The road to the Class 4A state championship always goes through two places.

New Orleans.

And Neville.

You would have to go back to 2005 to find a 4A title game that didn't include either Neville or a school from the greater New Orleans area. (Bastrop played Breaux Bridge that year).

It's been all Neville or New Orleans (and sometimes both) ever since.

Neville won't be there this year though.

Lakeshore, the area's biggest surprise, took care of that on Friday by throttling Neville 55-24 and ending the Tigers' annual trip from Monroe to Poydras Street.

Lakeshore defensive tackle Tylan Driver, so instrumental in the win, called it a statement win.

Boy was this a statement.

Neville had been to the Dome the past three years and six times in the previous eight seasons, winning it all in 2009 (over Franklinton), 2011 (over Karr), 2014 (over Easton) and 2015 (over Karr again).

While Neville won't be playing in the Dome on Dec. 9, a team (or two) from the New Orleans will be there.

It's guaranteed.

Edna Karr and Warren Easton meet in Friday's semifinals, assuring the 4A title game will have a Big Easy flavor.

It will be the eighth straight time a team from New Orleans has played in the championship game in the classification.

Seven of those eight have been New Orleans vs. Neville games. The only exception was the all-504 area code affair in 2013 when East Jefferson beat Karr.

Karr has been a big part of New Orleans' run, reaching the Dome six of the past seven years and winning it all twice during that stretch (2012 and 2016).

Now three out of the four teams remaining are from the area.

Rayne, which travels to Lakeshore for the semifinals, is the only outsider left in the field.

Rayne is a No. 11 seed, the lowest seed remaining in any of the nine classifications and would have to pull off a huge upset to prevent an all-New Orleans area final from happening.

Undefeated Lakeshore has made it look easy. The Titans' closest win was a 17-point victory (31-14) over Salmen in the regular-season finale.

Not bad for a school that didn't open its doors until 2009.

The Titans should be plenty motivated. The last time they lost a game, it was to Rayne in the first round of the playoffs in 2016. Lakeshore lost 49-18 that night, so they'll be looking for revenge.

But they won't be the only team looking for revenge in the 4A semifinals.

Easton will be too.

Karr beat Easton 40-6 in the regular-season finale.

A month later, they get to do it all over again.

The first meeting decided the District 9-4A title.

This time, the stakes are much higher.

The winner goes to the Dome and plays for a 4A championship, just like New Orleans schools seem to always do.

Class 4A state title games since 2006

2006    Bastrop 28, Shaw 14    

2007    Bastrop 38, Shaw 14    

2008    Belle Chase 28, Shaw7    

2009    Neville 31, Franklinton 15    

2010    Franklinton 34, Edna Karr 28   

2011    Neville 27, Edna Karr 6     

2012    Edna Karr 29, Neville 22     

2013   East Jefferson 38, Edna Karr 28    

2014    Neville 28, Warren Easton 27      

2015    Neville 45, Edna Karr 26

2016   Edna Karr 34, Neville 21


Follow Rod Walker on Twitter, @rwalkeradvocate.