* The public is invited to attend a parade to send off the team Tuesday afternoon. Line-up is for noon, and the team will leave for 12:30 p.m. They will start by taking a left out of Carencro High onto Butcher Switch, a right on University, right on East St. Peters Street, left on Church Street, right on Veterans to I-49. *
Capturing a Class 4A football championship in Louisiana is almost like saving a princess, captured high above in a castle tower surrounded by guards, a moat and a dragon. Always a dragon.
Since 2009, the gates of that guarded tower have been locked by essentially two teams, Neville and Edna Karr. Neville, who won the championship in 2009, has won four titles, but played in six of 11 championships. Edna Karr, has won five, including the last four. Tuesday the Cougars will play in in their 10th championship in 11 years. In this reign only Franklinton in 2010, and East Jefferson in 2013, have managed take home a 4A championship, something Carencro eyes this week.
The Bears will be playing in for a title for the first time since 2011, they haven't won one since 1992. To end that drought Carencro must slay the dragon, in the four-time reigning champions, Edna Karr.
"We have a lot of respect for that program, what coach Brice [Brown] and his staff and athletes have done over there," said Carencro coach Tony COurville. "They're playing for their fifth consecutive championship, and [have played in] 10 out of 11 state championships. That's unbelievable and programs, such as ourselves, aspire to be that."
Karr presents a challenge Carencro hasn't seen a ton of. A strong, spread passing attack. Yes Carencro beat Southside and Teurlings this season, two teams who throw the ball a lot, but the Bears compared what they're about to face to the one team who beat them this year, St. Thomas More.
The comparison is straight forward, schematically the two are most alike, in comparison to Teurling's and Southside's schemes.
Carencro lost to STM 37-22 in November. It was the most points allowed by the Bears in two seasons. Their defense has been a calling card the past two years. In Carencro's three playoff games this year the defense has allowed just 28 total points in three games. Before the team's 49-7 win over Neville, Couville stressed ball-possession offense. Ahead of Tuesday's championship game, Courville is doubling down. Apparently the moniker is wrong, perhaps the best defense is a "ball hogging offense."
"I say this every week, our offense has to be our defense, keep Karr's offense off the field," said Courville. "You do that they can't score.... We take those long time-consuming drives, those double-digit-play drives and finish with scores, touchdowns."
"Last week we got off the field and they [the offense] held the ball for 10, 12 minutes of the second quarter. That was big because we were on the field so much in that first quarter of the game. I feel like we needed a break, and they came through," said senior defensive back Bailey Despanie.
Carencro plays Edna Karr in the 4A championship Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches.
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