This week’s GameTime matchup on YurView has the defending champs in Class 4A, the Karr Cougars face off against long-time foe McDonogh 35 in a rematch of a semifinal contest from a year ago.

Both teams have 4-1 records. Edna Karr has been a major power in Louisiana high school football as they’ve played in a title game in six of the last seven years. McDonogh 35 wants what the Cougars have and that’s sustained success.

Last season, Karr bounced McDonogh out of the playoffs, keeping Roneagles longtime head coach Wayne Reese, Sr. from appearing in his first state championship game.

In that semifinal contest last year, McDonogh led in the 2nd half, but with about a minute left in the 3rd quarter, the Cougars took the lead and never looked back and won 26-14.

13 Minutes

The motto for this year’s McDonogh 35 team has been “13 minutes.” They know they were 13 minutes away from playing for the state championship game.

The Roneagles return many of their talented skill position players from that contest, including dynamic quarterback LiJohn Howard, who is committed to play at Nicholls State. This season Howard has completed 60% of his passes for 863 yards, 9 touchdowns and four interceptions.

His two favorite targets are a pair of speedy wide receivers, Lawrence Keys and Jared Miles. Keys is one of the top wide outs in the state and can do just about anything. He has some of the top programs in the country recruiting him, including LSU, Auburn and Notre Dame.

Miles is bigger than Keys, and has big play potential as well. TCU, Houston, and Tulane are among the double-digit offers he’s received.

Opposing defenses can’t just concentrate on McDonogh’s passing game, because they also have a terrific good running back in Eddie Tillman, who has really come into his own this season. The power lifter and track star has 476 yards rushing and four touchdowns.

edna karr

On the defensive side of the ball, McDonogh features one of the top safeties in the state. Joe Foucha has offers from LSU and Auburn and several other big time programs. Foucha has a nose for the football as he scored five touchdowns last season.

Karr has different personnel on offense and they are relying more on the ground game and why not. Ronnie Jackson is a big back that’s hard to stop. He scored two touchdowns in last year’s 4A state championship game and earlier this year he found the end zone four times in a win over defending 5A champion, Landry-Walker.

Skylar Perry directs the offense from the quarterback position. He’s more of a dual threat QB than last year’s starter Aldon Clark. But Perry still possesses a big arm.

His favorite target is Anthony Spurlock, who is committed to Oregon State. He has big play potential with 4.45 speed and he’s also an excellent student with a 3.4 GPA.

An Opportunistic Defense

Karr is very opportunistic on defense. Devin Bush, Jamier Jackson and Chance Carroll have all returned interceptions for touchdowns this season. Bush is looking at attending LSU and Florida and he’ll follow Keys all around Tad Gormley Stadium on Thursday night.

This is the 12th year in a row these two schools have met. Edna Karr has dominated the series lately, winning nine straight. 2009 was McDonogh’s last victory over the Cougars.

The winner of this game gives themselves a chance at a number one seed in the Class 4A playoffs, but it’s also possible these two teams will meet again in the postseason.