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|Ferriday travels to John Curtis|
John Curtis has won 22 state championships through the years.
To get to No. 23, the Patriots will have to first defeat the same school it beat to win state title No. 7 - Ferriday High.
The two teams meet Friday at 7 p.m. at Muss Bertolino Stadium in New Orleans.
Curtis, which defeated Ferriday in the 1984 Class 2A state championship game, is seeded No. 1 in the state, while Ferriday earned the final rating spot at No. 32 with its win over Lake Providence.
The Patriots are 9-1, while Ferriday is 5-5. Curtis lost to Trinity, Texas in its opener, but has won nine straight.
"They have a good program, but we're not going in scared," said Ferriday High head coach Freddie Harrison. "We are going in to play football. They strap on their equipment just like we do and have the same helmets and shoulder pads."
Harrison said his team cannot spend time getting caught in the moment.
"We have to hold off the onslaught at the beginning," he said. "They platoon 11 different people on kickoff, kickoff return offense and defense. They have 107 players on their roster. But we both put 11 men on the field at the same time."
Ferriday finished 1-3 in district.
"They certainly have good team speed and are coached well," said John Curtis head coach J.T. Curtis. "They can feature several different people with the ball in their hands and look really good running to the football on defense and making the tackle when they get there. We've watched what they've done the last couple of weeks and they can compete with anybody."
John Curtis is led by running back Kenny Cain, defensive tackle Mike Henry, who has committed to Tulane, and punter/kicker Stone Speer.
"We're a team that continues to develop," Curtis said. "We had a couple of injuries that set us back, but some other guys stepped in and we've gotten better. We're not any different from 1982 or 1984. We run the same type offense and have the same style of defense, there's no real secret. We just try and line up and compete hard and execute what we do the best we can."
Curtis said the opening moments of the game will be important for his team, as well.
"We can't have a turnover or make a bad play in the kicking game to give them momentum," he said. "It's very important we keep field position in our favor."
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