NO. 20 TEURLINGS CATHOLIC (10-3) AT NO. 1 KARR (12-1) -- For many prep football fans, Teurlings Catholic has been the most surprising team in the playoffs. The Rebels entered the postseason with a reputation as a team that could move the ball on anybody, but their main problem was stopping opposing offenses.
Teurlings began the year with a 34-6 loss to undefeated defending 3A state champion Notre Dame, only to win their next four. That winning streak, however, came to a half the following week in a 40-27 loss to Northside that was broadcast on local television.
Led by savvy junior signal-caller Dshaie Landor, there was no question that the Rebels possessed the ability to score points in bunches, but the defense was not particularly impressive in the regular season, allowing just under 29 points per outing over the final five games.
Not to be deterred, Landor and his team promptly knocked off a trio of outstanding teams - Sam Houston, Lutcher (2009 semifinalist), and Neville (2009 state champ) - in the first three rounds of the playoffs.
Landor has thrown for almost 2,000 yards and run for 755 more with 23 TDs (16 passing, 7 rushing). RB Paul Begnaud and RB/WR Adam Angelle have combined for more than 1,400 yards on the ground, and Angelle (51-639, 5 TDs) is one of Landor's favorite targets through the air.
Northside, a district and neighborhood rival of Teurlings, was eliminated from the playoffs last week by Karr in surprisingly easy fashion (39-14).
The top-seeded Cougars quasi-struggled through their first two playoff games, recording modest margins of victory vs. No. 32 Wossman (22-14) and McDonogh #35 (19-8).
At the end of the day, of course, all that matters is getting the "W" and the Cougars have achieved that goal in all but one game -- an early-season loss to 5A quarterfinalist St. Paul's.
"Karr's front four on defense average about 6-foot-4, 260-pounds apiece and they have a linebacker (Timothy Johnson) who goes about 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. Their linebacker/safety, Matt Bailey, really impressed me. They just had too much on defense for us.
"Karr is going to send somebody on a blitz every play, so if Teurlings can stop that, then their quarterback will have time."
The Cougars shined on defense last week, returning two fumbles for touchdowns. Bailey, a Tulane commit, is the leader on that side of the ball for Karr.
On offense, QB Tollette George has completed 158-of-275 passes for 2,226 yards with 19 TDs (and 10 INT). George has also gained 470 yards rushing with 7 touchdowns.
WRs Jarrell Bennett and Rasheed Davis have a collective 84 receptions for more than 1,300 yards with 12 TDs.
Running back Aquanis Freeman (67-538, 6 TDs) is yet another option for the Karr offense, which runs behind a offensive line that includes junior manchild Derek Edinburgh.
Teurlings gives up a lot of size to Karr, but Landor has found a way to win each week of the postseason. In the second-round, he gashed Lutcher's defense by running for close to 200 yards, most of which came between the tackles.
Landor is a poised, confident leader and he guides the Rebels to another upset win tonight.
Teurlings Catholic, 25-24