CAL’s defense dooms Bardstown

CAL’s defense dooms Bardstown


CAL’s defense dooms Bardstown


His defense playing well Friday night didn’t surprise Christian Academy of Louisville football coach Stefan LeFors.

The way the Centurions’ D dominated Bardstown did.

CAL held the Tigers — one of the top teams in Class 2-A in scoring and rushing —to minus-10 yards of total offense and three first downs, all via penalties, in its 21-7 District Four triumph Friday night.

“Wow,” LeFors said when told of the final first-down total. “Defense played lights out. We really made it tough on them offensively to do anything.”

Bardstown’s only touchdown came on a kickoff return to start the second half as CAL held the Tigers (4-2, 1-2), who came in fourth in 2-A in scoring (42.8 points per game) and fifth in rushing (268), 35.8 points below their scoring average and 280 yards below their rushing average (Bardstown had minus-12 yards on 25 carries).

“Defensively I’d say that was our best game,” said CAL sophomore defensive end Jake Paulson, who recorded three sacks.

Meanwhile, the Centurions’ offense rolled up 305 yards and got a pair of first-half touchdown runs from Nick Payne. CAL also received a punt return TD from Cal Lewellyn in the first quarter and a safety in the fourth quarter as the Centurions (7-0, 4-0), who are No. 3 in 2-A in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, remained unbeaten.

CAL, which entered the game No. 2 in 2-A in scoring defense and No. 1 in rushing defense, built a 19-0 lead at halftime.

The Centurions took the opening kickoff and went 71 yards in six plays — the biggest of which was a 55-yard pass from quarterback Tanner Young to Clay Davis — to take a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Payne capped the drive with a 2-yard TD dive.

The Centurions forced the Tigers to go three-and-out on their first possession and CAL’s Cal Lewellyn returned the punt 68 yards for a touchdown.

“That was big,” LeFors said. “He’s a slippery guy. That was a great return by him.”

The Centurions scored a TD just before halftime — and just after the rains came — after stopping Bardstown on downs at their 28. CAL marched 72 yards in 11 plays, including a 32-yard pass from Young to Dylan Shouse. Payne capped the drive again with another 2-yard touchdown run five seconds before intermission.

“That was a good drive right before halftime,” LeFors said.

That late TD drive gave the Centurions all the momentum heading into halftime. However, they gave it back at the start of the third quarter when Bardstown’s Keanu Young returned the second-half kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown.

CAL dominated time of possession in the second half, but could never score on three trips into the red zone, fumbling once and turning the ball over on downs twice.

“We’ll take the win and move on,” LeFors said.

Bardstown 0 0 7 0 7
Christian Academy 13 6 0 2 21

CAL – Nick Payne 2 run (Nathan Bader kick); CAL – Cal Lewellyn 68 punt return (kick blocked); CAL – Payne 2 run (kick blocked); B – Keanu Young 85 kickoff return (Trey Heiskell kick); CAL – Safety, ball kicked out of end zone.

Total yards -10 305
First downs 3 15
Rushes-yds. 25-(-12) 44-168
Comp-Att-Int 1-2-0 8-13-0
Passing yards 2 137
Fumbles-lost 3-0 4-2
Penalties-yds. 2-20 6-40
Punts-avg. 6-34 1-31


More USA TODAY High School Sports