Anteneh Thompson’s one yard fourth-down plunge with 2:04 remaining lifted host Christian Academy of Louisville to a 21-14 victory over rival DeSales in the Class 2-A Region Two championship.
In beating the Colts, the Centurions (12-1) vanquished four years of misery as DeSales had ended their seasons in the playoffs in those previous seasons.
“It’s been a long time coming,” coach Stefan LeFors said, whose team now advances to its first-ever state semifinal. The Centurions will host that game next Friday against Mayfield.
Christian Academy dominated statistically, outgaining the Colts by a 302-112 yards margin. But DeSales (10-3) took advantage of some early CAL mistakes to stay in the game. CAL took the lead on its second series, driving 60 yards in 11 plays. A 24-yard run by Wright, a sophomore, on 4th-and-1 at the DeSales 26 served as the key play and set up Austin Carr’s 2-yard touchdown sneak with 5:41 left in the first half.
DeSales went three and out on its next drive, but the Colts defense took the momentum when linebacker Alex Schneider picked off Carr at the CAL 25 and returned it 20 yards. Austin Tharp followed with a 5-yard run to tie the game with 2:48 left in the half. Carr and Wright connected on a 49-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter. DeSales finally found some offensive rhythm late in the third quarter, as the Colts marched 68 yards in 5:13. Aaron Pfaadt found Demetri Scott in the endzone for a 10-yard pass that tied the game with 8:06 remaining.
As Christian Academy prepared to get the ball back, their players said they felt confident they would pull the game out.
“I knew from the very beginning it was going to a close game,” senior tight end Jacob Paulson said. “It was going to be hard fought. We couldn’t let our guard down, and that when things got tough, I knew our team would rally around.”
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