Owensboro Catholic has seen its football season end in Week 2 of the KHSAA Class 2A State Playoff the last two seasons but coach Jason Morris and company to ready to change that trend.
The Aces will try for their first road playoff win since 2010 when they take on Hancock County Friday in Lewisport as Catholic is also trying to advance to the third round for the first time since 2017 with McLean County and Murray ending their season the last two years in the second round.
“The last two years have beens some eye-opening experiences for our guys,” Morris said. “We’re not taking any game for granted, especially in the playoffs. Our kids are focused right now, it’s all about alignment and assignment and just taking care of ourselves. We’re going to see how far this takes us.”
The Hornets edged the Aces 30-29 back on Oct. 16 when they were stopped on a two-point conversion attempt late in the game.
Morris said every week they have the same goal.
“Our mindset has been the same ever since we lost that game,” he said. “It’s been to take care of ourselves and to make sure that we are, as individuals, prepared for every single day … As a team, we can perform together.”
Catholic junior Braden Mundy started his first game ever at quarterback Friday during the Aces’ win over McLean.
He said he was ready for the challenge when Morris looked his way.
“I just felt like it was the best decision for us if we were going to run the football through the playoffs,” he said. “I just did my job and did what I had to do.”
Morris said he was proud of his quarterback.
“I thought overall he played pretty well,” Morris said. “He showed some of his explosiveness back there and there were some times where we’d get to the edge and there’d be a little create and he’d hit it and get us eight yards or 18 yards, just kept the chains going.”
Mundy was 4-4 passing the ball with 94 yards and a score but he also hurt the Cougars with his legs as he had 116 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Hunter Monroe also did plenty of damage with his 157 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
For Morris, their ability to run the football was a big bright spot in the victory.
“There were a lot of positives,” he said. “Offensive line was moving people, we were blocking the right people, which is a big deal. Really it’s going to flow from there. All of our athletes are only going to look as good as our offensive line is going to allow them to look so kudos to them.”
Drake Steele and J Crabtree also impressed Morris, but on the defensive side of the ball for the Aces.
“They stepped in there and gutted it out,” he said. “That’s what you’ve got to do to win in the playoffs — next man up.”
Morris said Mundy will continue to get better as long as they need him to run the offense but his other quarterback found a way to put his fingerprints on the game as well.
Lincoln Clancy shifted from offense to defense and made several big plays for the Aces, but Morris said he wasn’t surprised with his junior standouts effort.
“I was really proud of Lincoln Clancy and the way he played on defense,” he said. “Take a great team-type attitude and went and made seven tackles on defense, a couple big time solo tackles that could have been counters from big players and he stepped in there. He’s ready to step in at quarterback at any time and we know we can win football games with them. I was super proud of Lincoln, the way he played special teams and defense.”
When Mundy and his teammates take the field Friday night in Lewisport, there will be a few things on their minds but the biggest will be rewriting history and remembering their friend.
“Don’t let the same thing happen that’s happened the past two years,” he said was the mindset. “Do it for our seniors, do it for Logan Davis. Just go out there and play hard.”