It’s been three weeks since John Curtis announced it would be playing up in Division I with the larger schools come playoff time.
Although Friday’s action was just a jamboree, the Patriots seem more than capable of playing with the big boys.
Curtis jumped on Class 5A Covington early and went on to claim a 28-7 victory in the jamboree played at Mandeville.
“We get a chance to play the big schools that people say Curtis never gets a chance to play this year,” said quarterback Myles Washington. “We finally are playing with the big boys our senior year so I want to see how we are going to do.”
Washington wasted little time giving the Patriots an early lead, breaking loose for a 76-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper on the second play of the game.
“Honestly I made the wrong read on the play,” Washington said. “But coach always tells me when you make a mistake to just roll with it and that’s what I did. It felt great to set the tempo early like that.”
It’s the kind of play Patriots’ coach J.T. Curtis has come to expect from his quarterback, who took over last season after the starting quarterback was injured early in the year.
“Myles has that kind of ability,” said Curtis. “He can take it the distance at any times, but really we feel like that about all of our backs.”
On the Patriots’ next possession, Dontae Jones scored on a 25-yard run.
After just four plays, the Patriots had already scored two touchdowns and piled up 128 yards of offense.
It was the first of two scores for Jones, who also scored on a 59-yard in the second half.
“We really think he is going to be a good back,” Curtis said. “He is powerful in his lower body and runs with great intensity. We feel good about these two backs (Devon Benn).”
Benn scored the Patriots other touchdown on a 9-yard run on the third possession of the game.
“I thought we did some good things tonight,” Curtis said. “Covington is obviously a physical team. They crowded the line of scrimmage and took the run away from us. I was pleased with how we threw the ball at times. We have to get a little more consistent at that. As Myles grows with this team and we begin to find our personality, we will be fine.”
Washington completed 1 of 3 passes for 23 yards and junior Brock Hebert completed 2 of 3 passes for 25 yards.
Dorian Rodrigue intercepted a pass to help lead the Patriots’ defense.
“We have to improve defensively up front, but we knew that was something we needed to do,” Curtis said. “Hopefully playing a physical team like Covington will help us grow up a little bit.”
Covington scored its lone touchdown on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Smith to Cordara Laurant.
Smith set up the touchdown with a 49-yard run two plays earlier.
“Basically we got a chance to dust the cobwebs off,” said Covington coach Greg Salter. “I saw some promising things, but there were also a lot of things we thought we would do better that we didn’t do. No question, Curtis is a good football team. I would’ve liked to have seen us stand up and play a little better than that, but I am not going to harp on it.”
Curtis, ranked No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate Small School Super 10, opens the season on Friday at Mandeville. Covington hosts Holy Cross.
SALMEN 21, BOGALUSA 0: Senior Jatairee Hudson scored a touchdown on offense and defense to lead the Spartans to an easy victory over the Lumberjacks in the first game of Friday’s jamboree.
“We ask a lot of him,” said Salmen coach Gerald Leonard. “He is a 3-year starter for us. As his knowledge of the game has improved over the year, we have put a little more on his plate. We lean on him and I am going to continue to lean on him.
“He has the ability to make big plays for us and we are going to to continue to find ways to keep him involved.”
Hudson scored on a 2-yard with 4:02 left in the first half for the Spartans’ first score.
Moments later, Hudson, who also plays linebacker, scored on a 35-yard fumble return.
Hudson’s first touchdown was set up by a 55-yard run by Wallace Duplesis, who bulldozed over a Bogalusa defender before racing to the 10-yard line.
Duplessis finished with 75 yards on just four carries.
Jamie Passaro threw a 35 yard touchdown pass to James Lambert with 4:44 left in the second half for the final score of the jamboree.
“We made a step forward from last week (scrimmage against Destrehan), that’s for sure,” Leonard said. “How much better, we’ll see next week.”
Salmen opens the regular season on Friday at Hahnville.
MANDEVILLE 10, FRANKLINTON 7: The Mandeville defense was too much in the host Skippers’ victory over Franklinton in the nightcap of the three-game jamboree.
The Mandeville defense didn’t allow a first down until 3:45 was left in the game.
“The defense definitely played outstanding tonight,” said Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte. “That’s what we have always hung our hats on since I have been here. We have always put an emphasis on defense.”
Parker Pastorelli had a first half interception, and then kicked a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the first half that proved to be the game-winner.
Brant Moisant scored on an 11-yard reception from senior Jonathan Penton for Mandeville’s only touchdown.
Penton also perhaps took the lead in Mandeville’s quarterback race to replace Glen Cuiellette, now a freshman at Tulane. Sophomore Joseph Bulavas is also vying for the position.
“We’ll see how it goes,” Lecompte said. “They are both capable and it’s who is having the better day in practice. Right now we will probably go with Jonathan. He has more experience and is older.”
Tramario Magee scored on a 61-yard interception return for Franklinton.
“We have nerves and a lack of experience and it showed a little tonight,” Lecompte said.
Mandeville hosts John Curtis on Friday, while Franklinton plays at Tylertown (Miss.)