Scouting Karr/St. Thomas More

Derek Edinburgh

With LSU commit Derek Edinburgh providing protection from his left tackle position, Karr QB Devante Noil completed 25-of-32 passes Friday night in No. 7 Karr's 35-31 road win over No. 2 St. Thomas More in the Class 4A quarterfinals. Read further to get the details from the game.

Watching Karr in pregame warmups, a few things immediately came to mind: first, three-star OT Derek Edinburgh continues to firm up and shed fat. Edinburgh looked svelte both with and without the pads on, and the 6-foot-7 tackle paved the way for 398 yards of total offense for Karr on Friday. Sophomore QB Devante Noil had to feel comfortable with Edinburgh guarding one flank. Edinburgh lined up in a two-point stance on almost every down and, not surprisingly, dwarfed any and all pass rushers. He was in better physical condition than I expected with not much excess body weight.

Karr's roster is full of good-looking players and junior TE Standish Dobard is one of the most impressive specimens. Dobard looks to be in the neighborhood of 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds (as advertised). He often lined up beside Edinburgh in a virtual wall on the left side. At other times, Dobard would move out to the slot or split end. He caught a season-high 10 passes vs. St. Thomas More and showed the ability to grab a pass when a heavy lick was imminent. Dobard actually coughed up the football on a fumble after his first catch - setting up St. Thomas More for an early field goal - but after that the junior snatched any pass thrown in his direction. The Karr coaches showed their confidence in Dobard following the fumble - by going to him immediately and repeatedly on their next possession. He looks to be a Top 10 in-state player in the '13 class, as is CB Noel Ellis.

Ellis looked faster than what has been previously reported. He may not run a 4.50 but he gets around the field in a hurry. Ellis isn't a big corner but he's sinewy and strong; STM receivers were frequently frustrated by Ellis' violent jams at the line of scrimmage. He issued a jarring hit to Jon Juneau, who is a big (5-11, 200), physical back. Ellis also saved a potential touchdown with an open-field tackle on STM's No. 1 wideout (LSU baseball commit Andrew Stevenson).

Karr has a couple more playmakers in the secondary in Elcee Refuge and Melvin Davis. Rufuge's 46-yard pick six gave Karr its first points and lead of the game. Later in the contest, Davis - a senior safety with several offers - stripped the pigskin from the hands of an STM ballcarrier to halt a drive. On the play in question, Davis simply reached in and snatched the ball away from the opponent.

WR Jarrell Bennett is the emotional leader of Karr's team. During warm-ups, the team followed the cue of the excitable Arizona commit. Prior to kickoff, Bennett inspired his teammates by personally greeting each one as they ran onto the field. Once the action officially began, Bennett continued to shine, catching six passes for 138 yards and the game-winning TD.

Check out these heroics from Bennett:

An STM punt pinned Karr at its own 7 with only 1:38 remaining in the game (and Karr trailing, 31-28). On the next play from scrimmage, Karr stunned the capacity crowd when Noil connected with Bennett on a 71-yard pass down the left sideline. A few plays later, Noil found Bennett in the middle of the end zone for the go-ahead TD on a 13-yard strike. Bennett isn't big and he doesn't have blazing speed, but he's fearless. At one point, he took a violent hit in the back that sent shivers through the Karr faithful. Unfazed, Bennett bounded off the turf like it was a day in the park. He exhibited body control when making a catch near the sidelines. Bennett would go up in the air and then precisely tip-toe the boundary as he came down with the ball. He bounces sharply in and out of his cuts and is light on his feet.

Karr's defensive front four is a sight to see. The unit, which consists of Darrian Dyson, Leonard Washington, Titus Charles and Gerald Willis, resembles a college front more than a prep d-line. Dyson, listed at 6-foot-3 on Scout, appears to closer to 6-foot-5. He and Dobard appeared to be the same height. Willis (pictured at bottom), the younger brother of Landon Collins, is listed at 6-foot-3 and is a couple inches shorter than Dyson.

You can't say enough about Devante Noil. The sophomore lefty completed all but one pass in the first half and placed the pigskin on the money to Bennett twice on Karr's final drive. The vast majority of Noil's 25 completions were down the field. Karr rarely utilized screens, preferring to let Noil find openings in St. Thomas More's coverage. Noil sees the field much better than you'd anticipate from a young QB who isn't even 6-foot-tall. He rifles the football into tight spots and was able to air it out with no problem on the long pass to Bennett. Moreover, Noil also led all rushers with 122 yards on 11 carries with a TD. Although he only weighs in the neighborhood of 165-to-175 pounds, Noil runs with the tenacity of a 215-pound tailback. He would appear stuck in a logjam near the line of scrimmage, then would suddenly burst ahead for seven or eight more yards.

Jon Juneau and Matt Flores both had their usual success toting the ball for St. Thomas More. Juneau showed why he was the Overall MVP at the Lafayette National Underclassmen Combine, taking a handoff and zooming through the middle of the Karr defense for an 80-yard touchdown. The senior also set up STM's last-minute bid to win the game by returning a kickoff to the Karr 26 with under a minute remaining.

Bergeron, STM's outstanding junior QB, completed 16-of-25 passes for 189 yards with a TD and an interception.

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