The sophomore’s bobbling 40-yard reception in the first quarter accounted for the only offensive touchdown of the night as the Centurions beat the host Colts 12-7 in a matchup of Class 2-A powers.
The touchdown pass from sophomore Austin Carr gave CAL a 9-0 lead on the final play of the first quarter, and the Centurions’ defense took care of the rest.
CAL coach Stefan LeFors said the play called for Wright to make a double move.
PHOTO GALLERY | CAL at DeSales
“We knew they were going to bite on that,” LeFors said. “We try to get Milton the ball in a variety of ways. It was a great route, and it was a good throw. He made it more interesting than it should have been with the catch by bobbling it three or four times. I’m glad he found a way to hold on to that thing.”
CAL (6-1) ran its winning streak to six and won the regular-season matchup with the Colts (5-2) for the sixth straight season. But the postseason history has been reversed, with the Colts ending the Centurions’ season the past four years.
“As we all know, we’ve been here before and we’re going to see them here again in a few weeks,” LeFors said. “But it’s good to this win here on their field.”
Traditionally a run-first offense, DeSales had 30 pass attempts Friday against just 20 rushes. Senior Brayden Recktenwald quarterbacked the first three drives before sophomore Aaron Pfaadt replaced him for the rest of the game.
Pfaadt completed 13 of 24 passes for 109 yards and led the rushing attack with 51 yards on 11 carries. But the Colts never put together a scoring drive.
“We got away from the run a little more than we should have,” Colts coach Harold Davis said. “And I don’t think either quarterback, at times, was looking at the right receiver.
“It’s frustrating because it seems like it’s every year like this. It’s going to hurt these guys but hopefully not past tomorrow. We’ll get back here Monday and get better.
CAL got points on its first two drives, with Eric Quinton capping the first on a 30-yard field goal that made it 3-0 at the 3:05 mark.
On CAL’s next drive, Wright got behind the DeSales defense and juggled the ball a few times near the 10-yard line before hauling it in for the touchdown.
“My quarterback put it where he had to, and I just had to make a play,” said Wright, who caught two passes for 56 yards, rushed for 62 yards on nine carries, completed 2 of 5 passes for 15 yards and picked off a pass while playing defense.
DeSales committed two turnovers and never crossed midfield in the first half but got a big special-teams play on the opening drive of the third quarter. Alex Schneider blocked a punt attempt by Quinton, and James Sims recovered it in the end zone to pull the Colts within 9-7 at the 9:58 mark.
Quinton’s 38-yard field goal into the wind gave the Centurions a 12-7 edge with 3:56 left in the third quarter. DeSales marched to the CAL 16 on its next drive, but Pfaadt’s pass into the end zone on fourth-and-5 was incomplete.
The Colts’ final two drives ended with a punt and incomplete pass.
“We almost went to a bend-but-don’t-break kind of thing,” LeFors said of his defense. “We gave up a lot of underneath stuff, but we never really got hit deep with a home run shot. That was our plan.”
If all goes according to history and according to plan, these teams will meet again in six weeks in the third round of the Class 2-A playoffs.
Wright is well-aware of CAL’s dismal playoff history against DeSales but is looking forward to another chance.
“With our seniors … it’s going to be a different story,” he said. “It’s going to be on our home field, and we’re going to be ready.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 9 0 3 0 – 12
DESALES 0 0 7 0 – 7
CAL – Eric Quinton 30 FG; CAL – Milton Wright 40 pass from Austin Carr (kick failed); D – James Sims recovered blocked punt in end zone (Noah Herbert kick); CAL – Quinton 38 FG.
First downs 12 10
Total yards 256 192
Rushes-yards 44-158 20-73
Comp-Att-Int 8-16-0 15-30-1
Passing yards 98 119
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Punts-avg 5-29.8 5-40
Penalties-yards 5-46 2-15