Carencro defeats Neville to advance to 4A state championship game

Danielle Allentuck
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

Tony Courville was getting choked up on Friday night after Carencro defeated Neville in the 4A semifinals. 

He was an assistant coach in 1991, when Carencro won its only state football championship. Now, this edition of Carencro will have a chance to make its own history. 

More:Louisiana High School Football State Championship Schedule

"It's just sheer enjoyment when you get to see their faces, all their hard work that they put in," he said, pausing for a moment to watch the team celebrate. "I'm so happy for them." 

Carencro won 49-7, relying, like it has all season, on the Bears powerful running back duo. Kendrell Williams, a UL commit, scored the first three touchdowns. He finished with 143 yards and four touchdowns. Traylon Prejean had 82 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Carencro's defense held Neville to just 81 offensive yards and six first downs. 

The Carencro High Bears made their way to the LHSAA championship game after a win over Neville Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

"We've been together since we were single digits," Williams said. "We'll all from Carencro. It's just the chemistry. We know what the past teams have gone through to try to get to this point. We had to break the curse."

Courville said he knew on June 9 that this could be the team to go all the way, if they stayed diligent and maneuvered all the challenges of the season. The Bears were close last year, falling in the quarterfinal round after a slew of injuries weakened their attack.

The season started with a bang for Carencro. In the first game, they knocked off West Monroe, a perennial 5A program. It was West Monroe's first home loss since 2014

The Carencro High Bears made their way to the LHSAA championship game after a win over Neville Friday, Dec. 18, 2020.

Courville was speechless after that game. He said he could sense that something was starting to brew for the Bears, even though their identity wasn't fully established yet.

"To go up there and do what we did, we were just setting the stage for the rest of the year," he said.  

The Bears only loss this season came against district rival St. Thomas More, who advanced to the Division II state championship game. Carencro outscored opponents 427-138 this season, including scoring a school-record 81 points in the quarterfinal round against Plaquemine.

Carencro gets its chance to win its second state championship on Dec. 29, when the Bears play Edna Karr in the 4A championship game. 

Courville said he hasn't talked to his team about the 1991 season because he wants them to focus on making their own memories.

"They don't understand that far back," he joked. "I'm just so excited."