Thursday Night Lights: Carencro at Northside

Last week, Carencro senior RB Alex Johnson turned on the jets in the Bears' 35-7 win over East St. John, rushing for 257 yards and three TDs. On Thursday, he'll take his talents a couple miles south for a date with the Northside Vikings. Will Carencro move to 2-0, or will Northside pull off the upset?

Head coach Brent Indest and the Carencro Bears got the attention of everyone in Louisiana last Friday by soundly defeating East St. John (9-2 in 2010). Alex Johnson showed why he's perhaps the most underrated player in the state, ripping East St. John's defense for 257 yards, including a 74-yard burst on one of his three TD runs.

Northside, on the other hand, struggled in a 36-13 setback vs. defending 5A state champ Acadiana. The Vikings, however, could get a boost this week if senior QB Jasper Turner returns to the field. Over the past few weeks, Turner has been the subject of various rumors, including talk that he had transferred to Morgan City. Last night, reports surfaced that Turner will possibly suit up and take snaps for the Vikings on Thursday.

Unfortunately, whoever occupies the quarterback position for Northside will have to deal with the wrath of Carencro defensive tackle Jacoby Briscoe. A three-star senior prospect, Briscoe continuously harassed East St. John star QB Darion Monroe last Friday. He's assisted by defensive end Adam Clark (6-2.5, 215, Sr.) and defensive back Devante Benoit, who picked off a pass for the Bears.

Carencro's defense limited East St. John to 265 yards of total offense, while the Bears' offense, meanwhile, was hitting on all cylinders. Carencro mowed up 504 yards of total offense, 372 of which came on the ground. QB Jalen Nixon (6-2, 220, Sr.) deflated East St. John's hopes by connecting on an 80-yard scoring strike to Blaysyn Breaux early in the contest. When he wasn't handing off to Johnson, Nixon completed 3-of-6 passes for 120 yards and a score. He also added 67 yards and another touchdown on the ground.

Nixon has a couple of sure-handed targets in Breaux and senior wide receiver Shawn Thomas, and the Bears' double-wing offense is propelled by the blocking of senior offensive lineman Jordan Walker (6-4, 300).

To sum it up, Northside will need a terrific performance from its defense, which is led by junior safety Orlando Calhoun and senior linebacker Gaston Williams.

"I like the scheme our coaches have drawn up for the game," said Calhoun (pictured below). "I like to come off the edge and I'll have to be ready because they like to run reverses. We need to have sound tackling.

"There's been a lot of trash talk - starting last Friday - on the various social media networks. I'm trying to keep our defense focused and keep our guys humble. Gee (Gaston Williams) did a good job last week. We're trying to help fill the missing leadership (since DT Tyler Porter graduated). Some people have Carencro ranked number one in the state and we're using that as motivation. We don't have any room for error tomorrow night, but it's about who plays the hardest."

Last week, Northside QB Traven Lamelle threw for 119 yards. His favorite target was speedy Monkurvis Irvin, who hauled in eight receptions for 40 yards. Lamelle scored on a pair of one-yard runs for Northside, which reached the 4A quarterfinals in 2010.

Northside defeated Carencro last year, 34-17.

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