LCS to host playoff opener under the Friday night lights

Published 9:00 am Friday, November 3, 2023

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The playoffs are here for Lafayette Christian. The Cougars will be hosting Central Christian on Friday with a spot in the state semifinals on the line.

“From here on out, we are not playing any more bad teams,” LCS coach Jarred Pike said. “Every team that made the playoffs is here for a reason.”

The Cougars took out Central Christian 30-16 on the road earlier this season and will be looking for a repeat performance on their home turf.

“We beat them before in the regular season despite having four turnovers in that game,” Pike said. “If we limit the turnovers and can run the ball on them, then we should be able to advance to the next round.”

Lafeyette Christian comes into the game 7-2 with its only two losses coming against the reigning state champions and state runner-ups. It has been another impressive season for the Cougars after making it all the way to the GAPPS state semifinals a season ago.

The Cougars are being led to the playoffs by senior running back Ephraim Snyder, who has accumulated over 1,500 yards on the ground as well as 20+ touchdowns.

He will continue to be the focal point of the offense as the games become even more important from here on out.

The Cougars will have a number of players making their playoff debuts, including starting quarterback David Karvelas.

“I think we have a good mixture of guys that have playoff experience and guys that will be playing in their first playoff game,” Pike said. “We are just trying to keep it normal for them this week.” 

Karvelas has settled in nicely as the team’s starting quarterback this season.

He has received a lot of help from senior wide receivers Paul Batastini and Bruno Tellez as well as sophomore breakout player Johnathan Ross.

The offense has been strong this season, but it has been the defense that has led the way for the Cougars, allowing more than 30 points in just one game this season.

“We can give these teams any life or any momentum on offense,” Pike said. “We just have to start out fast and make sure we don’t put ourselves in a big hole.”

Eli Carroll has been a standout at defensive end, taking over for All-State player Cal Evert.

Carroll has all the makings of a future all-state player.

Friday night’s game will be a packed house as this will likely be the final home game of the season for the Cougars. A win will see the Cougars travel to take on Unity in the semifinals where a likely rematch with reigning state champions Sherwood would await them.

But the Cougars are taking it one game at a time.

“Sherwood is the best team in the league and on something like a 20 game winning streak, but we have to focus on the teams in front of us,” Pike said. 

Kickoff is set for 7:30 P.M. at Lafayette Christian School.