The team finished with the best regular-season record in school history at 7-3 and placed third in its region with a 2-2 mark.
This afternoon, players, coaches and staff will board a bus bound for Powder Springs to take on Praise Academy in the opening round of the Independent Christian Schools of Georgia and Alabama Athletic Association playoffs.
Lafayette Christian capped its regular season with a 49-28 over North Georgia on senior night.
For the Cougars, the senior-night win did more than just cap a winning season, it also gave the team a huge boost in confidence.
“It was just a great win and we had never won on senior night,” coach Nick Nehring said. “For one thing, that was very big in itself. It was a good game, too. It was tied in the second quarter and in the third quarter. The game got close again, and they were within a touchdown. We had to fight. It wasn’t like they rolled over and died. We really had to assert ourselves if we were going to win the game.”
The coaching staff and players have worked throughout the week to prepare for the playoffs, and Nehring hopes that effort pays off tonight.
“Things have been going good,” Nehring said. “Everybody’s been at practice getting after it. They have shown some excitement about the game coming up (tonight). I think the guys really are hungry, you know they’re hungry to go play a playoff game.”
Praise Academy plays out of the north region and sports an 8-1 record, with its only loss coming on the last game of the season by a score of 66-36 to Heritage Christian.
Praise recorded three shutouts over opponents this year, scored more than 50 points in three games and 67 against Harvester Christian Academy.
Praise finished second in the region behind Heritage Christian.
Heritage won the region by virtue of its victory over Praise in the season finale.
“They’ve got a very good record and a couple of very good athletes at running back,” Nehring said of Praise. “They’re a good team, they just really are and we’re going to have to play four quarters. We’re going to have to play well, but I think our guys are definitely up for that challenge. We’ve had to play some tough games throughout the year.”
The Cougars had been dealing with injury issues, but Nehring confirmed most everyone on the team is healthy, including quarterback Matt Brown, who suffered a shoulder sprain a few weeks back, and Sean McClendon, who has been dealing with a strained back.
“We’re looking pretty good right now,” Nehring reported. “I think health-wise, we’ve got to be thankful.”
The Cougars will rely heavily on Brown tonight, who has had a terrific season.
Also, McClendon and Trey Kirkland have had strong seasons running the ball.
Most of the players will play on both sides of the football.