John Curtis runs away from Parkview for 41-14 win _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- John Curtis Devon Benn slips the tackle by Parkview's Preston Roberts on Thursday at Parkview.

Parkview Baptist gets credit for grabbing the momentum first. Eventually, John Curtis took it and ran away with it.

Devon Benn ran for 163 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns to help lead Curtis to a 41-14 victory over Parkview in a battle of third-ranked teams Thursday night at PBS.

“You know what ... that’s the reason why I play teams like this,” Curtis coach J.T. Curtis said. “They’re well-coached and they’re going to look at your film and find things.

“They saw something on our punt coverage and exploited it. I told our guys we might face some adversity. We could have been down 14-0. We did (face some adversity), and we handled it.”

The Class 5A Patriots (3-0) did it in their typical fashion, with an efficient option option offense and a defense that made big plays and later put Parkview (1-2) in a vise grip.

Darryan Washington had a 64-yard run that set up one first-half touchdown for Curtis and finished with 86 yards on just five carries, while quarterback Brock Hebert scored two TDs and passed for another.

Reggie Hayes led Parkview with 65 yards on 13 carries with one TD. Trent Kavanaugh ad 40 yards on five carries and scored the other TD for the Eagles.

Tariq Pierce had a key fumble recovery that helped sway momentum. Nate Evans made a goal-line stop of PBS running back Nelson Smith in the first quarter that helped the Patriots temper the Eagles’ momentum.

“For first time in three games we started fast on both sides of the ball and on special teams,” Parkview coach Jay Mayet said. “That’s the positive we can take away from this. We knew going in we’d have to have the momentum with us and we had it. We came and out and scored in the third quarter to make it 21-14. And then it got away from us.”

Parkview got exactly what it wanted to start the game. Curtis got the ball first but was forced to punt. The Eagles’ Preston Roberts blocked the punt and Peyton Phillios recovered at the JC 24.

Three plays later, Parkview scored. Kavanaugh rambled around right end on a 16-yard TD run. Dillon Hoglen’s point-after kick made gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead with 9:08 left in the first quarter.

Two plays later, the Eagles got the ball back again. Roberts recovered a Curtis fumble. Parkview moved from quickly from the JC 39 and into the red zone, thanks to a 30-yard run by Kavanaugh.

PBS got to the JC 2. On fourth-and-goal, the Patriots’ held Smith out of the end zone and kept it a one score game with Evans leading the charge.

“We knew we had to make plays,” Curtis’ Pierce said. “That (goal-line) play was big.”

Parkview drove into Curtis territory on its next drive that started with 1:43 left in the first quarter. A 14-run by Hayes was a key play. The Eagles opted to try a 46-yard field goal on fourth down at the JC 29. Hoglen’s kick fell short.

The Patriots nixed the notion that an option team can’t score quickly, as some run-oriented drives that took less than two minutes. The first five-play drive covered 78 yards in 1:32.

A 64-yard run by Washington set up a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Hebert. Joseph Hartley’s PAT tied the game with 8:27 remaining. The Patriots got the ball back quickly on a fumble recovery by Pierce in the red zone. Hebert scored on a 2-yard run that gave Curtis a 14-7 advantage with 5:19 to go in the half.

The final Curtis drive of the half covered 66 yards in 1:14. Each running play gained at least 11 yards, and Benn scored on a 14-yard run that made it 21-0 with 1:13 in the half.

Parkview fired on all cylinders to open the second half. Hayes had a 25-yard run and Cole Mayet broke loose for a 35-yard run to power the 80-yard drive. Hayes scored on a 1-yard run that pulled PBS with seven.

From there, Curtis used a ground game that netted 352 yards to pull away. A 15-yard TD pass from Hebert to Travis O’Conner upped the Patriots’ lead to 28-14. A 38-yard TD run by Benn gave the Patriots all the separation they needed.

“We started slow, but we picked it up,” Benn said. “My offensive line kept blocking and blocking the holes opened up. The backs ... all of us ran through them. We know we’ve got to come out and play physical every game.”