A rivalry was renewed in the first ever Fenway Bowl. The Louisville Cardinals faced off against longtime rival Cincinnati. It was a unique situation as both teams were led by interim coaches due to the fact former Cardinal coach Scott Satterfield took the job at Cincinnati. In the end, it was coaches Deion Branch, Mark Ivey, Josh Stepp, and Greg Gasparato among a host of GAs that helped the Cards claim a 24-7 victory over the Bearcats.
It was Louisville that opened the scoring after a Cincinnati fumble set them up just inside Bearcat territory. Monty Montgomery stripped Cincy QB Evan Prater and the Cards recovered at the Bearcat 49. On the next play, Jawhar Jordan took a handoff and ran down the right sideline for a 49-yard TD scamper. Cincinnati got their only score of the game on their next drive. Prater completed a few throws that culminated in a 20-yard TD pass to receiver Wyatt Fisher.
The rest of the game was just dominated by Louisville. Jawhar Jordan added another TD run of 41 yards to give him 115 yards on just 9 carries, averaging just over 12 yards a carry. It ended up being a performance that garnered him Offensive MVP for the game. Freshman running back Maurice Turner actually was the workman for the day in the backfield. He had 31 carries for 160 yards. Brock Domann quarterbacked the Cards competently. He threw just 21 times, completing 13 of his attempts for 132 yards, 1 TD, and an interception. His TD was to TE/H-Back Marshon Ford. The leading receivers were Louisville native Jaelin Carter with 4 receptions for 50 yards and Braden Smith with 3 receptions for 45 yards.
On defense, it was a ridiculous performance. Outside that Cincinnati scoring drive, the Cards shut down the Bearcat offense. Cincinnati managed just 127 total yards of offense. The Cards harassed Evan Prater all day and never allowed the Cincinnati backfield to get the rushing attack going. The defense was led by Monty Montgomery. The Cardinal linebacker led the way with 8 total tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble. His performance garnered him the Defensive MVP. He was not alone, however. The pass rush was absolutely dominant for the majority of the game. Yasir Abdullah was arguably just as worthy of being the defensive mvp. He had 6 total tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Yaya Diaby joined in on the sack party with 1.5 sacks as well. The Cards ended up with 7 sacks and tied a school record for sacks in a season with 50 total sacks as a team.
In the end, the Cards kept the Keg of Nails and thoroughly destroyed Cincinnati. Interim Head Coach Deion Branch will retire from head coaching with a 1-0 record. Credit must go to all the coaches that stayed behind and to all the players that played. The defense came out full throttle and throttled the Bearcat offense. Meanwhile, the Cardinal offensive line mowed down a normally stingy Bearcat defense and tuned them up with a rushing attack that accounted for 287 yards. Now, the Cards put Satterball in the past and look toward the fly high under their new coach Jeff Brohm. However, it was wonderful to have the seniors that played go out in such a glorious way. They completely devastated Cincinnati on both sides of the ball. Congrats Cards on another bowl win.