By RICK PETERSON
It's hard to comprehend some of the numbers that senior quarterback Carter Brian and the Cair Paravel Latin football team have put up this season.
Cair Paravel has outscored its opposition by a 560-78 margin and not had a game closer than 42 points en route to a perfect 10-0 season, while Brian has ranked among the nation's best Eight-Man passers, throwing for 2,179 yards and 48 touchdowns.
But while the Lions' incredible season might be a surprise to those outside the Cair Paravel program, Brian said it's not a big shock to his team.
"We worked hard all summer,'' Brian said. "We played 7 on 7, we were lifting and doing all the things we needed to do and we knew that it was possible for us to be undefeated and when it came to game time, we just executed.''
Now the goal is to cap off the dream season with a win in Saturday's 1 p.m. Kansas Christian Athletic Association title game against perennial KCAA power St. Mary's Academy at Highland Park.
The Lions handed the Crusaders their only loss of the season in a 54-8 home regular-season victory in Week 5, a win that Brian said was a big momentum-builder.
"That was definitely a big statement game,'' Brian said. "I think it proved to us we were better than we thought we were and that we could hang with any team.''
But Brian said the Lions also know things will be tougher the second time around.
"They're going to come at us this Saturday, so we've really got to amp it up,'' he said.
Saturday's game is also big for Brian from the standpoint that it could be the final Eight-Man game of his career.
"I love Eight-Man football,'' Brian said. "I never played 11-man football, so I don't really know what to compare it to, but it's definitely different. I don't get up on Saturdays and watch Eight-Man college football.
"I think what I like about Eight-Man is that it's just a lot easier to relax and get accustomed to reading a defense. I wouldn't say it's easier than 11-man, because I can't say that, but you defnitely do have to account for less people on defense.''
Next season Brian plans to tackle a new challenge, hoping to get a shot to play college football.
"The dream is to go Division I, but as of right now juco looks like the most promising,'' said Brian, the son of former Topeka West head coach and current CPLS assistant Tom Brian. "The transition to 11-man football from a player's perspective is it's probably going to be a lot faster and a lot more details to take into acount, but I've been around the game since I was like two to three years old, so I think that I can make the transition.
"It will just take hard work and film, learning how to play better as an 11-man quarterback than an Eight-Man quarterback.''