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NEVILLE: Tigers fail in title bid against Karr


12:00 AM, Dec. 08, 2012 EST

Neville's Andre Fuller (2) makes a juggling catch on a 16-yard pass from John Diarse with seconds left in the first quarter during the Class 4A state championship game against Edna Karr at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. / Arely Castillo/The News-Star

NEW ORLEANS -- Sequels rarely live up to their predecessor, but the Neville-Edna Karr rematch for the Class 4A state title Friday had all the makings of a marquee movie.

Karr's speed eventually broke through in the Cougars' 29-22 win against Neville in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

This Cougars' senior class gets its first championship in its third consecutive Dome trip.

Karr running back Jeremy Jamison's 53-yard run gave the Cougars the go-ahead score with a 29-22 lead with 4:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Cougar quarterback Devante Noil ducked in for the two-point conversion, much like his fourth-and-three conversion near midfield.

Neville faced a third-and-29 from its own 12, and a short gain and pass led to a shanked punt.

The Tigers defense held near the goal line, but a last-gasp hook-and-lateral play ended with Salarrious Jones laying on his own 45-yard line.

The Cougars' senior class won its first championship in its third consecutive Dome trip as Karr finishes 14-0.

Neville's winning streak ended at 27 games as the Tigers lose their first contest in more than two calendar years, falling to 13-1 on the season.

The Tigers took their final lead on a Brian Barefoot 45-yard field goal, giving Neville a 22-21 edge with 6:30 left.

Field goals instead of touchdowns was the theme for Neville as Barefoot went 3-of-4.

Noil snaked in for a 1-yard run in the third quarter for a 21-19 edge with 9:47 remaining. A missed extra point kept the lead at two points.

Neville cashed in on one of two Karr fumbles at the end of the third quarter as quarterback John Diarse snuck in from 1-yard to build a 19-15 edge.

Karr had great field position all night, but a bad snap to Noil caused a fumble that Neville's Otis King recovered.

Diarse and running back Salarrious Jones shouldered the offense all night. Diarse gained more than 150 yards on the ground while Jones chipped in more than 60.

Diarse, the only Neville senior to play in three title games, ended his career with Neville's MVP award.

Jamison won the honor for Karr as he crossed the 100-yard rushing mark.

In the first half, Neville controlled possession but the Karr defense forced Tiger field goals instead of Neville scoring touchdowns.

The Tigers penetrated the Karr red zone four times, but two field goals and a touchdown had Neville trailing 15-13 at halftime. Karr scored touchdowns on its only two possessions in the Neville red zone.

Neville's first possession ended in a missed Brian Barefoot 20-yard field goal, which hit the upright.

The Tigers cashed in with a touchdown on the next drive as Diarse scrambled and found Fuller for a 15-yard pass. Fuller bobbled the throw, but maintained possession despite contact.

In the first quarter, Neville ran 19 plays to Karr's four, including only one Cougar play that gained yards.

But Karr quickly regained momentum with two 25-yard gains and finished a 70-yard drive with a Jamison 2-yard run. Karr converted the two-point conversion when holder Elcee Refuge fit a pass into Standish Dobard for an 8-7 Cougars' lead with 10:47 remaining in the second quarter.

Neville exchanged a Karr fumble for a Barefoot 24-yard field goal, taking a 10-8 lead with 5:28 left in the second quarter.

Neville's Ashley Johnson set up the possession by stripping Karr's Noel Ellis on a punt return, and Neville's Trey Lamastus returned the fumble 12 yards to the Tiger 22.

Karr retook the lead late in the second quarter when Noil hooked up with an open Glenn Irons for a 20-yard touchdown, giving the Cougars a 15-10 edge.

Barefoot made a 35-yard field goal as the first half expired, cutting Karr's lead to 15-13 at the half after Neville hurried down the field.

 

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1 Richwood High School
Monroe, LA
15-3-0
2 Ruston High School
Ruston, LA
15-7-0
3 Wossman High School
Monroe, LA
16-2-0
4 Neville High School
Monroe, LA
12-2-0
5 Farmerville High School
Farmerville, LA
0-0-0

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