Football

Pascagoula standout’s TD the difference in Louisville win

Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith makes a game-winning touchdown catch over Virginia free safety Juan Thornhill with 13 seconds remaining Saturday in Charlottesville, where the Cardinals rallied to beat the Cavaliers 32-25. Virginia was a 34-point underdog.
Louisville wide receiver Jaylen Smith makes a game-winning touchdown catch over Virginia free safety Juan Thornhill with 13 seconds remaining Saturday in Charlottesville, where the Cardinals rallied to beat the Cavaliers 32-25. Virginia was a 34-point underdog. AP

A player from Pascagoula was the difference in preventing a major college football upset Saturday.

Jaylen Smith, a sophomore wide receiver for Louisville and a former Pascagoula High School standout, caught a game-winning 29-yard touchdown pass with just 13 seconds remaining as the No. 5 Cardinals beat the Virginia Cavaliers 32-25 in Charlottesville.

Louisville got the ball with 1:57 left in the game with Virginia ahead 25-24 and on the verge of an upset.

“Once we got the ball back, I felt like we had too much time not to score a touchdown,” Smith said.

Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson threw the touchdown pass to Smith, and the play kept the Cardinals (7-1) among the leaders in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Before Saturday’s game, Smith had 12 receptions for 304 yards and four touchdowns this season. In 2015, he had 29 receptions for 376 yards and one touchdown.

In his senior year at Pascagoula, he had 27 receptions for 386 yards and six touchdowns.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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