Louisville beats Cincy 24-7 for Keg of Nails and Fenway Bowl

Dec 16, 2022, 9:35 PM | Updated: Dec 17, 2022, 1:07 pm

Louisville head coach Deion Branch holds up the trophy as his players celebrate around him after th...

Louisville head coach Deion Branch holds up the trophy as his players celebrate around him after their 24-7 win over Cincinnati in the Fenway Bowl NCAA college football game at Fenway Park Saturday, Dec. 17, 2022, in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

BOSTON (AP) — Running back Jawhar Jordan earned a silver baseball bat as the offensive player of the game. Interim coach Deion Branch lifted the Fenway Bowl trophy. Defensive back Jarvis Browlee danced around the baseball field with the Keg of Nails.

The Cardinals are heading back to Louisville with all the prizes.

Except their coach.

Jordan ran for 115 yards, breaking free for two long touchdowns, and Scott Satterfield’s former team beat his new one 24-7 on Saturday in the twice-delayed inaugural edition of the first bowl game at Fenway Park.

“It was all about closing the chapter. Closing the coach Satterfield chapter,” said Branch, the Patriots Super Bowl MVP who temporarily took over the Cardinals (8-5) when Satterfield left Louisville for Cincinnati (9-4).

“I’m enjoying it. I’m relishing it,” said Branch, who will return to his job as director of player development and hand the team over to Jeff Brohm. “As of now, I’m retiring.”

With a gridiron laid out over the diamond and “Fenway Park” painted in the end zones using the traditional Red Sox font, Jordan scored from 49 yards out at the end of the first quarter and 40 at the end of the second.

Brock Domann hit Marshon Ford for another score on a 40-degree day when both teams struggled to pass — or even hold onto the ball. The Bearcats fumbled three times, losing two; Louisville fumbled twice and had two interceptions.

But Jordan and Maurice Turner, who ran 31 times for 160 yards, gave Louisville a 287-55 edge in rushing yards and bragging rights in the Ohio River rivalry that was first played in 1929 but went dormant after the Cardinals moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

“I’m disappointed today. I wish I had been able to do more for these kids,” said Cincinnati interim coach Kerry Coombs, who will be turning things over to Satterfield. “But I promise you this: These two weeks, I will count these two weeks as two of the greatest weeks of my life.”

Evan Prater, who was sacked seven times, connected with Wyatt Fischer for the Bearcats’ only score, barely getting off the pass before he was brought down. Fischer cut back across the field from the 20 and outraced his defender to the end zone to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter.

But the Cardinals shut them out from there.


Football has been played at Fenway Park since the 1960s, when it was home to the American Football League’s Boston Patriots, and as recently as 2018 when it hosted The Game between Harvard and Yale. It has witnessed everything from Irish hurling and big air skiing to NHL games — a second NHL winter classic is scheduled for next month – not to mention concerts and movie nights and Shakespeare in the park.

But the pandemic wiped out the first try at the Fenway Bowl in 2020 and again last year, when the matchup between SMU and Virginia was scuttled three days before kickoff by a COVID-19 outbreak involving the Cavaliers.


Satterfield decided this month to switch sides in the erstwhile rivalry, leaving Louisville for Cincinnati. He said he was staying away from the game and spending his time recruiting.

“It’s certainly an unusual situation that we have going on right now,” he said on the broadcast.

Branch, who won two Super Bowls and one Super Bowl MVP with the New England Patriots, led the Cardinals in place of Brohm, who is coming from Purdue; Coombs handled the Bearcats’ sideline while they wait for Satterfield to get settled.


Sod was laid out over the dirt basepaths and the warning track beyond the east end zone, in front of the baseball bullpens. Because of the lack of space on the quirky and angular field, both teams shared the same sideline.

The manual scoreboard on Green Monster was repainted to record quarters instead of innings, with “CINCY” and “L’VILLE” in the spots usually reserved for baseball teams. The balls and strikes were converted to down and distance.

One goalpost was mounted near the third-base fungo circle. The other was in right field, just about at the spot where David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in the 2013 AL Championship Series sent Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter crashing over the bullpen wall and propelled the Red Sox into the World Series.

The Cincinnati bearcat mascot and Louie, the Louisville cardinal, hung out with Wally and Tessie, the Red Sox Green Monsters. The fans sang “Sweet Caroline” between the third and fourth quarters.

The school bands tried to make up for a sparse crowd – more like Red Sox-Royals in July than a Yankees game in the thick of a pennant race. The announced attendance was 15,000, though the center field bleachers and left field grandstand were completely empty, with fans mostly clustered behind the dugouts and low in the right field bleachers; the red seat that marks Ted Williams’ longest home run stood out among the empty green rows.

“Coming back to Boston, it was was great,” said Branch, who played seven years over two stints with the Patriots. “Everything aligned exactly how it was supposed to.”


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Louisville beats Cincy 24-7 for Keg of Nails and Fenway Bowl