Bryan Station's bodacious offense, led by quarterback Ora "Bo" Johnson, has gotten most of the headlines for the Defenders this season.
But it was Bryan Station's jam-up defense, led by cornerback Jamaree Robertson, that led the Defenders past host Lafayette 28-14 in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs Friday night.
The victory earned Bryan Station a rematch with No. 1 Scott County next Friday. Scott County ripped the Defenders 70-30 last month.
Robertson was a one-man wrecking crew against Lafayette. He had 12 tackles, five of them for losses, as Bryan Station allowed its fewest points this year.
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Robertson credited his coaches for coming up with a "great game plan" and for "everybody playing up to their potential."
The Defenders certainly lived up to their nickname. Lafayette was 0-for-5 on crucial fourth-down plays. Four of the stops came in the red zone — at the Bryan Station 15, 20, 1 and 14 yard lines.
"That was real big," Bryan Station Coach Frank Parks said. "Our defense is finally starting to play like I thought they would. And Jamaree was great. He kind of lost it midway through the season and we didn't start him. But tonight he played like expected him to play all year."
Devon Key, Mikel Horton and Andre Davis also helped stymie Lafayette. Key and Johnson each had an interception.
Johnson turned in another solid game orchestrating Bryan Station's hurry-up offense.
He threw touchdown passes to C.J. Walker and K-CI Carmichael to give the Defenders a 14-0 lead. He ran for two scores in the second half.
Johnson completed 16 of 27 passes for 216 yards, and was picked off twice. He ran 15 times for 65 yards.
It wasn't the huge night he had in a 53-21 win over Lafayette earlier in the season when he threw for 320 yards and three TDs, and ran for 98 yards and two scores.
But it was plenty good enough.
"We've told Bo everything doesn't have to always be a big play, but the right play," Parks said. "He made the right plays pretty much every time tonight. His decision-making was great."
The Defenders also got a lift from sophomore running back Carmichael, who ran 19 times for 98 yards.
With Lafayette's defense keying on the pass, Bryan Station took advantage and rushed for 176 yards.
"They had a three-man front so we thought we could run the ball, especially with K-CI," Johnson said.
Lafayette's inability to convert fourth downs, and three turnovers, cost it dearly.
Senior Kylan Nelson rushed for 103 yards, including a 28-yard TD. Freshman quarterback Walker Wood completed eight of 14 passes for 153 yards. Michael Serafini and Dontavion Jackson each had three catches for a combined 139 yards.
But Bryan Station's defense came up with the big plays. That will be a must against Scott County next week.
Johnson said the Defenders are looking forward to the challenge.
"I promise you, you won't see what you saw the last time we played them," he said.
BRYAN STATION 28, LAFAYETTE 14
Bryan Station 7 7 14 0—28
Lafayette 0 7 7 0—14
BS—C.J. Walker 23 pass from Bo Johnson (Anthony Lopez kick). BS—K-CI Carmichael 4 pass from Johnson (Lopez kick). L—Walker Wood 1 run (Nathan Gillespie kick). BS—Johnson 15 run (Lopez kick) L—Kylan Nelson 28 run (Gillespie kick). BS--Johnson 5 run (Lopez kick).
Records--Bryan Station 5-5; Lafayette 3-8