With the game tied at 35-35, the Knights were driving in hopes of getting some points on the board to pick up a victory. Dillion Gabriel dropped back to pass and Louisville linebacker Jaylin Alderman was waiting for his pass. Alderman intercepted Gabriel and returned the ball 66 yards for the touchdown.
Alderman’s touchdown left 13 seconds remaining on the clock and the Knights could not retaliate.
“I was excited, really I was thinking God is good, that’s what I was thinking when he was running down the sideline, it really was,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said when he was asked what he was thinking when he saw the freshman linebacker running down the sideline.
“The reason why he gets to get into game is because he is as smart as any one of our linebackers. He’s a true freshman, but he studies everything and he just knows what to do when you put him in. That was a little bit different circumstance because we’re in prevent mode. They got the ball right there and you don’t want to give up a touchdown. But, that’s why he went in because we felt like he knew what to do in that scenario.”
Alderman is only a freshman and appeared in only one game before Friday.
The two schools went tit-or-tat the entire game.
Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham finished 23-for-38 with a touchdown pass and two rushing touchdowns. He had 99 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Braden Smith also had a touchdown pass.
Gabriel finished 22-for-29 with 184 passing yards and three touchdown passes. He also had a rushing touchdown. Knights wide receiver Ryan O’Keefe had a touchdown pass too. Johnny Richardson led all rushers with 101 yards on nine carries.
Gabriel, O’Keefe, Jaylon Robinson and Brandon Johnson each had a touchdown catch.
Louisville and Central Florida are now 2-1 on the season.