De La Salle delivered the first punch.
Then another and another.
And then, De La Salle survived an Edna Karr rally and held on for a thrilling 28-26 victory in a heavyweight showdown at Tad Gormley Stadium that will be talked about on 5300 St. Charles Ave. for years to come.
De La Salle athletic director Tony Bonura called it the biggest win in school history, one that quarterback Julien Gums would agree upon.
"This puts us on the map," Gums said. "This is the biggest game I have been in my high school career. Going up against a good defense like this just makes me proud."
De La Salle (3-0), ranked No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate Small School Super 10 and No. 1 in the LSWA 3A rankings, snapped Karr's 16-game winning streak.
The Cougars (2-1), ranked No. 3 in The New Orleans Advocate Super 10 for Large Schools and No. 7 in the LSWA Class 4A rankings, lost for the first time since losing to Neville in the 2015 championship game. It was Karr's first regular-season loss since losing to Warren Easton in the eighth game of that same season.
The Cougars came close to stretching that streak to 17 as they drove to the Cavs' 20-yard line in the final minute.
But Joseph Husband had an interception on the final play and set off the Cavs' celebration.
"I'm so proud of my guys for hanging in," De La Salle coach Ryan Manale said. "We had a quarterback that was hurt. A running back that was hurt. A receiver that was hurt. We just tried to hang on and that's what we did. What a night for De La Salle High School."
It was that injured receiver, B.J. Randle, that set the tone in this one that saw De La Salle race out to an early 21-0 lead.
Randle ignited the start with a 91-yard kickoff return to start the game before getting hurt on the next possession.
Kendall Collins then scored his first of three first-half touchdowns on the Cavs' next possession, hauling in a 6-yard pass Gums.
Gums, who was The New Orleans Advocate's Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 2014 yards last week against St. Augustine, set up the touchdown with a 70-yard run. After recovering a fumble on a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff, De La Salle tacked on to its lead on Collins' 34-yard run.
"This is a prime-time game in the state of Louisiana and we can't come out flat like that," Karr coach Brice Brown said.
The Cougars answered with a two quick touchdowns to get back in it. The first was a 14-yard pass from Skylar Perry to Anthony Spurlock, who has committed to Oregon State. The second was an 11-yard run by Ronnie Jackson to cut it to 21-14, but De La Salle answered with an impressive 14-play drive capped by Collins' 1 yard run.
The De La Salle defense then came up with a big stop at the end of the first half to maintain its 28-14 lead at the break.
Karr came out in the second half with an impressive 13-play drive that ended with the second Perry-to-Spurlock touchdown of the night. The Cougars scored again in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Jackson, but the Cavs stuffed what would have been the game-tying two-point conversion.
Gums finished with 188 yards on 25 carries to lead the Cavs.
"Hats off to De La Salle," Brown said. "They were ready to play tonight and we weren't. It was a great program win for them."
Manale, like his athletic director, called it the biggest win since he's been at De La Salle.
"We survived," Manale said. "5300 St. Charles Ave. and we are a proud high School. I love being a Cavalier."