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High-scoring Gators face stingy Cougars

Running back Jacquis Flores (1) will lead the South Terrebonne Gators into Friday's Class 4A regional playoff game against the Edna Karr Cougars at Behrman Stadium in New Orleans. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (Photo by Michael Conti/Staff)

The South Terrebonne football team has averaged more than 42 points a game this season.

Its second-round opponent in the Class 4A playoffs, the No. 7 Edna Karr Cougars, have allowed just over a touchdown a game in their last seven games.

The No. 10 Gators will see if their offense is up to the task of putting enough points on the board to move them into the quarterfinal round of the playoffs when the two teams meet in regional round play at 7 p.m. Friday at Behrman Stadium in New Orleans.

"Their defense is pretty stout," South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin said. "We are going to have to put some points on the board. We have got to control the football, and that's going to be hard to do against their defense. They haven't given up a lot of points this season. We are going to have to play well offensively."

The Gators (9-2) have some weapons on offense in running back Jacquis Flores (1,148 yards, 14 TDs) and quarterback Trevon Smith (699 rushing yards, 12 TDs on ground, 1,102 yards passing, nine passing TDs).

Senior linebacker/fullback Zachary LeBeouf has added nine scores on the ground for South Terrebonne.

"(Karr) is big and fast," Curlin said. "They are probably the biggest team that we have played so far this year. It's going to be a challenge to overcome the size disadvantage, but hopefully our Wing-T will give them a little bit of trouble."

Karr, the defending Class 4A runner-up, is led by sophomore quarterback Devante Noil.

"The quarterback can run and is a good athlete, and their offensive line averages 280 pounds," Curlin said. "Their defensive line is about the same."

Curlin said the Gators are focusing in the things they can control heading into the game.

"We are not going to get any bigger, faster or stronger between now and Friday," Curlin said. "The things we can control is to cut down on the amount of penalties and mistakes that we have been making. We have probably been averaging at least 10 penalties a game this season, and to have a chance, we have to cut down on that."

He also said the Gators will do their best to matchup with Karr's speed.

"We are going to have to play some people both ways and try and matchup the best we can," Curlin said. "Hopefully we can force a couple of turnovers."

South Terrebonne senior linebacker Devin Leger, who also carries the ball on offense at times, said the Gators will be ready.

"We just have to play our game of football and play to the best of our ability," Leger said. "We play hard. We have to do the little things right and make less penalties. If we do the little things right, big things will happen. We are trying to make big things happen on Friday. We are psyched to play in the playoffs. (For the seniors) we have been waiting for this since we were little kids. This is our senior year, so we want to go out with a bang."

Karr, who topped Warren Easton in the bi-district round, 13-0, won the District 9-4A title with a 5-0 mark in district play. The Gators are the District 8-4A runner-up.

The Cougars started the season with losses to St. Paul's and a team from Arlington, Texas, before going 8-1 the rest of the way, only falling to Salmen in the last nine weeks.

The Gators, who topped the defending Class 4A champion Franklinton 42-20 in the first round, have scored 40 or more points in all nine of their wins this season, falling short of that mark in losses to East Jefferson (34-27) and Assumption (48-29).

"We are playing well right now," Curlin said. "We are probably about as healthy as we have been since midseason, so we have that going for us."


The game can be heard on 106.3-FM and 1490-AM ... The winner of the game plays either No. 18 Franklin Parish or No. 2 St. Thomas More in the quarterfinals.