Carencro wins first state football championship since 1992 with help from the past

Danielle Allentuck
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

NATCHITOCHES - To beat a dynasty like Edna Karr, Carencro needed to pull out all the stops. 

The Cougars (10-2), who had won four straight Class 4A state championships, were used to the pressure of playing in a title game. Carencro, meanwhile, had not made it this far since 2011. 

More:Carencro Bears dethrone Edna Karr for 4A title, win first state championship since 1992

The Bears (12-1) were more than prepared for the high stakes though, and they defeated Edna Karr 35-19 on Tuesday night to win their first state title since 1992 .

"We don't fear anyone," Traylon Prejean said. "We don't make it bigger than it is, we just play ball." 

To prepare his team, coach Tony Courville had Carencro football legends come to practice last week. Over 50 former players and coaches came to speak with them, including members of the 1992 state championship team. 

Carencro Bears take down Edna Karr to win the Class 4A LHSAA State Football Championship game. December 29, 2020.

Until Tuesday, that 1992 team stood as the Bears only state championship winner. Now, this team will be joining them in the record book.

"Some of them were on the right side of history," quarterback Tavion Faulk said. "Some of them were on the wrong side of history. They said that being on the wrong side of history is not going to feel good, so you always want to put yourself on the right side of history. It was the best feeling to come out here."

Courville was an assistant coach on the 1992 team, but he said that his players weren't interested in hearing his old stories again. "They said 'oh you're old coach,' " he joked.

The speakers last week included Mac Barousse, the coach of that 1992 squad, and Roland Eveland, who led the Bears to three state championship appearances. The visitors lined the sidelines, cheering loudly as Carencro put in their last practices before heading to Northwestern State. 

"They made it feel like we were already at the state championship," Kendrell Williams said. "Then when we got here, we were already used to it. We just wanted to make them proud."

Carencro used their stoic rushing game to wear down the Edna Karr defense. Williams finished with 139 yards and one touchdown, while Prejean had 115 yards and two touchdowns. On defense, the Bears held Cougars wide receiver Aaron Anderson, an LSU commit, to zero receiving yards in the second half.

Carencro Bears take down Edna Karr to win the Class 4A LHSAA State Football Championship game. December 29, 2020.

This game caps off one of the best seasons in Carencro history. Courville said he knew on June 9 that this team was special, and that was reinforced in the first week of season when they defeated perianal power West Monroe. Their only loss of the season came against district rival St. Thomas More, who won the Division II State Championship on Monday. 

"They are very resilient," Courville said. "Throughout this entire craziness, we were able to flow with it and here we are, state champions."