How they got here
JOHN CURTIS had a regional bye, beat No. 8 St. Charles 48-0 in the quarterfinals and beat No. 4 Evangel 40-6 in its semifinal Nov. 29.
UNIVERSITY beat No. 15 St. Louis 45-10 in the regionals, beat No. 7 Teurlings Catholic 55-30 in the quarterfinals and beat No. 6 Parkview Baptist 58-23 in its semifinal on Nov. 30.
JOHN CURTIS: 25 (last: 2012); UNIVERSITY: Two (last: 1988).
Last time in the state final
Curtis beat Evangel Christian 35-13 in the 2A final in 2012. ... U-High lost to Haynesville 42-20 in the 1A final in 1990.
Storyline: The stars come out
The game matches two of Louisiana’s most star-laden programs and offers perhaps the weekend’s most intriguing coaching matchups. Curtis’ coach, 67-year-old J.T. Curtis, is Louisiana’s all-time leader in wins and has a 529-56-6. University coach Chad Mahaffey, 35, is 45-7 in his fourth season and is in a title game for the first time. Mahaffey’s grandfather, the late Racer Holstead, had a career record of 301-155-8 at Tallulah and Tallulah Academy.
JOHN CURTIS: Though the Patriots have one of the state’s top wide receivers, Curtis is very balanced and ground-oriented. Look for Curtis to also try to control the ball. That game of keep away from the U-High offense could also be crucial.
UNIVERSITY: If the Cubs can generate points against a powerful Curtis defense led by LB Kenny Young and DBs Terrence Alexander and Matrell McGraw the game could turn into a shootout.
George Moreira is a 1,000-yard rusher for John Curtis. ... The UHS offense is led by RB Nick Brossette (2,068 yards, 37 TDs) and QB Manny Miles (2,056 yards passing, 21 TDs) is one of the state’s most prolific. ... Both teams are loaded with top prospects. Curtis’ list starts with WR Malachi Dupre, while U-High list begins with OL Garrett Brumfield. ... Alexander, Young and McGraw are other top seniors who lead Curtis. Along with Brossette, an LSU commitment as a junior, and Miles, OL Drew Moore and WR D’Vante Dotson are top offensive players. UHS LB Dylan Moses is considered to be the nation’s top freshman.
ROBIN FAMBROUGH’S WINNER: Skeptics say U-High may be overwhelmed by the finals setting. I don’t expect that. I do, however, expect some lead changes and big plays on both sides.
CURTIS 27, UNIVERSITY 24