For an unheard of eighth year in a row, state superpowers John Curtis and Evangel will meet in the playoffs. Thirty-nine state titles will be represented on the field tonight, and the Patriots hold 26 of those coveted trophies. The faces have changed on the field for both squads, but the intensity will be just the same on the west bank.
"Certainly we know each other," said Coach J.T. Curtis. "We've had some highly competitive games - they always are. They'll be a well-coached football team with highly skilled players. Guys that'll play at the next level. Guy's that'll be laying it on the line in the state quarterfinals.
John Curtis could be a little rusty going into tonight's game against Evangel. Now with the new playoff system, we have nine state championships. So the Patriots got a bye as the No. 1 seed.
"It's not what you want," Curtis said. "You would like to line up and play all five weeks of the playoffs that it's designed to be. Of course we're not going to be able to do that. To sit at home with a bye after finishing the regular season is tough. You wanna practice, but you don't want to get them tired, not wear them out. So there's a fine line. We'll find out Friday night if we crossed that line, or we were right on it as a lot of teams will. It's not easy coming off 10 weeks of football then having bye. Hopefully, we got ourselves prepared mentally and physically, and fresh, ready to play."