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With all due respect to everything that's transpired up to this point... now it starts to get real. Everything we've seen so far has been (admittedly good) salads and side dishes. Now we get to sink our teeth into the real meat of the regular season, and football fans are predominantly carnivores.

Last week, the Louisville big school privates took center stage. This week, it's the little guys’ turn to settle the pecking order, at least temporarily. Of course, little is relative. The only thing small about DeSales and Christian Academy-Louisville is their classification. The talent and stakes are quite large. DeSales has been one of the top programs in the state for several years, winning back to back state titles in 2013 and 2014. CAL won it all last year and were, arguably, the best 2A team not named DeSales during those Colts championship years. From 2012 - 2015, the Centurions won the regular season meeting and the district title, only to have DeSales flip the script in the playoffs and win the region. Last year, CAL was able to buck that trend with a 21-14 post-season win on their way to the ultimate prize.

The Centurions (5-1) came out strong this season, if not a little disjointed on offense. The defense played lights out in a 28-14 defeat of 5A #5 South Oldham in a game that wasn't as close as the score would indicate. They followed that up with three consecutive defensive gems against Eastern, Central Hardin, and 3A #4 Elizabethtown. The defense was arguably the best in the class at that point. All CAL needed was for the offense to catch up and they'd be unstoppable, right? The last thing they needed was to lose their quarterback, which they did, for unspecified reasons. This affected not one, but two positions as star wide receiver Milton Wright assumed quarterback duties. Wright is a supreme all around talent, but he's playing out of position behind center. An upset loss to Newport Central Catholic followed, with Wright throwing four interceptions. Perhaps most surprisingly, the Thoroughbreds consistently won the battle in the trenches. I don't mean to imply that CAL should be written off as a top contender for the title, but the defending champs appear to be vulnerable at the moment. Beating Meade County 26-7 was a nice way to get back on the winning track, but was it enough to convince everyone that the Centurions are who we thought they were at the beginning of the season?

DeSales (6-0) has put together the best resume in 2A so far, in workmanlike fashion. The Colts have recorded victories over ranked 6A opponents Ballard and Butler, 5A #6 Fern Creek, and 3A #7 Lexington Catholic. Predominantly a running team, they like to spread the love around to several ball carriers. Running back Tyrell Watkins leads a punishing ground game along with QB Aaron Pfaadt. All together, six players have already rushed for over 100 yards so far this season. Pfaadt will look to build upon his best passing performance of the year so far(10/14 for 177 yards and a TD) in a running clock win over North Hardin in Week 6.

DeSales played eventual champion CAL closer than anyone last year, falling 12-7 in the regular season and 21-14 in the playoff rematch. This rivalry has been incredibly competitive in recent years. Don't look for that to change in 2017. Coaches Harold Davis and Stefan Lefors have done this dance many times over the last five seasons. There likely won't be many secrets on the field on Friday night. These are two of the top five teams in 2A and a probable district title, not to mention home field for the playoff rematch (you know it's going to happen), is at stake.