For the first time in Home School Christian Organization’s history, the East Central Patriots are going to the playoffs.

This season the Patriots made great strides building a winning program. The Patriots finished the regular season 5-4 (3-1). This is the first winning record after the regular season. The Patriots finished 4-6 last season, missing the playoffs.

Mike Long, who was the football coach last year, retired at the end of the season. Long was also athletic director. New coach Jason Scott is leading the Patriots this season. The Patriots also added a strength and conditioning program for the players in the offseason.

The turning point in the season came on the road at Ezekiel Academy. The Patriots trailed 40-22 midway through the third quarter. East Central dug in and had their first major come from behind victory. Led by Tony Paffumi’s 251 yards of total offense and his brother Dominique Paffumi’s 142 total yards and Knox Cooper’s 12 of 24 for 224 yards passing, The Patriots won the game 50-46. The Patriots defense held Ezekiel to only 6 points the rest of the second half. Seth Allison had 12 tackles for the Patriot defense and Micah Smith led the way with 15 tackles, including the game sealing last play.

East Central won three of their last five games to finish the regular season. The Patriots will host LightHouse. The Warriors and the Patriots played just two weeks ago with the victory going to the Patriots winning 40-27.

Powerhouse Evangel Christian is the one seed and will host Ezekiel. East Central is the two seed and will host three seed Lighthouse. Kickoff for East Central and LightHouse will be tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Clay City Field.

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