Saturday’s rainy weather didn’t hamper the John Curtis Patriots against Shaw at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in the final District 9-5A game of the season.
The Patriots made big plays in getting off to a fast start, and a solid defense easily made it hold up, as Curtis took a 27-11 victory.
“I thought we executed in the passing game well and did some things,” Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said. “We got a little conservative in the second half and couldn’t get ’em off the field in the second half.”
The Patriots (7-2, 4-2), No. 3 in the Advocate’s Large School Super 10, rolled to a 24-3 halftime lead as quarterback Brock s Hebert completed 6 of 8 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Shaw (4-6, 1-5), playing on Senior Night, missed a chance to get to .500 for the season.
Hebert quickly got Curtis on the scoreboard, throwing a 57-yard touchdown pass to Eli Brown on a post pattern on the game’s first possession.
Its defense playing well, the Patriots build what proved to be an insurmountable lead with two second-quarter touchdowns. Curtis led 7-3 when running back Devon Benn took an option pitch from Hebert, turned the left corner and sped 39 yards for a touchdown at 6:46 of the second quarter.
“(Shaw) jammed the line of scrimmage and got eight and sometimes nine guys in the box,” Curtis said. “So, when we had a chance to break it, there was not really great secondary support, and we were able to get into the end zone.”
The Patriots’ second touchdown of the quarter came on a 23-yard pass to Tyrone Legette, who caught a 5-yard pass then broke two tackles on his way to the end zone, capping a five-play, 89-yard drive.
Joshua Hartley kicked a 37-yard field goal, giving Curtis a 21-point halftime bulge.
Shaw had 132 yards rushing in the first half, with running back Trey Ragas gaining 100 in surpassing the 1,700-mark this season. However, the Eagles missed on an opportunity that could have kept them in the game.
After the defense recovered a fumble by Hebet at the Shaw 15 four minutes into the game, the Eagles drove behind Ragas and quarterback Matt Keller to Curtis’ 15. With 1:26 left in the quarter, receiver Henry Jackson-Davis was wide open on a slant pattern inside the 5-yard line. Keller’s pass, however, was behind him. Peyton Dufour kicked a 32-yard field goal, bringing the Eagles to 7-3.
After the second-half kickoff, Shaw took 13 plays covering nine minutes in reaching Curtis’ 20. However, Keller’s pass was tipped, then intercepted by Cade Comeaux at the 16.
“We had a couple of guys that had to come out (of the game) that we had to replace,” Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather said. “That kind of slowed our throwing game down a little bit; the weather kind of slowed it down a bit. Matt had trouble gripping the ball.”
Ragas gained 79 yards in the second half on 19 carries, including an 18-yard run at 8:15 of the fourth quarter. He was Shaw’s only threat, however, as the Eagles completed just two of seven passes in the second half, with Curtis intercepting two.