Walker: A generation later another Corcoran stars _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Mike Corcoran and his John Curtis teammates celebrate an interception he returned for touchdown against Brother Martin in a Division I select semifinal Friday at Tad Gormley Stadium.

It was like a throwback to the early 90s Friday night.

A guy named Corcoran wearing a No. 20 John Curtis jersey was sprinting to the end zone for a touchdown.

This time it was Mikey Corcoran, whose father Michael was a star running back for the Patriots.

With 1:13 left in the first half, Corcoran deflected a pass by Brother Martin quarterback Jake Broggi, then snagged the ball out of the air and raced 22 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career.

“I was just trying to run like it was the last minute of my life,” Mikey said.

It was one of several defensive gems by the senior linebacker. He also had three sacks as Curtis claimed a 40-20 win in the Division I semifinal game at Tad Gormley Stadium.

Now the Patriots head to the championship game for the 19th consecutive year. They will play the winner of Saturday’s showdown between Jesuit and Rummel.

It will be Corcoran’s fourth straight year playing in the Superdome, the same building his father scored four touchdowns in the 1990 championship game against Washington-Marion.

His father was a proud father Friday as he watched his son score the touchdown, sporting the same jersey number he wore.

“Look at me go,” described Corcoran, Sr. when asked about his reaction to the touchdown. “He reminds me a lot of me because I was about the same size.”

The play helped swing the momentum for Curtis. The Patriots led 19-14 before that play and stretched the lead right before halftime.

“He had been looking forward to this game because he and the rest of his teammates really had wanted to play against some of the big schools,” said Corcoran, Sr.

Patriots’ coach J.T. Curtis wasn’t surprised by Mikey’s stellar performance.

“Mikey has played like that all year for us,” Curtis said. “He is a kid that I think is highly underrated in terms of his production on the field.”

Curtis, now going for his 27th state title, won title No. 11 in 1990 on that day when Corcoran Sr. scored four touchdowns, which is still tied for the title game record.

“They played two different spots, but they both have that same competitive Corcoran spirit,” Curtis said. “Actually his uncle played for me too, and that toughness doesn’t surprise me.”

And Mikey tried his best to be a chip off the old block, despite playing on defense.

He wears No. 20 because his dad wore it.

“He was an amazing athlete, and I always wanted to be like him both on and off the field,” Corcoran said. “He has extreme character and that’s what I want to be.”

Corcoran, one of the Patriots’ leading tacklers, excels in the classroom as well.

He is a straight A student, and he says he plans to attend either Southeastern Louisiana or Nicholls State.

Nicholls, of course, is where his father played.

But first things first.

He would like nothing more than to cap off his high school career with one more state title.It would give him four, eclipsing the three his father won.

“He’ll be one up me if he gets it,” said his dad, who doesn’t mind one bit.

Friday can’t get here soon enough for Mikey.

“It’s really exciting,” he said. “But we have to put all the distractions aside and prepare like we have never prepared before.”

Surprisingly, he didn’t ranked Friday as a career game.

“It’s one of them,” he said. “But not good enough though.”

He’ll try to play even better Friday when he puts on No. 20 one last time.

His dad will be in the stands watching, reminiscing some about that 1990 game while at the same time watching the Corcorans make new Superdome memories.