Talented Karr awaits Bulldogs in semis

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011



LUTCHER — Lutcher indeed earned a measure of payback last week as it defeated Teurlings Catholic, 17-7, in a Class 4A quarterfinal game.

Teurlings indeed eliminated Lutcher in the regional round in 2010, and neither coach Tim Detillier nor players themselves denied that that fact added motivation to the Bulldogs as they took the field.

But just as clear was this message: Payback is nice. But Lutcher’s got bigger goals in mind.

“It’s a great thing,” he said. “Obviously, we were a little more pumped tonight. But our goal is still to win state. We aren’t that excited yet,” said Lutcher defensive back Jordan Batiste.

Known for it’s high-flying, high-scoring offense, Lutcher won on the back of its defense last week in a 17-7 win.

Thanks to that, Lutcher now will have the opportunity to tangle with another metro-area team that’s had to earn victories in different ways this postseason: the Karr Cougars, who will host the Bulldogs Friday in a state semifinal matchup, one that will determine who marches on to the Superdome.

Karr started the season 1-3, with losses to St. Paul, Arlington Bowie (Texas) and Salmen on the road. But the Cougars caught fire after a 48-2 dismantling of Miller McCoy, ending the regular season with six straight wins and the District 9-4A championship.

Karr, 4A’s seventh seed edged Warren Easton 13-0 in a defensive battle in the first round of the postseason, then topped South Terrebonne 21-7.

But against high-powered St. Thomas More, Karr couldn’t rely on its defense to hold 4A’s second seed to a touchdown or less. And in a wild shootout with numerous lead changes, Karr emerged with a 35-31 quarterfinal win.

Karr’s offense is triggered by sophomore quarterback Devante Noll, who completed 23 of 31 pass attempts last week for 250 yards. His top target was Standish Dobar, who hauled in 10 receptions for 94 yards.

Nobody likely expected that the score would be only 10-7 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter in Lutcher’s quarterfinal clash with Teurlings Catholic. But that’s exactly what the scoreboard read, and it was time for Rebels coach Sonny Charpentier to make a faithful decision.

Teurlings elected to go for it on a fourth and seven play from its own 48, rather than punt the ball back to Lutcher. The move backfired, LHS stopping the Rebels on fourth down when Blake Roussel hurried ULL commitment D’Shaie Landor into a throwaway.

“We recognized the down and distance, and what they had been doing in those situations,” said Lutcher defensive back Jordan Batiste. “The slants and quick hitters. We got in on those.”

11 plays later, Lutcher’s Darez Joseph plowed into the endzone amid roars from his teammates and the crowd, and Lutcher had all but salted away a win.

“I thought field position was critical in the second half,” said Lutcher coach Tim Detillier. “We flipped that around. It won’t show up in the box score, but that was a big deal for us.”

Daniel Taylor got LHS rolling with a 7-yard run. Matherne hit DiJohn Payne for another 7 yard gain, then Matherne used his legs to gain 12 on a scramble. Taylor carried for five yards; a personal foul was then levied against Teurlings, putting the ball at the eight. Lutcher would face a fourth and goal from the 1 on the final play of the drive, and a handoff up the middle to Joseph took care of things.

Teurlings had two more shots at it, but would not cross their own 47; with 3:30 left, its best chance to get back into it was thwarted when Roussel and Joseph stopped Zach LeFleur in the backfield on a fourth down run.

Teurlings got off to a strong start after a long opening kickoff return, Landor capping the opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter.

“We learned from our mistakes on that drive,” said Batiste. “We played a more disciplined game after that. We did what we practiced all week.”

LHS responded on the first play of the second quarter, Daniel Taylor converting on a 22-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

Lutcher took its first lead with 8:10 to go in the third, and it perhaps forshadowed a change in the Bulldogs’ luck against a Rebels team that had eliminated it in two previous playoff encounters; Spencer Roussel converted a 36-yard field goal when it hit the inside of the right upright and bounced in for 3, making it 10-7.

“I felt like we didn’t get any breaks in the first half, but we did in the second,” said Detillier.

Both defenses stood tall for much of the night, and neither gave up the big play.

Teurlings missed on a golden opportunity early in the second quarter after their second kickoff return of the night was again returned a long way, this one going 66 yards. The Rebels had the ball at the LHS 5, but a blocked field goal by LHS’ Londres Johnson ended the threat. Another potential scoring drive stalled when LHS recorded a stop on fourth and one on its own 28.

Lutcher rushed for 220 yards, 189 of that on the legs on Taylor.

Ruston Matherne attempted just 10 passes, completing eight for 67 yards and no interceptions.

“They were very respectful of our passing attack, and I think they overplayed it to that end,” said Detillier. “A lot of people say they take what the defense gives. But do they really do it? I’m blessed with a coaching staff that sets out to do just that, and we relied on the running game tonight.”