John Curtis School App
Curtis Pulls Away for 26-7 Win over St. Paul's
September 4, 2012John Curtis Christian High School
CURTIS PULLS AWAY FROM ST. PAUL’S 26-7
Raekwon James scored two touchdowns and John Curtis pulled away in the second half for a season-opening 26-7 win at St. Paul’s Saturday afternoon in a collision between two of Louisiana’s highest ranked teams.
The matchup came about just 24 hours before the 3 p.m. kickoff as a result of Hurricane Isaac disrupting the teams’ schedules. Curtis was expecting to play at Franklinton and St. Paul’s was expecting a visit from Karr Friday night—also marquee games. But the two opponents were unable to play because of the storm.
Curtis Coach J.T. Curtis and St. Paul’s Coach Ken Sears, Jr., then decided to play each other. The two will be on the same field again six days late; this time in the Mercedes-Benz Louisiana Superdome, where they will carry the banner for Louisiana against a pair of Florida powerhouses—St. Paul vs. Lincoln (Tallahassee) and Curtis vs. Plant (Tampa) in the 2nd Annual Sugar Bowl Prep Classic.
In addition to the short notice, both teams had nearly zero time to prepare for Saturday’s game. The menacing storm caused cancellation of practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and the only game-planning had to be done overnight on the eve of the game.
St. Paul’s entered the contest ranked #1 among the New Orleans metro area’s large schools by the Times-Picayune, and #5 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Assn. preseason poll in Class 5A, the State’s largest. The Wolves also put their 29-game regular season winning streak on the line and were Louisiana’s top seed in 5A the previous season.
Curtis placed its solid reputation at risk as well. The Patriots gained national top 10 recognition in several preseason polls. Curtis was #1 in the LSWA Class 2A poll and occupied the top rung in the among the Times-Picayune small schools ranking. The Patriots are the defending State 2A champions, seeking their state-record 25th title in 2012.
With the hot South Louisiana sun still soaking up the humidity from the Hurricane’s torrential rains, Saturday at St. Paul’s was a sauna on turf. The weather and the intensity of a hard-fought physical battle had both teams working to keep their players hydrated.
The Wolves hung tough, and had the Patriots down 7-6 at halftime. James’ 24-yard scoring run down the left sideline finally put Curtis on top, 13-7, in the third quarter. The defense took over, and the offense gathered momentum on the broiling artificial turf as Curtis produced a total of 305 rushing yards.
The two teams opened the game with deliberate drives, with just one possession each in the first quarter. St. Paul was to one to capitalize, marching 63 yards in 18 plays, capped by Colin D’Angelo’s 17-yard scoring pass to Ryan Malone as the second quarter began. Richard Allen returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Wolves’ 27. Six plays later, Curtis Quarterback Patrick Morton followed the middle of his offensive line into pay dirt from the four yard line. But the PAT went awry on a bad snap, and St. Paul’s still led, 7-6, at halftime.
James’ 24-yard jaunt put the Patriots ahead midway through the third quarter. The Curtis offense struck again in the fourth quarter, with James again doing the honors with a 37-yard touchdown to make it 20-7. Tevin Horton scored on a five-yard run to finish the scoring.
James finished with 74 yards in seven carries to lead a dozen backs who carried the ball for Curtis. Sophomore Myles Washington had the longest run of the day, 41 yards, and finished with 61 yards in three carries in his first taste of varsity action. Malachi Dupre picked up 57 yards in four carries, and Horton had seven carries for 49 yards.
Linebacker Duke Riley chalked up 10 unassisted tackles and his defensive teammates sacked the Wolves’ quarterback four times.