By LARRY VAUGHT
After being ranked No. 1 overall in the state going into this season, Christian Academy of Louisville takes only a 6-4 record into tonight’s Class AAA playoff game at Mercer County — a team that beat Christian Academy 45-42 during the regular season.
Yet CAL lineman Johny Young, a Kentucky commit, remains convinced that his team not only can win tonight but also for five straight weeks to claim another state championship.
“We are battle tested. We played three overtime games. We played good teams,” said Young. “We believe in the playoffs, just throw everything out the window. The regular season was just a warmup for this.
“We’ve experienced a lot this year. We’ve been in close games with Ballard, South Oldham, DeSales and Mercer County. We got our butts handed to us by Boyle County (71-28) and we didn’t like that. We had a shootout with mercer. We had a wild overtime game with DeSales. That’s why I say we are prepared for the playoffs.”
Young said playing Mercer a week after the lopsided loss to Boyle was no excuse for his team’s loss.
“Not taking anything from Mercer but we did not play the way we should have,” Young said. “I can’t speak for our team but I have this Friday circled on the calendar. This team (Mercer) came in and outplayed us. That’s not the way we roll.
“Our defense has dome on since then. We are flying to the ball a lot better and our offense is clicking. I really think we are on our way to playing our best ball.”
Mercer coach David Buchanan thinks CAL is playing better now, too, but his team is 8-2 with losses only to Boyle and DeSales. A win tonight would get the Titans a chance to play DeSales again in the second round of the playoffs.
“Our district has been labeled ‘the group of death.’It is the toughest district any of my teams have been in, going back 28 years,” Buchanan said. “Beating CAL twice would be a huge accomplishment. It would be big for giving our kids confidence not just this season but in the seasons ahead of us as well.”