1st Look: John Curtis vs. Karr

John Curtis Christian School, the defending national champion, seeks to defend its title versus a challenging schedule that includes two local large-school powers and two out-of-state juggernauts. Go inside for a look at the talent that will take the field when the Patriots square off with Karr, also a defending state champ that ended 2012 with a national ranking.

John Curtis hasn't officially unveiled its fall schedule, although the Patriots are expected to encounter four formidable non-district opponents in city rivals St. Augustine and Edna Karr, national powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas from Florida and highly regarded Bergen Catholic from New Jersey.

Karr, which won all the marbles in 4A last year, finished the 2012 season ranked 40th nationally. The 14-0 Cougars welcome back five-star DE Gerald Willis and four-star WR Devante Noil, who has been the starting QB for the bulk of the past two years.

If Kerry Taylor is able to take over as Karr's starting QB, that will enable Noil and three-star tight end Anthony Jones to stretch defenses. Big things are expected from Jones, who previously shared the limelight at his position with Miami signee Standish Dobard.

LSU commit Donnie Alexander will hold it down at linebacker for first-year head coach Nathaniel Jones, who replaces Jabbar Juluke (now at Louisiana Tech).

Juluke took Karr to three consecutive 4A title game appearances before departing for Ruston. Three years ago, Franklinton ousted the Cougars in overtime. Two years ago, Neville prevailed over Karr, setting up Juluke's troops for revenge in 2012.

Bolstered by a stingy defense that limited nine opponents to single-digits, Karr ran the table in a dream season that saw the Cougars topple top-seeded Neville in the finals, 29-22.

The Cougars must fill holes on defense created by the loss of CB Noel Ellis (Texas A&M), LB/S Elcee Refuge and all-state DT Titus Charles, but the cupboard remains well-stocked. 2014 DL Joyan Williams will be back, as will 2015 DL Isaiah Washington.

Three more regulars, including opportunistic 2014 DB Bryan Anderson, return to a defensive unit that will be hard-pressed to play much better than it did last year.

Curtis counters with 2014 RBs George Moreira and Raekwon James. Moreira has a Louisiana Tech offer, while James is considered among the best in-state sleepers. 2015 QB Abby Touzet, who stepped in as the starter as a freshman due to an injury to Patrick Morton, will re-claim his spot as the No. 1 signal-caller after sharing snaps with Morton last year.

Touzet will have the luxury of tossing the football to four-star WR Malachi Dupre, who garnered MVP honors at the Dallas NFTC. 2015 TE Hunter Thibodeaux is an up-and-coming prospect. 2015 RBs Myles Washington and Dontae Jones will ensure fresh legs in the backfield. 2015 OL Tristan St. Cyr started last fall.

With its veer option offense, the Patriots run more than they throw, but when Touzet airs it out he'll have another option in 2014 WR Henry Smith.

On defense, Curtis loses LBs Duke Riley (LSU) and Eric Thomas (Tulane), and DBs Richard Allen (Tulane) and Brandon Porter (San Diego State), but four-star MLB Kenny Young and three-star DBs Terrence Alexander and Mattrell McGraw all return for their senior seasons.

2015 safety Hunter Dale has four offers. Watch for 2016 OL Willie Allen, a 6-7 offensive lineman who also plays hoops. Allen sat out his frosh season after transferring from another school.

Young, pictured below, is the country's No. 8 middle linebacker

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