GF 2024 Spring Tour: Edna Karr vs. Destrehan

The next stop of our Gridiron Football Spring Tour was the most highly anticipated destination of the offseason at Destrehan High School as the Destrehan Wildcats and the Edna Karr Cougars matched up in a battle between two of Louisiana’s most elite football programs. Not only did the Gridiron Football staff make the trip, but pretty much the majority of the major college football teams came to Destrehan, Louisiana to see what the Wildcats and the Cougars had to offer.

This matchup is not only the most coveted spring game in the state, but it may be the biggest in the country according to Destrehan head coach Marcus Scott and Edna Karr head coach Brice Brown.

“It’s great. We feel that this is the premier spring game in the state and probably the region when you talk about year in and year out with the amount of recruits that’s going to be on the field any given moment. We think it’s a great opportunity to show both programs. Coach Brown and his staff have always done a great job and we just love the competition.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott

“I think that’s what it is all about. It is a moment in which they can showcase their talents in front of all these schools across the country. Number one is you have to execute and number two is you have to have the talent in order to go to the schools. It is also up to the coaches to manage that talent and make sure that they play hard. We are doing a good job of that and we will see what happens when we open the season against Shaw.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

Although it looked different than previous years with both offenses showing off in this highly talented showcase, this year’s performance was more about the defenses, especially on Edna Karr’s side as the vaunted defense held an explosive Destrehan offense out of the end zone while the Cougars’ offense scored three times that afternoon including a touchdown run from Jermond Macklin, another touchdown run from Jarvis Etienne, and a 20 yard touchdown strike from John Johnson to Anthony Thomas.

Edna Karr 2026 RB Jarvis Etienne scores during the red zone period.
Edna Karr 2026 QB John Johnson connects with 2026 WR Anthony Thomas for the touchdown in the spring game against Destrehan.
Edna Karr 2027 RB Jermond Macklin scores a touchdown against Destrehan in the spring game.

Edna Karr head coach Brice Brown was pleased with his team’s performance against one of the most elite in the state.

“Both teams are great quality football teams. They are very clean, well-coached. Everybody has to work on tackling in the spring after having only 10 days to work with. How we worked with this spring in getting guys healthy and getting guys back in the summer, I thought it was nice. I love the competitiveness of the scrimmage and would love to see this in a regular season game.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

As always, the Edna Karr Cougars have a team that is going to be a force to be reckoned with. Defensively, the Cougars are strong at all three levels of the defense. On the defensive line, the Cougars have two defensive linemen in Corey Adams and Richard Anderson, who are both LSU targets. The linebacking core is led by Arsenio Bolds and the secondary is led by one of the top 2026 prospects in Louisiana in four-star safety Aiden Hall. Putting this defense together, it is no wonder why Coach Brown is excited about that side of the football.

“You have a whole another dynamic with Corey and Richard on the d-line, the linebackers that we have, and we also probably have the best secondary in the state. It’s a whole bunch of talent out here, but we have to do a great job as coaches is to make sure that talent continues to work hard.”

“Hats off to the strength and conditioning coaches, especially that lateral quickness, transitioning to the field. That is good to see. We came out healthy and Destrehan has a hell of a team. We got to keep pushing. It starts with taking a little break and coming back even harder.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown
Edna Karr 2025 WR and LSU commit TaRon Francis jumps over a Destrehan defender in the spring game.
Edna Karr 2025 WR and LSU commit TaRon Francis makes an impressive grab while falling down.

Offensively, the Cougars’ two biggest highlights were not the touchdowns, but two incredible feats of freakish athleticism by TaRon Francis, who leaped over a Destrehan defender on one play and then catching a deep ball while falling backwards on another. In front of multiple LSU coaches, the Tigers coaching staff certainly saw why their commit is nicknamed “Manchild.”

“TaRon is going to be who he is. He is going to be the best wide receiver in the state. He is going to get the targets. He is going to get the balls. John threw two good balls today. I thought he placed the ball well. We had a couple of drops, but that’s why we got the summer. We are not trying to be perfect. We are trying to be physical and both teams were very physical today.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

The Cougars’ junior quarterback John Johnson was in total command of the offense and despite some drops by the receivers, his ability to spread the ball to his playmakers, throw the deep ball, and extend plays on the run makes him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the state.

“He’s going to get better and better. When we get into the thickness of the playbook and get Oliver Mitchell and Bryant Sanchez more targets and get the running backs really going, it is only going to get better for him. For day one installs and the plays he made today, he did really good.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

The coaching and the talent are there for the Cougars, but the veteran leadership also returns for this team, which could get this program over the hump in capturing their first state championship since moving up to Class 5A from Class 4A in 2021.

“17 starters come back on this team. That’s the expectation. Leadership is the key. Before we came here, we had a leadership council meeting. The expectation is to play hard, physical, and play together.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

Like any other team, Edna Karr wants to stay healthy and continue to build on their success in the spring as they look to start another championship streak after winning four state championships from 2016-2019.

“The number one thing is that we got to stay healthy. That is the key for any ball club and number two, we have to build our camaraderie and our togetherness in the secondary and chemistry on the offensive line and defensive line. We have to keep building that chemistry and do better as coaches that they are sticking together through this whole process.”

Edna Karr High School Head Coach Brice Brown

On the other side, the Destrehan Wildcats look to get back to championship form after they won the state championship in 2022. The 2023 season was not too shabby for Coach Scott’s squad as the Wildcats had an undefeated regular season and making it to the Quarterfinals where they lost to the Zachary Broncos.

Just as the Edna Karr Cougars, the Destrehan Wildcats got a lot to take away from in the scrimmage.

“I was pleased with our effort. I thought the kids played hard on both sides. They always play hard, which is why this is always a plus to play them in the spring game because we are only getting better. Hopefully, both teams will have something to say in the playoffs come December.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott

The Wildcats have a talented defense, but unlike the Cougars, there is a lot of inexperience on that side of the football. Fortunately, the defense showed some good things in going up against one of the most explosive offenses in the state.

“It helps us, but it also helps us evaluate players, but it also helps us evaluate character. The main thing we wanted from the scrimmage was to play hard, be physical, and we want to compete. We accomplished some of those things today and we can’t wait to see the film to improve and get better from this experience.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott
Destrehan High School three-star 2025 defensive back Jhase Thomas makes a big hit over the middle.

Although young, the defense can lean on one of the best defensive backs in the state in Jhase Thomas, who is the son of former NFL defensive back Fred Thomas.

“He has grown so much in the weight room and once he has committed to taking the weight room seriously, you can tell the difference in the physicality in his game. He could always run and play the ball really well. Him adding the physicality to his game makes him a complete player.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott

Offensively, the Wildcats have tons of weapons including four-star 2025 WR Phillip Wright III, 2025 WR Johnnie Thiel IV, four-star 2026 WR Jabari Mack, 2026 WR Greg Wilfred, and 2025 RB Shane Ward while their lead triggerman Jackson Fields also returns with another year after throwing for close to 2,500 yards and 23 touchdown passes.

“We are excited about our offense. That was our 10th practice in a new system with new terminology and I thought the kids picked up on it rather well considering we had limited practices.”

“Greg Wilfred is a slot receiver and he has some offers. You have Johnnie Thiel and everybody knows about Phillip Wright and Jabari Mack. We are excited about the receiving core. Obviously, Jackson is going to be in our second year starting and Shane Ward has been very consistent all spring. We are excited about Shane and some of our young backs going forward. We have an opportunity here to get better. The main thing is that both teams came out healthy, competed hard, and that’s what we wanted to get out of this.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott

Coach Scott also realizes that the team may have lost on the scoreboard in the spring scrimmage so knowing that, he knows that there are a couple of areas that his team can improve on.

“We can improve on everything. Obviously, we can improve on tackling and being more efficient on both sides of the football, so we are looking forward to that opportunity of improving.”

Destrehan High School Head Coach Marcus Scott

Both teams checked off a lot on their list from another successful meeting. Both teams brought a national spotlight to their spring game, showed their competitive drive, and came out the game healthy. It is no doubt that we will once again certainly see these two Louisiana powerhouse programs have successful seasons in 2024.

Check out Zach Lafountaine’s photos from the Edna Karr/Destrehan game. Make sure to follow him here: @zachphotographyy

Check out the photos that were taken during the Edna Karr/Destrehan 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!