Karr captures third straight Battle of Algiers with 24-0 shutout of Landry-Walker

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NEW ORLEANS — Edna Karr head coach Brice Brown described his 2017 team as a work in progress, developing into a team that can meet its championship aspirations.

“We’re going to be a grind-it-out team until we get better play from our quarterbacks,” Brown said.

That moniker fit the the reigning Class 4A champion Cougars on this night.

Ronnie Jackson led the way, piling up 109 yards rushing on 19 carries and four touchdowns as Karr outmuscled Landry-Walker, 24-0, at Behrman Stadium.

The rivalry game between the two neighborhood schools, often called the “Battle of Algiers,” featured two suffocating defenses through the first two and a half quarters. Karr’s special teams provided the difference, however, setting up short touchdown drives with a punt return and a blocked punt.

“That’s one of the best defenses in the state of Louisiana,” Brown commented. “Our running game was phenomenal.  After halftime, we cut down on the penalties and mistakes and came out and executed.”

Karr’s running game piled up 217 rushing yards, 141 after halftime, to keep the Cougars in control.

Landry-Walker head coach Emanuel Powell acknowledged the inability of his defense to keep up.  “They just got tired and frustrated,” Powell remarked.

The young quarterbacks were unable to find a rhythm for last year’s Class 5A champions as well. “We’re going to continue to struggle until we get better quarterback play,” Powell said. “We’re just young and inexperienced right now, and it’s going to take time.”

The first half showcased a pair of offense which largely sputtered, unable to muster much of a run game in the face of athletic defensive fronts.  Similarly, the quarterbacks mostly struggled throwing the ball, as each team threw an interception and completed well below 50 percent of their passes.

Karr’s Skylar Perry hit 4 of 14 passes for 34 yards and an interception in the half, while Tory Cargo led Landry-Walker with 3-12 passing for 51 yards.  Perry would finish 5 of 15 for 40 yards for the game, while the Landry-Walker quarterbacks managed only 7 of 30 passing for 99 yards.

With the offenses largely held in check, Karr relied on its special teams to set up its lone score.

Late in the second quarter Khalfani Simmons put the Cougars in business with a 53 yard punt return, allowing Karr to begin the drive at the Landry-Walker 12.  Three plays later, Ronnie Jackson punched it in from 3 yards out, giving Karr the lead 6-0.

One snap later, Sheldon Celestine stepped in front of a Ja’quan Dorsey pass and took it back to the Landry-Walker 36.  The Charging Bucs’ defense shut the drive down quickly, though, holding Karr on 4th down to turn the ball over on downs.

The Cougars again showed life late in the half, reaching the Charging Bucs’ 16 yard line.  But again the drive stalled, this time on four straight incompletions.

Karr (2-0) faces fellow unbeaten De La Salle next Friday at Tad Gormley in a game to be streamed live on Crescent City Sports.

Landry-Walker (0-2) seeks their first victory next Friday against Warren Easton at Behrman.

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