2024 GF Spring Tour: Covington vs. Warren Easton

On the sixth stop of the Gridiron Football Spring Tour, the staff went and made a stop to Covington High School where we hosted our second Elite Camp of the 2024 offseason to check on not only the Lions, but the Warren Easton Fighting Eagles.

Check out the highlights of Warren Easton and Covington here!

The Eagles are led by ninth year head coach Jerry Phillips and Warren Easton is looking to once again be a contender for a state championship run, and this time, the Fighting Eagles are going to show more fight than ever as they are hungrier than ever to prove a point after having their season forfeited due to breaking LHSAA violations.

“We haven’t played football in a longtime. We are not taking anything for granted and we are just enjoying everyday that we get together to do this, and we are taking it day by day. There are no expectations. We are just taking it day by day.”

Warren Easton High School Head Coach Jerry Phillips
Jaedon Phillips scores the go ahead touchdown against Covington in the spring game.

The team was ready to hit the field in its spring scrimmage against Covington as the Eagles got a 14-7 win over the Lions. Although the offense sputtered at times including giving up a pick six to trail 7-0, the team regrouped by scoring 14 unanswered to win the scrimmage. Junior QB Carl Reed was able to hit WR Mark Garrison for a 40-yard touchdown to tie the game and then was able to a late touchdown from Jaedon Phillips. The Eagles defense did a phenomenal job in getting pressure and was able to close out the scrimmage with back-to-back sacks and a fourth down stop.

“We are really young and inexperienced. That showed early on, but I commend my coaches. Nobody got crazy. We were able to talk to our guys. I am really excited about my quarterback. He is small in stature, but he is as tough as nails. I was a little worried about him at first, but I am excited about him now. We can definitely open up the playbook.”

“My defense played lights out. They pretty much pitched a shutout. I like where we are at right now.

Warren Easton High School Head Coach Jerry Phillips
Warren Easton QB Carl Reed hits Mark Garrison for a tying touchdown in the spring game.

Coach Phillips loves the progress he has seen in the young quarterback and seeing him bounce back after throwing a pick six just shows his maturity.

“He’s really smart. He knows the playbook back and forth. Like I said, he is inexperienced, but he plays a lot of 7v7 and he has been tearing it up. Today, he showed me a lot. I am proud of him. He did everything we asked him to do and more. I didn’t realize that he can run the ball like that. I am excited going into the season. I am excited about my quarterback and my two running backs.”

Warren Easton High School Head Coach Jerry Phillips
Warren Easton RB Terrell Surtain runs for a touchdown during the scripted portion of the scrimmage.

The Eagles have been known for their big offensive line and talented running backs. They will have that again led by three star 2026 offensive lineman Jalan Chapman and a good running back duo.

“We have Jalan Chapman, Kenneth Cain, Kenneson Jefferson, and David Baker. Kenneson is a senior and all the other guys are sophomores. They are really young, but they are big and they can move. I am excited about that. We are going to run the football. We have Thomas Vaughn and Terrell Surtain. Those are two dynamic running backs and I am old school. We are going to run the football. Those guys are going to have to step up to that in order for us to have a good season moving forward.”

Warren Easton High School Head Coach Jerry Phillips

Just like on the offensive side of the football, the Eagles will have a young, but a fast, athletic defense on the other side of the football, which was proven in the spring game holding a talented Lions offense out of the end zone.

“Our middle linebacker Narco Dunn played lights out for us today. It looked like he was on every tackle. He’s a sophomore and we are not returning any starters on defense. They are all young. They are in 10th grade and we got a couple of juniors sprinkled in so we are going to take our lumps early as far as experience, but once we get it going, we are going to be okay.”

Warren Easton High School Head Coach Jerry Phillips
Check out Jace’s interview with Warren Easton head football coach Jerry Phillips!

Warren Easton certainly has the pedigree and the athleticism to have another excellent season. Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Covington Lions were happy with how their spring went despite losing the matchup to Warren Easton on the scoreboard.

“I thought we competed. That is the thing that I asked of them. We knew that Warren Easton is going to have a talented team. They are always well coached and year in and year out, they are a successful measuring stick. They do a great job with their kids and we wanted to see who was going to compete and who was going to make plays. If you can make plays against a talented team like that, then there is a lot of success in your future. I thought our kids did great. We had a lot of big plays and your typical flub ups that you get after nine days of practice in the spring. There are certainly things that can be cleaned up and that will make us better in the future.”

Covington High School Head Coach Greg Salter
Covington High School 2025 CB Jeremie Elzie gets a pick six against Warren Easton in the scrimmage.

The Lions’ defense played a great game and held its own against an explosive Warren Easton offense. In fact, the defense got themselves on the scoreboard as cornerback Jeremie Elzie had a 68 yard interception return for a touchdown. That side of the football not only has a lockdown corner in Elzie, but they also have a tackling machine in Chase Blackwell, who made a couple of plays and even recovered a fumble in the spring game. Despite some mistakes and tiring late, the Lions’ defense is a strong unit that will keep them in games this fall.

“They got after it and were scrappy all night. Again, we had some mental busts throughout the scrimmage, but for the most part, we were able to make a stand when we had to. We got a little tired late. It hurt us at the end, but overall, we had a lot of physicality and a lot of guys playing to the football. Elzie had a great pick six when he read it and jumped the route. That’s who we are banking on between him, Blackwell, Ryan Jones, and Bobby Barkley. All of these guys are three year starters so we expect them to make plays for us. It was good to see them start off on the right foot and taking us into the summer with a lot of positive things to build on.”

Covington High School Head Coach Greg Salter
Covington High School QB Caden Heck connects with WR Jiwaun Brock, who shows great concentration on this touchdown catch during the scripted portion of the scrimmage.

Coach Salter was also pleased with some of the younger guys that made some plays to compliment some of the veterans.

“With the young guys, you saw a couple of sophomores going to be juniors in Jiwaun Brock and Amari Smith. They had some good catches throughout the scrimmage. Peyton Dwight had some good plays and is going to be a sophomore. Termarkus Scott made some plays throughout the scrimmage. Steele Rogers is going to be a sophomore. We had a lot of young guys that stepped up and then some guys that are getting their first taste of varsity action. I feel like we are picking off what we did at the end of the season which was playing competitive football.”

Covington High School Head Coach Greg Salter
Covington High School QB Caden Heck connects with WR Amari Smith for a touchdown during the scripted portion of practice.

A lot of college coaches came to see the Lions’ top prospect in 6’6, 315 pound offensive lineman Abrum Lewis, who has already been offered by Southeastern, Nicholls State, Troy, Central Arkansas, McNeese State, Colorado State, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, and Louisiana Tech. Lewis left the spring game early with a mild ankle sprain, but it was to save him for the upcoming season. Coach Salter has been pleased with how his big, talented tackle has been progressing.

“He’s doing good and from what I saw, I thought he played well at the scrimmage. We ask a lot out of him and he rose to the occasion. He just had a mild ankle sprain. It wasn’t worth putting him back out there. We know what he can do and it was a good opportunity to get a lot of young guys in and build that depth. Abrum is going to be fine and we are excited about his future and what he has to offer this team.”

Covington High School Head Coach Greg Salter
Check out Jace’s interview with Covington Head Coach Greg Salter!

Offensively, the Lions had some flashy moments especially with the wide receivers and quarterback Caden Heck making some plays with his feet and arm, but Coach Salter would obviously want to see his team finish more drives.

“Offensively, we got to be more consistent up front. We got an experienced group of offensive linemen coming back. All five guys are returning starters. I thought they did a great job of creating space, but we need to work on our pass pro a little bit. We were exposed a little bit, but they also gave Caden Heck a lot of time to throw the ball. All around, it is consistency. I think both sides of the ball made plays from everywhere on the football field. Everybody did things that we are excited about and things that will help us win, but we got to do it consistently and we got to do it together. That was the thing that was lacking today, but after nine days of practice, that can be fixed. I have no doubt with the character and the mindset of these guys, they are going to work hard come the summertime and when fall comes.”

Covington High School Head Coach Greg Salter

The Covington Lions returned back to lifting this week and will get back to the grind to get ready for the fall.

Click the image to read more about the Covington Lions after our Elite Camp we hosted at the school back in March.

Click the image to read more about the Covington Lions!

Check out the photos that were taken during the Covington/Warren Easton spring scrimmage taken by Jaxson Leblanc!

Make sure to follow Jaxson’s work on Instagram here: @leblanclens!

For our more recent stops on the Gridiron Football Spring Tour, click below to check them out!