Karr came in as the number three seed (11-2) making their fifth consecutive championship game appearance and ninth in 10 years while Easton came in as the 20th seed (9-4) making their second consecutive trip to the dome and third in six seasons.
Both teams came in riding winning streaks Karr (9 games) & Easton (8 games). It’s safe to say Karr was sort of expected to be here, but Easton not so much. And that’s exactly how Easton head coach Jerry Phillips likes it because he knew it would make his team feel disrespected. They took the disrespect very well with playoff upset wins against No. 13 Peabody 44-6, No. 4 Tioga 35-26, No. 5 Carencro 34-22 and No. 1 Lakeshore 64-55 in last Friday at Lakeshore.
Easton senior running back Ashaad Clayton *Colorado commit* has played out of his mind during their playoff run & the entire season for that matter accumulating 2,056 yards rushing & 29 touchdowns. Could the 6-foot, 197 pound running back put on his superman cape one last time to give his school their first state championship victory since 1942?
The Karr Cougars came in chasing greatness trying to accomplish a four peat & head coach Brice Brown knew this one would be the most difficult. Karr seemed to have the game in the bag up 35-28 with 11:21 left in the fourth on the Easton 1 yard line. But the Easton defense would hold & stop the Karr offense on a fourth-and-goal. The Easton offense would go 99 yards & get a 7 yard touchdown run by Dayshawn Holmes to put them in position to tie or go for the win with a two point conversion.
The Eagles came out in a swinging- gate formation for the two point try, but the Cougars defense came up with a huge stop after senior Joshua Randall beat his man to help keep the Cougars up 35-34. The game was far from over after the Eagles would recover an onside kick. But the play of the game would come from Karr defensive back Jacob Livas when he went up & made a spectacular interception to pretty much put the nail in the coffin.
After three straight runs, the Cougars would punt out of its own end zone with 9 seconds left & Easton would let the ball bounce eventually running out the clock.
Karr became only the third school in the state’s history to win four state championships in a row. The other two are John Curtis & Evangel. Since 2010 Karr has an impressive record of 122-20.
Karr senior quarterback Leonard Kelly was named MVP & with good reason finishing the game with 226 yards passing, 99 yards rushing to go with 1 rushing touchdown & 1 throwing touchdown. Kelly finished his high school career 27-2 to go with 2 state titles as a starter.
Sophomore phenom receiver Aaron Anderson had his struggles throughout the game with 4 fumbles, but still managed to finish the game with 134 yards receiving & 1 touchdown. Anderson totaled up over 300 all-purpose yards for the game as well.
Senior running back Ashaad Clayton made his case on why he should’ve been named Gatorade Player of the Year finishing the game with 208 yards rushing & 3 touchdowns.
Freshman linebacker Jirrea Johnson was spectacular for the Eagles finishing the game with 16 tackles & 3 TFLs.
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