw Williams dominate. The senior ran for two touchdowns with 110 rushing yards combined. Jackson added a 19-yard rushing touchdown, bringing the score to 49-3.

Freshman quarterback Jawon Pass completed a 29-yard pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Dez Fitzpatrick received the pass, setting a record for most receiving touchdowns by a freshman (eight).

Football faces Kentucky in their final regular season game on Nov. 25 at 12 p.m.

Press conference highlights

Coach Bobby Petrino talked about the difference between Jackson this year versus last year.

“Mentally, Lamar understands the game so well,” Petrino said. “His added weight also makes him harder to tackle.”

After Bonnafon scored his two scores, the crowd began chanting, “Reggie,” a dream come true for the Trinity graduate.

Jackson said he has had his eyes on the Kentucky game since last season.

“I’ve waited a whole year for (the Kentucky) game. I fumbled last year and we lost,” Jackson said.

You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8

Photos by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal

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