How defense paved way for Lafayette Christian Academy's fourth straight state championship
NATCHITOCHES — In the biggest game of the year, Lafayette Christian Academy was forced to play without Sage Ryan, the top-ranked safety in the nation. The defense hardly missed a beat at Harry Turpin Stadium.
The Knights (10-1) defeated St. Charles 12-7 on Monday to win their fourth straight state championship and second in Division III. St. Charles' only touchdown came on an interception return in the third quarter.
Recap:Lafayette Christian outlasts St. Charles Catholic for Division III state championship
"We had to step up big time," Lafayette Christian Academy coach Jacarde Carter said. "Guys made plays. Guys had to step up who usually don't play a lot. It was an all hands on deck approach."
Ryan, who signed with LSU this month, was injured in the quarterfinals earlier this month. He has played for the Knights since he was in eighth grade, and was a big contributor on offense, defense and special teams.
His impact was missed, Carter said, but the Knights had a stash of other weapons they could use to fill the void.
"With a guy having that much experience, there wasn't one guy who was going to fill that gap," Carter said. "It was going to take a team effort. Defense was going to have to step up because defense wins championships."
Masey Lewis, who transferred to LCA from East Ascension this year, was one of those players. He led the Knights with 10 tackles and was named the game's most outstanding player. Lewis has offers from Arkansas and South Alabama.
"I don't know how I feel," Lewis said about winning his first state championship. "When we won I just stood there and I was emotional. Like I wanted to cry. I was just shocked."
St. Charles (7-3) had only five offensive yards in the first quarter and finished with only 130 total yards. Bryan Green, Jordan Allan, Trent Hypolite and Luke Robinson were other key contributors for the Knights on defense.
Green came up big on multiple occasions for the Knights, stopping the Comets on crucial third down attempts. He finished with seven tackles.
Green, who fractured his thumb in the semifinal game against Newman and played with a cast, said the defense hyped each other up before every important down.
"I told everyone just do your job," Green said. "Once everyone did their job I came down and did my job and got the results we needed."
The Knights will be returning a slew of talent on defense next season, including Masey, Jordan and Green. Their goal is the same as it was this season: to go out and win another state championship.
"I'm ready to get my five, to get my fifth-peat," Green said.