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Defense helps John Curtis outlast St. Augustine Purple Knights

  • Tags:
  • Feature Story
  • Game Recap
  • By:
  • NCL Staff
  • Posted:
  • October 16, 2016 - 3:44pm

Photos by Mike TrummelSt. Augustine quarterback Justice McCoy (2) reaches for the goal line during the Purple Knights' 28-28 loss to the John Curtis Patriots.

Garret Wallow’s deflection of a Justice McCoy pass at the Curtis 10-yard line in the closing seconds of the game was a fitting end to the Patriots’ 28-26 win over St. Augustine in District 9-5A action Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium.

In a game that produced several defensive touchdowns, it was only apt that a big defensive play factored in the outcome.

Trailing by two points, the Purple Knights mounted a 63-yard drive in the closing seconds for a potential game-winning score before Wallow came up with his defensive gem to preserve the victory for the Patriots.

The defensive exploits for the Patriots (6-0 overall, 3-0 in district) began early in the game when a 3-yard interception return for a touchdown by Terron Cherry gave Curtis a 7-0 lead in the middle of the first quarter.

A 5-yard touchdown run by Choncee Crum with less than five minutes remaining in the first quarter extended the Curtis lead to 14-0.

St. Augustine (3-4 overall, 3-1 in district) turned to its defense to get back in the game when Rodney Coleman returned an interception 21 yards for a touchdown in the final minute of the opening quarter to make it 14-6.

Curtis, the top-ranked team in Class 5A, made it 21-6 in the second quarter when Rhyen Gilmore stepped in front of an attempted lateral by the Purple Knights and raced in for what was officially a 46-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

St. Augustine, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, closed the gap with a pair of conventional touchdowns on a 1-yard run by McCoy and a 2-yard run by Perre’ Barbarin to narrow the gap to three points at halftime as the Purple Knights trailed 21-18 at the break.

The first-half scoring could have been much higher as each team committed four of its five turnovers in the first half.

The Patriots extended their lead to 10 points in the opening two minutes of the second half on a 56-yard run by quarterback Collin Guggenheim.

A 12-yard pass from McCoy to Keith Settle and a two-point conversion connection by the duo late in the third quarter inched the Purple Knights to within two points at 28-26.

That proved to be the final scoring of the game as Wallow came up with his defensive stop to end St. Aug’s comeback effort in the closing moments of the contest.

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