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Curtis Dominates in Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Football Classic
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Louisiana and Florida split the two games in the second annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Prep Football Classic on Friday evening before 4,280 fans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In the marquee game, sixth-ranked John Curtis Christian, from River Ridge, La., dominated No. 7 Plant High from Tampa, 33-3. The convincing victory for the Patriots lifted them as high as No. 2 in the national rankings. In the opening game, Lincoln High from Tallahassee used a fourth-quarter interception return by Travis Hearns for a touchdown to upend St. Paul's of Covington, La., 14-13.
Final Stats: Lincoln 14, St. Paul's 13
Final Stats: John Curtis 33, Plant 3
The top performers in the opening game were Hearns for Lincoln - team-best seven tackles and the game-winning interception for a touchdown - and David Stechmann for St. Paul's, who led the Wolves' defense with 11 tackles. Lincoln's Ben Robinson rushed for 102 yards in the game and also caught two passes for 19 yards while intercepting St. Paul's final pass of the game late in the fourth quarter to ice the victory. Sherman Badie was the likely MVP of game two as he collected three touchdowns and 92 rushing yards. Cameron Winter caught five passes for 98 yards for Plant, while Paris Bostock led the Panthers with 10 tackles. Duke Riley was the Patriots' top tackle man with 10 as well.
The Curtis-Plant game was expected to be a memorable battle as the Patriots are the defending Louisiana State 2A champions and the Panthers captured the Florida State Class 8A (largest) title last year. Plant has won three of the last four state titles while Curtis has won 12 titles in the past 16 years. However, the game was one Plant will like to soon forget as the Curtis defense allowed just 194 yards while its offense collected 299 of its own.
Plant had two three-and-outs and a fumble on its first three drives, while Curtis had a pair of first quarter touchdown runs by Badie to quickly take control. In the second quarter, Badie added a 40-yard scoring run and Raekwon James tallied a rushing touchdown of his own to make it 27-0. The Panthers cracked the scoring column with a 37-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half, but that would be their only points of the night. John Curtis closed the scoring with a 42-yard punt return touchdown by Richard Allen late in the third quarter.
In the opening game, Lincoln controlled the action throughout, but the result was in doubt until the fourth quarter. Despite managing just 46 yards of total offense in the game, St. Paul's held a 13-7 advantage going into the fourth. The Wolves took advantage of an interception by Jay Washington to set up a first-quarter touchdown run of 12 yards by Marcus Gaines. With the St. Paul's extra-point attempt going off the mark, Lincoln took the lead in the second quarter on a nine-yard connection between quarterback Cameron Joseph and Taj Williams.
However, in the third quarter, St. Paul's jumped back ahead with an 84-yard punt return score from Sean Lozes. The Wolves continued to battle, holding the Trojans out of the end zone until Hearns snagged his pickoff at the 26-yard line and ran it home for the go-ahead score.
The Sugar Bowl Committee continues to be very active in the New Orleans community by holding fast to its mission of sponsoring and promoting amateur sporting events which foster revenue and spark economic growth for the city and the state. This year the Bowl will support more than 25 events in sports such as volleyball, baseball, basketball, golf, lacrosse, sailing, track and field, soccer and tennis, as well as football. In addition, the Allstate Sugar Bowl sponsors the local chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as well as the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame.