Karr keeps rolling with 35-14 win over Rummel

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ALGIERS – A week after racking up over 560 yards of total offense and 54 points, the Karr Cougars appeared well on their way for a repeat performance against Rummel. However, the Cougars found themselves in an unexpected battle against an inspired Raiders squad, clawing their way to a 35-14 victory in District 9-5A play Friday night at Behrman Stadium.

Karr quarterback AJ Samuel threw four touchdown passes. While held to an uncharacteristically low 117 yards passing on 10 of 15 passing, the senior still came up with the big throws to produce points.

As if facing the most explosive offense in the Catholic League wasn’t a difficult task enough, Rummel dealt with a flu bug traversing its way through the roster this week. Short their starting center while several other players played at less than 100%, the Raiders held up wellfor much of the game but Karr’s 384 yards of offense against a depleted defense proved too much to overcome.

Rummel (5-4, 2-3) played perhaps their most spirited football of the season as senior quarterback Casey Avrard led the way for the Raiders, passing for 119 yards and rushing for another 65 yards with two touchdowns.

While the Karr offense is known for their quick-strikes and big-play passing attack, it was the ground game that did the heavy lifting. While the Raiders forced several fourth downs throughout the game, the Cougars converted every one of the them via the run.

Senior Deantre Jackson led the way, with 14 carries for 121 yards. Senior Christopher Vazquez also contributed with 14 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Karr (5-3, 5-0) received the opening kickoff and quickly put points on the board as they often do. Starting at their own 29-yard line, the Cougars marched 71 yards on 12 plays, scoring on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Samuel to Kylen Lampton.

After forcing a three and out, the Cougars did something else that’s become the norm. Make a key special teams play. The offense enjoyed great field position at the Rummel 48-yard line after a long punt return. With repeated handoffs to Vazquez, Karr doubled their lead at 14-0 whem he punched it into the end zone on a 1-yard run with 1:30 to play in the first quarter.

Facing the possibility of a blowout before the first quarter ended, the Raiders were determined not to be run out of the stadium. A 36-yard pass from Avrard to tight end Xavier Powell moved them to the Karr 39-yard line. Five plays later, a 23-yard pass from Avrard to Wide Receive Reuben Ramirez gave Rummel first and goal at the Karr 3. Two plays later, Avrard scored on a six-yard run, cutting the Karr lead to 14-7 to cap a 75-yard drive with 8:54 to play in the first half.

Karr answered on the ensuing possession. Starting at their own 20-yard line, the Cougars again marched down the field with a double-digit play drive. An 11-yard scoring pass from Samuel to Makhi Paris made it 21-7.

The Raiders threatened before halftime, moving the ball down to the Karr 29-yard line. Avrard took a huge hit on a six-yard sack, knocking his helmet off and causing him to leave the game for a play. Backup quarterback Generald Buggage rattled off a 13-yard run in his absence, giving Rummel a 4th and 3 but Avrard’s fourth down pass bounced off Evan Burg’s hands around the Karr 10-yard line and end the scoring threat.

Receiving the kickoff to start the second half and returning it to the 50-yard line, Rummel again moved the ball. Nine plays later though, the drive stalled out at the Karr 17 before the Raiders missed a 34-yard field goal attempt wide left.

Karr proceeded to put the game away. Samuel’s third touchdown pass of the night, a 15-yard connection with Tavis Williams, extended their advantage to 28-7 with 3:32 to play in the third quarter.

Rummel continued to fight and answered on the following drive. Starting at their own 35-yard line, the Raiders converted a 4th and 1 with a two-yard run at the Karr 3. Avrard scored his second rushing touchdown of the night on the next play, tightening the Karr lead to 28-14 with 11:33 remaining.

Karr secured an onside kick at the Rummel 49-yard line and scored four plays later. Samuel found Paris again, this time for an 18-yard touchdown pass that provided the final points of the night.

The win for Karr sets up a showdown for the outright Catholic League title next Friday night at Yulman Stadium against John Curtis. Rummel will look to build on a valiant effort in the always spirited matchup with rival Jesuit, also next Friday night.

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