In a battle of two teams expected to make deep playoff runs, Class 4A Franklinton and Class 5A John Curtis ended in a 14-14 tie in the opening game of the Mandeville jamboree Friday.
“I was proud of the way we continued to compete all game long,” John Curtis coach J.T. Curtis said. “Our offense put us in some bad situations early in the game, but our effort was there and we know those are mistakes we are going to have to fix. We also made some critical penalties, which we know we have to fix come the season opener next week.”
Trailing 14-8 with under three minutes to go in the game, first-year starter Brock Hebert drove the Patriots down the field, capping a five-play drive with a 20-yard touchdown to Darryan Washington to tie it at 14-14.
Looking for the go-ahead points, Kody Schexnayder’s extra point was wide left.
After his first two passes were intercepted, Hebert finished 4-of-8 for 45 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed four times for 20 yards.
“What you saw on that last drive is what we expect of him,” Curtis said of Hebert. “Early in the game, Franklinton did some things defensively which we really were not ready for. He could have gotten down on himself, but he didn’t.”
The Patriots answered with a big play of their own via senior running back Devon Benn. Benn scored on a 42-yard touchdown run and finished with 83 yards on 12 carries.
One of Hebert’s early mistakes was an interception made by senior defensive lineman Kobe Crain. Crain returned it 36 yards for a touchdown for the Demons’ first points.
“It was weird because I was just trying to get to the quarterback both times, and somehow I ended up with the ball,” Crain said. “That was my only goal all night just put the pressure on the passer. John Curtis doesn’t throw the ball a whole lot, so when they do you have to pressure them. We were able to do that.”
Hebert wasn’t the only quarterback making his first start. Franklinton sophomore quarterback Tahj Magee also made his first start. Magee finished 9-of-15 for 92 yards and also rushed for 14 yards on eight carries.
“You want to play against skill because you are going to play against skill in the regular season,” Curtis said. “Certainly Franklinton has that and showed it during this game. They have a lot of skilled guys that can make plays.”
RIVERSIDE 20, MANDEVILLE 17: Subbing for an injured Jared Butler, Herb McGee hit Tyler Gauthier with a late 4-yard touchdown to give the Rebels a 20-17 in the nightcap.
Trailing 17-13, the senior McGee calmly led Riverside to the game-winning score, capping off a nine-play drive.
“Jared had a little soreness in his arm so coach Stubbs came to me and asked me to fill in,” McGee said. “I know this is only the jamboree, but I want to do whatever I possibly can to help this team win and tonight it involved me taking the snaps under center. We did what we had to do and we came out victorious.”
Making the start at quarterback for the Rebels, McGee led the Rebels to a touchdown on their opening possession, capping a five-play drive with a 17-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
The Skippers’ Cody Orgeron answered on the ensuing possession with a touchdown run, this time from 3 yards out. However, a bad snap on the extra point made it 7-6. Orgeron’s 12-yard TD pass to Alex Boudreaux late in the first half and the ensuing two-point conversion to Boudreaux gave the Skippers a 14-7 lead.