Video: John Curtis dominates with defense in 23-0 win over Jesuit

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NEW ORLEANS – Coming off an impressive win against one of the favorites to win the Class 4A state championship, the John Curtis Patriots kept the pedal to floor against one of the hottest teams in the Catholic League.

Last week, Curtis pulled away in the second half to down Warren Easton. Back in district play at Yulman Stadium, the Patriots used suffocating defense and a steady dose of their trademark veer option run attack to wear down and shut out the Jesuit Blue Jays, 23-0.

A week after holding Holy Cross to only 28 yards rushing, Jesuit put up a fight all night, but could not duplicate that feat against John Curtis.  The Patriots tallied 178 yards rushing on 42 carries with two touchdowns.

Corey Wren led all rushers with 75 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown for the Patriots.  After only completing one pass a week ago against Warren Easton, John Curtis quarterback Collin Guggenheim contributed a little more assistance through air, completing six of 15 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

On the flip side, Curtis stuffed the Jesuit offense the entire game. The Blue Jays were held to only 21 yards of offense in the first half and never advanced the ball beyond their own 40-yard line until the final minute of the game.

Jesuit assisted in the Patriots’ defensive success with several self-inflicted wounds.  Quarterback Robert McMahon lost 11 yards on a sack to push the Blue Jays back to their own 10-yard line early in the second quarter.  Before halftime, a missed snap lost 11 more yards to put the Blue Jays on their own 10-yard line again, forcing them to punt out of their own end zone and setting up the Patriots in good field position.

The second half would only prove to be more of the same.  Receiving the kickoff to start the third quarter, the Blue Jays hoped to find some momentum and get points on the board to turn the game around.  Instead, Jesuit went three-and-out after a John Curtis sack, setting the tone for the remainder of the game.

John Curtis (6-0) appeared to be on their way to a quick score moments after the game’s opening whistle blew.  Shane Goins returned the opening kickoff 57 yards to the Jesuit 18.  After converting a fourth down and two at the 10, Curtis failed to convert fourth and goal at the one-yard line when Guggenheim fumbled the snap. Jesuit recovered the ball to stop the scoring threat.

With their worst field position all night, Jesuit (4-2) put together their best drive of the night.  A 15-yard penalty gave the Blue Jays some breathing room, and a 15 yard run by Brayton Whittington to the 34-yard line followed.  However, the drive stalled out three plays later at the 40.

A shanked punt  set the Patriots up at their own 40-yard line for their second drive of the game.  A 16-yard run by Wren, followed by a 15-yard pass by Guggenheim gave John Curtis first down at the Jesuit 40.

Four plays later, facing their third fourth down in the opening period, Curtis hit paydirt as Shane Goins broke free off the right side for a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots ahead 7-0 with 1:00 to play in the first quarter.

The Patriots did not post their next score until their first drive after halftime.

For the second half in a row, John Curtis’s opening possession started at the Jesuit 18-yard line, this time courtesy of a personal foul penalty against the Blue Jays at the end of a punt return.  Unlike the first time, John Curtis cashed in on the opportunity the second time around, thanks in part to another self-inflicted wound by Jesuit.

After being held short of the line to gain on third down, the Patriots prepared to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Austin McCready.  However, the Blue Jays drew an offsides penalty that gave John Curtis first and goal at the 5-yard line.  One play later, Wren punched it in on a touchdown run, extending the John Curtis lead to 14-0 7:32 to play in the third quarter.

John Curtis further extended the lead mid-way thru the fourth quarter with a 41-yard field goal by McCready, stretching the lead to 17-0 with 7:40 play in the game.

Guggenheim connected on his biggest play of the night immediately following an interception, finding Lance Williams down the near sideline with a 38-yard pass into Jesuit territory.  On the following snap, the Patriots signal caller hit Joel Taylor in the corner of the end zone with a 22-yard pass for the game’s final points with 6:14 left..

Next up for John Curtis is a matchup against St. Augustine next Saturday night at Tad Gormley Stadium.  Jesuit will look to rebound next Saturday against rival Archbishop Rummel in a game which will air live on WGSO 990AM and Crescent City Sports.

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