Evangel cruises past Carver

NEW ORLEANS — Carver High School’s bid to reach the Class 2A state semifinals for the first time in school history ended Saturday night against a team whose storied program is in search of its 14th state football title.

The Rams struggled to catch Javin Webb, Evangel-Shreveport’s running back whose speed and shifty moves matched their own, a defensive issue problem they never figured out. By the time Webb stopped running at Pan American Stadium, he had already scored four times in the first quarter, part of a five-touchdown effort — more than enough for a 62-26 quarterfinal win.

Webb finished with 97 yards on 13 carries.

Up next for Evangel (11-2) is third-seeded University Lab, which beat Calvary Baptist 19-7. Meanwhile, Carver’s historic season, which included its first post-Katrina playoff wins, ends at 8-4.

“We lost to a great football team,” Carver coach Byron Addison said. “We’ve just got to get better.”

Quarterback Joey Louis was harassed all game, often fighting off blitzing defenders before he could find his receivers. Sometimes, Louis scrambled for first downs. Nearly as many times that did not work.

“I got away a couple of times, but you’re not going to get away all the time,” said Louis, who passed for 202 yards with two TDs and one interception. He was also sacked 11 times. “They sent three to contain me. It was tough to do so, but once one of them grabbed me — they were so big and strong — it was kind of like nothing you could do.”

Louis was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter for what he said might be a broken elbow.

Not even Raheem Falkins, Carver’s prized receiver, a University of Alabama commitment, could boost his offense, which struggled as much as the Rams defense. His biggest impact in Saturday’s game occurred in the first quarter when he scored on a 16-yard TD reception.

“We did what we could do on offense,” Falkins said. “Some of the offensive linemen were going both ways, so they had to suck it up and do what they could do.”

Receiver Nigel Veal wasn’t much better.

One week after Veal scored on a TD reception, interception return and kickoff return, he fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. One play later, Evangel quarterback Dakota Duron found Jared Cornelius for a 23-yard gain to the 1. After a 5-yard penalty for delay of game, Duron connected again with Cornelius in the end zone for a 6-yard reception.

Veal reached the end zone twice, both receptions in the third quarter. By then, with Carver trailing 48-18, the game’s outcome was secure.

Carver did not punt in the game, opting to attempt to convert on fourth downs.