Karr’s Devante Noil goes by the nickname “Speedy.”
He didn’t get to show his quicksilver skills in the first quarter in his team’s opener against St. Paul’s as he was held out for what coach Nathaniel Jones said was “violating team rules.”
But when Noil entered the game in the second quarter on Friday night, he certainly showed why he’s one of the top prospects in the nation. The senior threw a touchdown pass on his first play in the game, which helped Karr to a 34-12 win against St. Paul’s at Hunter Stadium.
The pass went to senior receiver Jeriah Tolbert for 53 yards. It gave Karr a 21-0 lead with 11:46 to play in the second quarter.
Though Jones was pleased with the win, he said there are things his team has to do to get better. We weren’t crisp, we weren’t sharp at all,” he said. “There are many things we have to do to get the team where it needs to be.”
In Noil’s absence, senior quarterback Kerry Taylor ably carried the load. He threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, which gave the Cougars a comfy 14-0 cushion.
The Cougars’ first drive was an eight-play, 72-yard movement that resulted in a 21-yard scoring pass from Taylor to receiver Glenn Irons with 6:55 remaining on the clock.
Karr came back with another score with 5:01 left in the first quarter when Taylor hit Joshua Peterson for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Carl Roberson kicked his second PAT of the quarter and the Cougars went up, 14-0.
When Noil entered in the second quarter, his first play was magic. He rolled around outside of the pocket and finally found Tolbert, who was wide open alone in the right flat. Tolbert rumbled into the end zone for a 53-yard touchdown reception to give Karr a 21-0 lead, after PAT.
St Paul’s came back in the second quarter, however. Quarterback Ryan O’Krepki hit Marcus Gaines for a 44-yard touchdown that the receiver wrestled from the hands of two defenders. Grant Hebert kicked the PAT.
With 3:45 left in the half, Hebert booted a 21-yard field goal, which cut the deficit to 21-10.
Karr amassed 251 yards of offense in the first half, 158 of them through the air.
“That’s a really good football team, and (Noil) may be the best high school athlete I’ve ever seen,” St. Paul’s coach Ken Sears said. “We have to clean up a lot of things. We have to get better on defense and on offense.”
Early in the third quarter, Noil threw a 25-yard scoring pass to Joshua Peterson, the receiver’s second touchdown of the game. Noil later connected with Irons on the receiver’s second touchdown of the game — this time for 21 yards.
St. Paul’s scored a safety with 9:48 remaining in the game.
Karr finished with 411 yards of total offense, 227 through the air, 184 of them on the ground. Noil had 91 yards rushing to lead the Cougars.
O’Krepki finished 14-for-33 for 170 yards and a touchdown he threw to Gaines with 10:01 left in the first half.