Karr begins quest for Class 4A repeat against Buckeye
Being in the state championship game six of the last seven years, anything less would be considered a disappointment, if not a failure for the brilliant program that is Karr football.
Former Karr star Brice Brown guided his Cougars to the Class 4A state title in 2016 and the Cougars are the top-seed entering the 2017 state playoffs when they host 32nd-seed Buckeye tonight at 7 p.m. at Behrman Stadium.
Karr (9-1) has lost only to Division II top-seed De La Salle (28-26). Karr has scored 33 or more points in its last seven games and the Cougar defense has yielded 10 or fewer points five times, including in its last three victories.
Karr made a statement with a 40-6 win over previously top-ranked Warren Easton last week so the Cougars are primed for the playoffs.
“We are very pleased with the way the kids played,” Brown said. “We want to show the sportswriters that we are worthy of being the defending champions, the top-ranked team and the team to beat. We believe in the process and hard work. We are excited to defend the title. We know we have a target on our chests and backs. We cannot overlook anyone.”
A victory would possibly get Karr a rematch with 16th-seed Carver in round two. The Rams host 17th-seed Bastrop at Joe Brown Stadium Friday night. Looking down the road, Warren Easton is in Karr’s bracket and if the seeds hold, a semifinal rematch could be in the works. Fifth-seed Plaquemine is a dangerous team as well.
Senior quarterback Skylar Perry has stepped up in the second half of the season. Perry, the current Prep Player of the Week at CrescentCitySports.com, has completed 92-of-164 passes for 1,469 yards and 14 touchdowns with three interceptions. Perry has rushed 80 times for 532 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The physical Karr running game has accounted for 2,378 yards and 36 touchdowns. Junior Ahmad Antoine has 92 carries for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns while junior Ronnie Jackson has 111 carries for 709 yards and 12 scores. Senior Anthony Spurlock is the top receiver with 23 catches for 574 yards and six touchdowns.
Buckeye (5-5) is coming off of a 31-19 loss to Tioga. The Panthers have just one win over a team with a winning record (DeRidder).
Senior Tory Carman is the quarterback in the run-heavy offense. Carman has rushed 193 times for 1,198 yards and 12 touchdowns and passed for three scores. Senior Austin Daily has 137 carries for 754 yards and 12 scores. Junior Justin Belgard has 116 rushes for 728 yards and seven touchdowns and he is the leading receiver with seven catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns.
“We take no opponent for granted,” Brown said. “We don’t take anyone lightly. Buckeye runs a triple option, a different style of play. We know we have to play hard, fight ourselves and be ready to play on a short week after an emotional game. We have preached staying focused.”
While his focus is clearly on Buckeye, Brown is casting a wary eye on a few other teams in the 4A playoffs.
“I’m interested to see McDonogh 35 on their side of the bracket, which is favorable for them,” Brown said. “I am pulling for Coach Reese and Coach Daggs. Our side is tough. We know you cannot sleep on Neville, just like you cannot sleep on our program. We know Warren Easton is good and Benton is unbeaten. There a lot of good teams. You simply have to focus on playing game-by-game.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…