Pride of Algiers on the line when Landry-Walker, Karr meet _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- Landry Walker's Devonta Jason catches a pass in front of John Curtis' Taj Bickham last Friday at Behrman Stadium.

Karr and Landry-Walker are no longer competing in the same district.

The Cougars remained in Class 4A, while the Charging-Buccaneers moved up to 5A this season.

But don’t think for a minute that just because it’s no longer a district game that Behrman Stadium won’t be rocking Friday night.

“It’s Karr vs. Landry-Walker, so the atmosphere won’t change,” Landry-Walker coach Emanuel Powell said. “It’s for the pride of Algiers. Either you fall on the Landry-Walker side or you fall on the Karr side. For one year, the winner gets to walk around knowing they have bragging rights.”

For the past year, those bragging rights have belonged to Powell’s Charging Buccaneers, who beat the Cougars 27-7 last season. The two teams, along with Warren Easton, ended up in a three-way tie for district title honors.

The teams met twice during the 2013 season, with Karr winning 26-22 in the regular season and 29-0 in the Class 4A semifinals.

But this year, with Landry-Walker being in 5A, there will be only one shot to claim bragging rights in Algiers.

Bragging rights aren’t the only thing at stake though.

Both are looking to bounce back from double-digit, season-opening losses and avoid 0-2 starts.

Landry-Walker started the season ranked No. 2 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Large School Super 10, but dropped to ninth after a 41-20 home loss to John Curtis.

Karr, ranked No. 10 last week, fell 34-7 to then-unranked St. Paul’s.

“It was very uncharacteristic of us to drop balls and have so many misreads like we did in the first half,” first-year Karr coach Brice Brown said. “We have to get our brains together and come out stronger and execute.

“This wasn’t out best week of practice, and I always say, if you practice poor, then you play poor.”

Powell’s sentiments were similar about his team’s Week 1 performance.

“We need to get back to the basics,” Powell said. “We have to be able to be aggressive, and we’ve got be a lot more disciplined. We can’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot. For a quarter and a half, I liked our defense. We became a little rattled and unfocused, and we didn’t do the things that you have to do to win any game.”

But Powell and Brown are hoping to see vast improvements this week from their teams in a game that means a lot to both coaches in charge at their alma maters.

Brown is seeking his first win as Cougars head coach after serving the past 10 seasons as offensive coordinator.

To do so, he’ll need his offense, led by quarterback Aldon Clark, to get back on track.

The Cougars scored seven points last week. It was their straight game scoring just seven points going back to last season, when they fell to eventual state champion Neville in the playoffs. (That score, just like last week, was also 34-7).

Landry-Walker counters with junior quarterback Keytaon Thompson, rated the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2017, completed 15 of 31 passes for 247 yards. He also rushed for 60 yards.

The road gets no easier for either team.

Karr plays No. 2 ranked Brother Martin next week, while Landry-Walker plays St. Augustine.

But with neighborhood bragging rights on the line, neither team is looking ahead to next week.

“We both know the importance of this game,” Powell said. “You get to say you won the last one.”