Lexington Catholic has had its helmets hammered a few times this season, including lopsided losses to Class 6A bullies St. Xavier and Trinity.
But Knights Coach Bill Letton said the "mental and emotional low point" for his team was a 42-10 defeat to defending Class 4A champion Boyle County in early October.
The Rebels spotted Lexington Catholic an early field goal before steamrolling to a 28-3 halftime lead on the way to a fifth consecutive victory over their district rivals.
Six weeks later, it's time for a rematch. Boyle County, sporting a 27-game winning streak, hosts the Knights in a third-round playoff game Friday night.
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On paper and in the ratings, the Rebels are a decided favorite. But don't suggest that to Lexington Catholic senior linebacker/tight end Nate Letton.
"We're not going into this game thinking we're underdogs," he said. "Boyle County is one of the hardest places to play, and you can't go in with any psychological down-play on yourself at all.
"We'll absolutely be thinking we're the best team when we walk into that stadium Friday night."
Boyle County dominated from start to finish in the October beat-down, piling up 513 yards while holding the Knights to 167.
Nate Letton said it didn't have to be that bad.
"That loss was the toughest to swallow because watching the film, we could see that one person here or one person there, or one mistake here or one mistake there, the ball game could've drastically been changed."
Will Whitman, a senior offensive/defensive lineman for Lexington Catholic, said the key to knocking off Boyle County is in the basics.
"We have to be a lot more physical," he said. "Boyle County doesn't have the biggest line, but they launch well, get low and just drive you off the ball.
"You can beat them if you beat them on the line."
Boyle County won the first battle. Devon Cox rushed for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and Devon Hale threw for 123 yards and two TDs.
"The good thing is, we definitely know how good we'll have to play after what they showed us that first game," Whitman said. "We know we'll have to be at our best."
Lexington Catholic not only has to shore up its defense, its offense will have to put more points on the board.
Sophomore quarterback Kyle Bolin has steadily picked up his game as he showed in last week's win over West Jessamine. Bolin threw for 322 yards and three TDs, and ran for 99 yards and two scores.
Nate Letton said Bolin is an example of how the youthful Knights have developed during the last few months.
"If you compare how we looked in weeks one, two and three to the last three weeks, we're a completely different football team," he said.
Now comes the challenge of putting together a completely different performance against Boyle County.
Lexington Catholic beat the Rebels twice on its way to the 2007 state title, but Boyle County has won the last five meetings.
Nate Letton was asked if he thought his dad has been dreaming about the Rebels the past few days.
"Oh, gosh, he's been dreaming about Boyle County the last couple of years now," he said with a laugh.
The Knights don't want another Knightmare Friday night.