November 18th, 2017

Colts perfect season ends in 2-A semifinals

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Ed Peak

Staff Writer


Colts perfect season ends in 2-A semifinals
CAL's Milton Wright makes his incredible catch / photo by Mark Sims

Senior linebacker Alex Schneider slowly walked off the DeSales High field for the last time, Friday night. You didn't have to ask questions. His face full of frustration and disappointment told the story.

His Colts suffered a 24-3 whipping from rival Christian Academy in the Class 2-A Region Two championship game before a packed Paul B. Cox Stadium.

"I don't really know what happened," said Schneider. "That's on us. It shouldn't have happened. They are a good team, but we're better than that. We did a lot of things to hurt ourselves and that shouldn't have happened."

DeSales (12-1) beat the Centurions 21-3 during the regular season securing a district title. But CAL (11-2) played that game without starting quarterback, junior Austin Carr, who was suspended. CAL was a different team.

The Centurions led 7-3 at halftime as junior Milton Wright made a spectacular catch between two DeSales defenders for a 51-yard touchdown with 12 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Centurions received the third quarter kickoff and Wright fielded the ball at his own 20 near the far sideline. After getting past the first wave of defenders around the 40 he went for an 80 yards touchdown 10 seconds into the third quarter.

DeSales, a team that gave up only nine points in its previous seven games, gave up 14 in 22 seconds.

"We really let a couple plays by Milton Wright affect us," said DeSales coach Harold Davis. "We should have never kicked off to him. Then the touchdown right before half....."

Noah Wilcox kicked a 22 yard field goal with 4:42 left in the third quarter upping the CAL lead to 17-3. The end for the Colts was nearing. Junior starting quarterback Aaron Pfaadt reinjured his right shoulder with less than four minutes left in the third quarter and missed the remainder of the game,

DeSales leading rusher, Jordan Watkins, who came into the game with 748 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, left the game in the first half with injured ribs.

Wright put the final touches on the victory with a 27-yard touchdown run with 8:35 to go in the fourth quarter.

Wright finished with three rushes for 44 yards and three catches for 51 yards. Freshman Brandt Babin led CAL with 18 carries for 81 yards.

"Milton Wright is a special player," said CAL coach Stefan LeFors. "All due respect to their secondary, I'll take my guy over anybody. I don't care if they got one, two, three guys on him. He's a playmaker. We challenged him and told him 'you have to go up and make a play. We expect you to do that.”

"We even dug up some film of Lynn Swain (Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Famer). He was a guy that went up and got the ball and Milton Wright did that."

DeSales had two scoring opportunities in the first half. The Colts took advantage of a fumbled punt by CAL's Nathaniel Clark at the DeSales 49 and drove to the 13 where on fourth and 13 Noah Herbert kicked a 30 yard field goal with 5:20 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter after a 22 yard punt by the Centurions, DeSales drove from the 38 to the five where on fourth down Pfaadt attempted a pass that was deflected by Jack Payne with 3:33 remaining in the second quarter and the Centurions took over.

"They score a touchdown right before half and we kind of get our heads down a little bit," said Davis.

CAL, who didn't have a first down until 2:52 to go in the second quarter when Babin had a 10-yard run. It appeared the Colts had stopped CAL on third and 14 from their own 17, but a 15 yard personal foul penalty gave the Centurions new life.

With 19 seconds to play before half, Carr connected down the middle with Wright who made an outstanding catch between defenders Jared Coffman and Shawn Kaufman.

"Holding them to a field goal and stopping them on fourth down was big," said LeFors. "Top to bottom, everything, we played a good game.”

Despite having only three first downs and 66 yards of offense, CAL led 7-3.

In the second half DeSales only had three first downs as CAL's defense controlled the game.

"We talked all week about how bad things are going to happen, good things are going to happen. You've got to stay the course and we did that," said LeFors.

Wright was an impressive figure. Schneider congratulated Wright.

"I told him how good a player he is and that I respect him," said Schneider. "He is an elite player and an elite person. The past two years I've played against him he's very competitive. I told him good luck in the future."

The future for CAL, the defending 2-A state champions will travel to Mayfield (12-1), a winner over Owensboro Catholic.

"Our works not done," said LeFors. "We've got to travel to hostile territory. We beat Mayfield in last year’s semifinals.”

NOTES

This was the sixth straight season CAL and DeSales have met in the playoffs. It was the fifth time the two teams have split.

Davis had nothing but praise for his team that completed the regular season, 10-0, the first in school history.

"It's a horrible feeling right now, Davis told his team. “Be proud of what you've accomplished. Keep your heads up and be proud.

“I'm so proud of these guys. They did everything we asked of them." The DeSales roster list 24 seniors.

 

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