Louisiana 4A Quarterfinal Predictions, Part I

No. 8 Northside and defensive tackle Tyler Porter (pictured) are on the road at No. 1 Karr in the 4A quarterfinals this week. Will Porter and the Vikings upset the No. 1 Cougars, or is Karr in the driver's seat for a semifinal berth?

(Last week's Class 4A picks: 6-2; Overall, 97-22)

NO. 8 NORTHSIDE (11-1) AT NO. 1 KARR (11-1) -- A fourth down, 15-yard scamper by Northside quarterback Jasper Turner gave the Vikings a 20-16 win over No. 9 Parkway last week in Lafayette.

Turner, who was hobbled by a bad ankle, only ran for 17 yards in the game (on 10 carries), but he was just fine through the air, completing 10-of-18 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown. 6-foot-5 WR Dwayne Benjamin -- with 3 catches for 137 yards, including a 51-yard TD reception -- was the primary recipient of Turner's throws.

Terrell Alfred
Tailback Terrell Alfred helped Northside control the clock by running for 147 yards (and a six-yard TD) on 26 carries. The Vikings had 21 first downs, but were flagged 17 times for 114 yards in penalties.

"Karr isn't what you'd call under the radar, but when you look at the brackets, they're not a No. 1 seed that you would pick to win it all," said prep football expert Brady Aymond of The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette.

"This is an interesting matchup of similar styles. The teams both have big lines and their coaches (Vincent Derouen of Northside and Karr's Jabbar Jaluke) are former college roommates.

"Northside has to go down to New Orleans on the day after Thanksgiving and that's always a concern; to have to get up and play the next day after a holiday. I always say that the quarterfinals provide the biggest home advantage in the playoffs, because the semifinals are inherently so big that the home advantage is somewhat taken care of (neutralized)."

Karr hasn't won pretty the past two weeks, beating No. 32 Wossman by eight points (22-14) and McDonogh #35 by a 19-8 margin last week.

Timothy Johnson
In the postseason, however, style points aren't required or necessary and the Cougars are doing what it takes to survive each week.

QB Tollette George, who threw for one TD and ran for another last Friday, has been the spark in both Karr playoff wins, and he's received some help from RB Johnathan Hill (42-yard scoring run vs. McDonogh #35).

Karr, which has only lost to undefeated 5A St. Paul's, has a salty defense that is paced by LB/S Matt Bailey, a Tulane commit. Fellow LB Timothy Johnson is another player to watch. Offensive lineman Derek Edinburgh is a human wall at 6-foot-6, 320 pounds.

These two teams, as Aymond described, are mirror images of one another. Both love to play smash-mouth football with the run, but they also possess the speed to burn opponents in the vertical passing game.

Each squad has a ferocious defense, but only Northside has defensive tackle Tyler Porter, an outstanding student/athlete who motivates his team like no other.

Northside, 19-17

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