Franklinton hits the road for quarterfinal game against Karr

Published 3:30 pm Thursday, November 28, 2013

Franklinton is back in action tonight, squaring off against the defending Class 4A state champion Edna Karr in the quarterfinal round of the state Class 4A football playoffs.

The game is at 7 p.m. at Muss Bertolino Stadium in Kenner.

Both teams are coming off convincing wins last week. Seventh-seeded Franklinton (10-2) downed No. 10 Northwood of Shreveport, 35-14, while second-seeded Karr (11-1) defeated 15th-seeded Crowley, 55-6.

Franklinton’s losses were to Covington and East Jefferson. Both teams are still in the playoffs. Karr’s only setback was to perennial powerhouse John Curtis, 38-33.

This is the third time in five years Franklinton has advanced to at least the quarterfinal round.

“Our kids have been in this situation, and they know what it’s like to practice and play Thanksgiving week. It’s another week to be together as a team,” FHS coach Shane Smith said.

Smith said his players are prepared to lay it on the line for each other.

“The conditions will be tough,” Smith said. “It’ll be cold, windy and damp. Our coaches have invested a lot of time into this week.”

Running back Renaz Wilson and quarterback Ron Robinson have fueled the Demons running game, especially over the past three weeks.

Wilson has run for 482 yards and eight touchdowns over that time, while Robinson has gone for 344 yards and three scores.

Wilson eclipsed the 1,000-yard plateau last week and enters tonight’s game with 1,073 yards and 14 scores.

Robinson begins with 898 yards and 12 TDs rushing. Passing wise, Robinson has been solid. He’s 102 for 166 (61.4 percent) for 1,666 yards with 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Donovan Alonzo has 32 receptions for 639 yards and seven touchdowns, while Daryl Fortenberry enters with 24 catches for 490 yards and 10 TDs. Azende T. Magee has 28 receptions for 425 yards and six scores.

The Demon defense has been stout throughout the season. They have held 10 of their 12 opponents under the 20-point mark.

Shunti Conerly began last week with a team leading 70, with Martavius James (57), Relik Wilson (56), Taylor Scott (51) and Enrique Garrett (51) behind him.

Conerly and Garrett also started last week with 5.5 sacks each.

Karr has been doing a lot of winning over the past two years. The Cougars are 25-1 since the start of last season.

Smith said Karr has a very talented defense.

“I think they’ve got six kids who are offered by Division I schools. They are a very talented defense and very athletic,” Smith said. “Offensively, they’ve got Mr. Everything, Devante Noil. They play him at running back, wide receiver, and he played quarterback earlier this year. He’s capable of taking it the distance on any play.”

Karr rotates quarterbacks Noil and Kerry Taylor. Cougars coach Nathaniel Jones said who starts at QB depends on the package used to begin the game.

The running game for Karr is done by committee, with Dejon Richardson, Malik Matthews and Dillon Davis all getting carries.

The receivers are Glenn Irons and Jeriah Tolbert.

Defensively, Karr has held five of its last six opponents under 20 points and three of had seven or fewer.

Jones named end Gerald Willis, outside linebacker/strong safety Donnie Alexander and inside linebacker Jaevon Walton his top defensive players.

When asked about the key to this week, Jones said it’s always going to be field position and turnover margin.

“Things that may not show up as far as the hidden yardage like penalties, pre-snap and post snap penalties. Things that you can’t necessary account for,” Jones said.