Warren Easton quarterback Deshawn Capers-Smith and receiver Tyron Johnson get most of the ink for the Eagles.
Rightfully so in the Eagles’ high-octane offense.
But on Friday it was the Warren Easton defense that helped lift the Eagles to one of their biggest wins in recent history in a game that was almost stained by a pregame ruckus.
Easton held Landry-Walker in check most of the night to claim a 27-13 victory at Behrman Stadium.
“If it wasn’t for our defense and the staff, we wouldn’t have come out victorious today,” said Easton coach Tony Hull. “We had to contain two really good quarterbacks, and they did that.”
Warren Easton, ranked No. 4 in The New Orleans Advocate Large School Super 10 and No. 5 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A poll, improved to 8-1 and 3-0 in District 9-4A.
The Eagles can clinch the District 9-4A title on Friday with a win over Karr in the regular-season finale.
Hull would like nothing more than another stellar effort like the one he got Friday from his defense.
They held the Charging Buccaneers to just 69 yards in the second half. Landry-Walker (7-2, 3-1), ranked No. 3 in the Super 10 and in 5A, completed just 2 of 10 passes for 19 yards.
Meanwhile, Capers-Smith, who has put up video game-like numbers all season, was his normal self.
The Texas A&M commitment ran for two touchdowns and passed for two more. He has now thrown 33 touchdowns and rushed for 14 touchdowns this season. His 2-yard run with 5:07 left all but sealed it.
“Words can’t explain the joy I feel for Deshawn,” Hull said. “He sacrificed so much for the team with all of his hard work and dedication this season.”
The game was a defensive struggle for the first 19 minutes, with both teams having key fourth down stops.
But late in the second quarter, the Charging Buccaneers put together an eight-play, 80-yard drive. It was capped by a 23-yard highlight reel run by sophomore Keytaon Thompson with 1:04 left in the half.
Easton answered with its own 80-yard drive. It took the Eagles just five plays. Capers-Smith threw a 24-yard strike to Tyron Johnson to finish the drive.
When they scored that fast, that was huge,” Landry-Walker coach Emanuel Powell said. “That changed the momentum. We needed to execute better. We had too many three and outs, and that kept our defense out there too long. You can’t do that when you play a team that scores like they can.”
Capers-Smith completed 18 of 24 passes for 216 yards. Clyde Chriss caught eight passes for 86 yards.
It took the Eagles just three plays in the second half to take the lead for good. This time it was a 62-yard touchdown pass from Capers-Smith to Chriss. Capers-Smith later tacked on a 16-yard touchdown run.
Landry-Walker’s Tevin Bush closed the gap to 21-13 on a short run, but that was as close as they would get.
The game was almost tainted before it ever started when a near brawl broke on between the two schools during warm-ups.
“Words can’t explain the joy I have for my boys,” Hull said. “We dealt with some adversity in pregame, but they kept their composure and kept their heads. I’m proud of them for coming out victorious.”
Thompson rushed 15 times for 116 yards and Javon Conner had nine carries for 141 yards, but it wasn’t enough against Easton’s bend-but-don’t break defense.
Devin Glenn led Easton’s ground game with 83 yards on 12 carries.
Now Hull turns his attention to Karr.
“Karr is a really tough opponent,” Hull said. “They have been district champs for as long as I can remember. You can’t be a champ until you beat so we have to come out and play our brand of football.”