John Curtis and Riverside make statements in season openers
Two teams expected to play in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in December looked the part Thursday night.
At Behrman Stadium, John Curtis led from start to finish in a 27-18 victory over defending Class 5A state champion Landry-Walker.
Sophomore quarterback Collin Guggenheim ran for one score and passed for another while senior wide receiver Tyrone Legette caught a touchdown pass and returned a kickoff for another score to pace the Patriots.
Curtis jumped on top on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Guggenheim to senior Legette to cap an 11 play, 67-yard drive to make it 7-0.
The defense of the Patriots was superb, holding the high powered Charging Buccaneers to 18 points and forcing four turnovers. Jay Curtis had an interception while Nicholas Duncan recovered a fumble.
Tory Cargo connected with Devonta Jason on a 15-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 7-6 in the second quarter but that is as close as the Bucs would get.
Legette answered with a 95-yard kickoff return for a score to make it 14-6 by halftime.
Landry-Walker pulled closer following a rare special teams mistake by the Patriots, who had a bad punt snap to put the Charging Bucs in business at the Curtis 12-yard line. Cargo connected with Bobby Morgan on a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-12 but the inability of Landry-Walker to convert on the extra point attempt hurt again, this time failing on a two-point attempt.
Ernest Jones lengthened the lead go 21-12 on a 34-yard touchdown run before Guggenheim scored on a four-yard run to make it 27-12. Alexander capped the scoring with a 10-yard run with 3:39 to play but once again, the two-point conversion attempt failed.
Alexander was outstanding for Landry-Walker, rushing for 178 yards and a score. He added one catch for 25 yards. Cargo finished 8-of-19 for 122 yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Ja’Quan Dorsey, who split time with Cargo, threw two interceptions. Guggenheim was 4-of-9 for 43 yards and a touchdown and rushed six times for 53 yards and a score. Darryan Washington rushed eight times for 50 yards. Curtis played without star running back Marquese Albert, who is recovering from surgery from a broken bone in his wrist. Albert could play next week.
J.T. Curtis was pleased with his team’s effort.
“I thought it was a pretty typical first game,” Curtis said. “We made some errors and mistakes that we must clean up. They are fixable. I was not surprised by the skill of Landry-Walker. They are excellent and their defense was very solid. I thought as the game went on, we were able to execute a little better on offense. It was what I expected. I thought our defense played well, particularly our secondary. We will continue to improve up front as the season progresses.”
Curtis has beaten Landry-Walker in each of the last three seasons. The loss snapped a 13-game win streak for the Charging Buccaneers.
Curtis returns to action next Saturday afternoon against defending Georgia Class 7A state champion and nationally ranked Grayson in the Battle on the Border in Shreveport at 3 p.m. while Landry-Walker renews its rivalry with defending Class 4A state champion Karr next Friday night at 7 p.m. Behrman Stadium.
“Grayson is really a good football team, ranked anywhere from third to fifth in the country,” Curtis said. “They are big and fast. We will have to play very well to hang in but we like to measure ourselves.”
At Walker High, a showdown between defending state champions became a showcase for a terrific looking football team.
Senior Jordan Loving threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth score and Riverside was tremendous defensively in an awesome 54-0 victory over Southern Lab.
Playing its first game since crippling sanctions which render the Kittens ineligible for postseason honors and having changed coaches, the impact was evident but the biggest impact was rendered by the Rebels.
Loving completed 11-of-17 passes for 221 yards and the three scores, including a pair to Jalen Banks and one to Jeremiah Bigham. Kash Foley returned a free kick 45 yards for a touchdown following a safety and Jeremy Gibson scored on a seven-yard run. Garland Robertson returned a punt 75 yards for a score. Riverside recovered four Southern Lab fumbles. LSU commitment Tyrion Davis had nine carries for 73 yards to pace the Kittens.
“I’m most proud of our kids as it was a less than normal week for us,” Lachney said. “We did not get out to practice, had the uncertainty of the venue of the game and there was the uncertainty of Southern Lab and who would be eligible to play. We took the field with a business as usual approach and took care of business. They were fired up and ready to play a very good and talented team. They have four LSU commits and are very good. We played very well. I could not be more proud of them.”
Both teams return to action next Friday night as Riverside will host Barbe at 7 p.m. while Southern Lab will entertain University Lab, also at 7 p.m.
“Our kids are looking forward to facing a good 5A opponent in Barbe next week,” Lachney said. “We will make corrections and get dialed in on them. Our kids focus well, taking things one way at a time. Getting the first win as head coach is nice but it is about the kids and the program. It is an honor to be running the program now. It is humbling.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…