Curtis RBs in Control

John Curtis Christian RBs Tevin Horton and Raekwon James - both underclassmen - combined for 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the Patriots' 34-0 win over defending Class 4A state champion Franklinton. Read further to find out more.

John Curtis, the second-ranked squad in Louisiana's 2A classification, handed Franklinton a 34-0 defeat last night in squalid conditions brought about by Tropical Storm Lee. The weather was conducive to Curtis' split-back veer offense, which often relied on the inside dive to RBs Tevin Horton and Raekwon James. Horton, a junior, rushed for 53 yards on seven carries with a pair of touchdowns. James - only a sophomore - gained 106 yards on 11 attempts, and Curtis QB Patrick Morton actually led the team with 154 yards on 10 carries (and two more TDs).

"The straight dive is what they were giving me," said Horton. "I got the ball in the red zone and helped us score some points."

Franklinton, which entered the game ranked second in 4A, is the defending state champion in that class.

"It hit everybody after the game - how important this win was," said Horton. "But we weren't surprised to win. Before the game, a lot of people thought it would be canceled (due to the weather) and we were excited to play. We came out really prepared."

Next week, Curtis challenges another large school: Class 5A Westgate (New Iberia, La.). Last year, Westgate reached the 5A semifinals.

"I can't wait for that game," said Horton. "We want to be well prepared. We'll get to see film of them on Monday. We were supposed to practice today, but it was called off due to the storm. The Westgate game is in the Superdome, and I love playing there. There's no wind; it's just you and the field."

James, who averaged close to 13 yards per carry as a frosh, is off to a great start.

"We got what we wanted (a win)," he said. "Franklinton's defense was pressuring the middle, so we were bouncing it outside. Their linebackers were shifting wide, which allowed me to break across the field on some runs.

"People thought we fell off last year and we wanted to prove them wrong. I was jacked when I found out we were going to play and that it wasn't canceled. I went and ran into the locker room. We've been waiting for this time since last December."

Morton, Horton and James are part of a crowded and talented backfield that's almost entirely comprised of underclassmen. Juniors Sherman Badie and Brandon Porter are two other weapons in the Patriots' ground game.

"We have all different types of backs," said James. "The coaches rotate us and help keep our legs fresh. You have to be unselfish and be able to block as a running back at Curtis."

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