From quarterback to running back to wide receiver to free safety to punt returner to kickoff returner, Milton Wright nearly does it all for the Christian Academy football team.
Now the sophomore will get the chance to show off his versatility on the state’s biggest stage.
Wright and his CAL teammates have advanced to the state final for the first time in program history and will face Danville at 1:30 p.m. EST Sunday in the Class 2-A championship game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.
The Centurions defeated longtime playoff nemesis DeSales in the third round before knocking off Mayfield – winner of four straight state titles and 24 consecutive games – in last week’s state semifinals.
“It’s a crazy, amazing feeling,” Wright said, “and when you do it with this band of family it’s pretty cool.”
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Wright has 25 touchdowns this season, including at least one in every game for the Centurions (13-1), who have a 13-game winning streak since a season-opening 41-14 loss to Simon Kenton.
Wright’s primary spot is at wide receiver, where he has a team-high 42 receptions for 730 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also sees time at running back and quarterback in the Wildcat formation and has rushed for 190 yards and a touchdown and completed 8 of 11 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown.
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“The more opportunities he has with the ball in his hands, the more good things are going to happen for us,” CAL coach Stefan LeFors said. “My job is to find ways to get him the ball more and let him get in open space.”
Wright ranks fourth on the team with 46 tackles (28 solo) and has posted five interceptions (returning three for touchdowns) and one fumble recovery.
He’s also dangerous in the kicking game, having returned four punts and two kickoffs for touchdowns. His biggest game came in a 42-0 victory over Washington County in the second round of the playoffs, when Wright had touchdown receptions of 51 and 10 yards and returned punts 55 and 57 yards for scores.
Danville coach Clay Clevenger said Wright is impressive on film.
“He’s a playmaker, and in high school football if you have one on your side you try to milk him,” Clevenger said. “He lines up all over the field, and it’s hard to get a bead on him. He does a great job at free safety, and he’s really dangerous in the kicking game. He impacts all areas of the game.”
LeFors said Wright will only continue to get better as he improves his route running and gains a better understanding of tendencies on both sides of the ball.
“Part of me wants more out of him,” LeFors said. “He’s such a weapon at receiver and anywhere on the field we put him all eyes are watching him, rightfully so. He’s come a long way from last year, and he’s going to continue to get better.”
Wright said he’d prefer to play wide receiver in college, and he already has a scholarship offer from the University of Louisville. He’s expected to join the CAL basketball team next week – he averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 rebounds as a freshman – and hopes to do so as a state champion.
Wright said the victory over Mayfield showed what the Centurions are capable of.
“I believe the whole state thought we were underdogs because of their winning streak and coaches and what they’ve done,” he said. “Our whole attitude around that week was that we had a job to do, we’re going to do it and we’re going to finish. …
“We can’t overlook anybody. This is our first time and now people are going to be like, ‘Can they actually finish?’ We have to finish.”
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
STATE FOOTBALL FINALS
At Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, Bowling Green
All times EST
* Class A: Beechwood (13-1) vs. Hazard (12-2), 8 p.m.
* Class 3-A: Central (9-5) vs. Belfry (13-1), 6 p.m.
* Class 6-A: Trinity (14-0) vs. Lafayette (13-1), 9 p.m.
* Class 2-A: Christian Academy (13-1) vs. Danville (12-2), 1:30 p.m.
* Class 4-A: Franklin-Simpson (14-0) vs. Johnson Central (13-1), 4:45 p.m.
* Class 5-A: Bowling Green (14-0) vs. Pulaski County (12-2), 8 p.m.