Edna Karr 48, Bastrop 19
ALGIERS — Freshman Aaron Anderson caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for another as the two-time defending state champion Edna Karr Cougars posted a convincing 48-19 Class 4A state quarterfinal victory over Bastrop on Friday night.
Anderson began his big night by returning the opening kickoff 42 yards to the Bastrop 36, with an additional 15 yards stepped off for a horse collar infraction.
Karr (14-0), however, was unable to immediately capitalize on the choice field position as the Rams' defense dug in for the stop on fourth-and-goal from the 2.
Bastrop was unable to move the chains on its initial possession, and the Cougars took over at the plus-30 on the punt.
Two snaps later, quarterback Leonard Kelly fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to Anderson. Aaron Fostertacked on the first of six extra points to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead with 8:21 still to play in the opening period.
Bastrop squared the score at 7 when Quaterius Hawkins kept for 49 yards to set up his own 1-yard TD plunge with 3:51 left in the quarter. A.J. Fenceroy added the extra point.
After Karr went three and out, Calvert "Big Body" Johnson beat double coverage for a 43-yard touchdown reception from Hawkins to put the Rams up 13-7 with 1:22 remaining in the opening frame.
Karr regained the lead for good on its next series. Kelly delivered the second of his four touchdown passes, a 32-yard toss to Jahaii Howard, to put the Cougars ahead 14-13, 10:45 before halftime.
Any hopes of the Rams ending Karr's 25-game winning streak were all but dashed in the latter stages of the second quarter.
Lonte Nettles' 3-yard run widened the gap to 21-13 with 2:04 on the clock.
Bastrop went three and out on its next series, setting the stage for Anderson's 70-yard punt return, which increased the Cougars' advantage to 28-13 with just 43 seconds remaining in the half.
There was no further scoring until Kelly and Anderson hooked up a second time, from 15 yards out, to give Karr a commanding 35-13 lead with 9:02 to play.
Jordan Mansfield's 5-yard touchdown catch gave the Rams a glimmer of hope, closing the gap to 35-19 with 6:34 remaining.
Karr countered just over two minutes later on Kelly's 2-yard pass to Howard, bringing the score to 42-19.
Nettles wrapped up the scoring on a 51-yard burst with 1:26 on the clock.
Stats were fairly even as Karr held a 338-297 edge in total offense.
Led by Ronnie "Action" Jackson (23 carries, 132 yards), the Cougars rushed for 271 yards. Nettles was a model of efficiency with 48 yards and two touchdowns on just five carries.
Kelly completed 9-of-18 passes for 121 yards and four touchdowns without throwing a pick. Anderson finished with three catches for 44 yards, followed closely by Howard with three for 41. Both hauled in two TD passes.
Hawkins completed 20-of-47 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Rams, who could manage just 71 yards on the ground. He was also the team's leading rusher with seven carries for 75 yards.
Johnson (5 receptions, 82 yards, 1 TD), Fenceroy (7-52), Christian Smith (4-31), Tyrin Smith (2-35) and Jordan Mansfield (2-26-1) caught passes for the Rams, who closed out a 9-3 campaign.
Karr (12-0), the No. 1 seed, will host No. 4 Neville (11-1) on Friday in the semifinals. Neville was a 21-0 winner over No. 5 Lakeshore in the quarterfinals.
In the lower half of the bracket, No. 6 Leesville slipped by No. 3 St. Martinville 53-49 and No. 2 Warren Easton manhandled No. 7 Shreveport Northwood 34-6. Warren Easton (11-1) will be at home for the semifinals against the Wampus Cats (13-0) on Friday.