Titans Collide When No. 4 Grayson Meets John Curtis

Twitter @PCGreenfield JC.png
Two of the country's elite programs will meet in what is arguably the headliner of the Battle on the Border -- and, without question, one of the biggest games of the high school season -- when fourth-ranked Grayson (GA) and Louisiana superpower John Curtis collide on Saturday in Shreveport, LA.

Here's everything you need to know:

Battle on the Border VII -- No. 4 Grayson (GA) vs. John Curtis Christian (LA)
When: Saturday, Sept. 9, at 3 PM (CT)
Where: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA
Broadcast: FloFootball.com

What you should know about John Curtis:
John Curtis (1-0) has tallied 26 Louisiana state titles all-time, but this undoubtedly hungry group of seniors has none. Head coach J.T. Curtis -- a Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Famer with over 500 career victories -- last notched a state championship in 2013. The Patriots will enter Saturday's contest ranked No. 1 in the state of Louisiana after a dominant 27-18 season-opening victory over No. 2 Landry-Walker last week.

What you should know about Grayson:
The Rams (2-0) have one of the strongest junior classes in the country -- a group headlined by the nation's top-ranked linebacker, Owen Pappoe. Four members of that class are currently committed to Florida State. Two of those four players -- Kenyatta Watson and Wanya Morris -- joined Pappoe and Kenyon Jackson in simultaneously receiving four offers at once on Tuesday.

Offense
Quarterback Collin Guggenheim shared time behind center as a freshman, but the offense belongs to the uniquely seasoned sophomore in 2017. Guggenheim has been solid for the Patriots -- and success is made a bit more obtainable by the talent that surrounds him. Tight end Glenn Beal is among the best in the country. Running backs Marquese Albert and Darryan Washington are an excellent 1-2 punch on the ground, and wide receiver Tyrone Legette is a big-play threat in space. Case in point, Legette scored twice in the Patriots' victory last week -- including on a 95-yard kickoff return.

Grayson lost quarterback Chase Brice to graduation, but those close to the program remain excited about his replacement, transfer D.J. Irons. Through two games, Irons and the Rams offensive weapons have been largely ineffective through the air, but both have found success on the ground. Ronald Thompkins has carried the bulk of the load, tallying 238 yards on 38 carries thus far. Spelling Thompkins, senior Chris Thompson is averaging 8.7 yards per carry. Still Grayson found the end zone just once -- with nine minutes to play in the fourth quarter -- in a 12-7 win against a very average McEachern (GA) defense last week.

Advantage: ​John Curtis

Defense
The secondary is the strength for John Curtis, which deploys one of Louisiana's best defensive backfields -- most notably, senior cornerback Brandon Davis. The trouble for the Patriots -- at least, as it occurred against Landry-Walker -- may be in the box. John Curtis surrendered over 200 yards of total offense to Landry-Walker running back Chad Alexander. Linebacker Jay Curtis can be found virtually any place on the field on any given down -- from a three-point stance to intercepting passes 20 yards downfield, as he did in the win against the Charging Bucs.

Simply put, the Grayson defense is elite. The Rams' linebackers -- Pappoe, Solomon Egbe, and company -- may well be the most talented group in the country, and they're surrounded by ability elsewhere. Jaylen Rivers, listed as a safety, is an attacker off the edge. Senior Ryan Taylor and junior Tru Thompson give the group a pair of DI-bound defensive tackles. The secondary is outstanding, with Jalen Alexander (20 scholarship offers) and Kenyatta Watson II (a Florida State commit). And, of course, we haven't even mentioned edge rusher Kevin Harris -- the eighth-ranked junior outside linebacker in the country -- who, aside from Pappoe, may be the best player on the team.

Advantage: ​Grayson

Intangibles
John Curtis is playing on its home state turf, and the Patriots' fan base travels well. Couple that with the big-game experience of head coach J.T. Curtis and the hidden intangible advantage would seem to lean in the direction of the Pats.

Advantage: ​John Curtis

Key Matchup
John Curtis offensive line vs. Grayson's front seven

The Patriots returned three starters on the offensive line from a season ago -- tackle Cade Blalock, center Gideon Daniels, and guard Rory Thompson -- and the group was successful in keeping Guggenheim's jersey clean and opening running lanes in its season-opening win last week. But, as good as Landry-Walker is, Grayson is a different animal. Taylor, Thompson, and Harris are a nightmare up front, and Pappoe, Egbe, Rivers, and Herbert Winborne are as aggressive and athletic as any group of second-level defenders John Curtis will see all season.


Battle on the Border VII

Friday & Saturday, September 8-9 | 6 PM (CDT)

Shreveport Independence Stadium, Shreveport, LA

WATCH LIVE


How to Watch

On TV: Available on Roku and Apple TV 4 -- download the FloSports app now.
Streaming: Only on FloFootball with a PRO subscription. A yearly PRO subscription provides access to ALL FloSports sites. JOIN NOW


Join The Conversation On Social

Follow us on Twitter @FloFootball_
Follow us on Instagram @FloFootball
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on YouTube


FloFootball's hottest content, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss breaking news, feature stories, event updates, and more. Sign up for the FloFootball mailing list today.



The Final Piece: How Tommy Bush Became Georgia’s Exclamation Point

Twitter | @TheTommyBush11 Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 4.29.23 PM.png

An orange cap that, but for a moment, appeared bound for the head of a very good football player is, instead, fluttering through the air towards nothing and no one in particular, eliciting an explosion of cheers from a gymnasium full of onlookers in Cordele, Georgia. 

Distribution Of Talent Highlights College Football's Lack Of Parity

© Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_10013438_168383134_lowres.jpg

By now, you’re likely very well aware that Georgia’s 2018 signing class was kind of a big deal. The Bulldogs locked up a record seven five-star prospects as part of an all-time group, the quality and quantity of which led most to completely ignore what everyone else was able to do.

Sleepers To Watch From The Class Of ’18: Part 1

Twitter | @Mo_is_blessed Screen Shot 2018-02-15 at 12.08.47 PM.png

Without having yet put on shoulder pads for their respective schools, guys like Trevor Lawrence, Patrick Surtain Jr., and Zamir White are already household names amidst their respective fan bases — and rightfully so.

Mike Gundy’s Top 10 Social Media Moments

Twitter | @OSUAthletics Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 2.48.24 PM.png

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy is, most recently, featured as a saxophone player of all things in arguably the greatest promotional marriage among multiple sports and Valentine’s Day that we, as a society, have ever seen.

Texas Football Legend Sam McGuffie Is An Olympic Bobsledder In PyeongChang

Twitter | @sam_mcguffie Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 3.05.47 PM.png

Remember the name Sam McGuffie?

Florida Head Coach Dan Mullen Is Interested In Adding Tim Tebow To Staff

© Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_4343718_168383134_lowres.jpg

Former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow has a pretty full calendar these days, what with his continued run at professional baseball, on-air contributions to the SEC Network, writing books, and, of course, instituting world peace.

Saquon Barkley Signs With Nike

© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_10506418_168383134_lowres.jpg

Saquon Barkley became the first draft-eligible player to ink an endorsement deal on Friday, when the former Penn State running back and consensus All-American signed with Nike.

4 Takeaways From National Signing Day That (Mostly) Aren’t About Georgia

Twitter | @_UnderTheRadar_ Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 6.29.46 PM.png

As is tradition, National Signing Day delivered on entertainment.

NCAA Bans Johnny Football From Tweeting At Recruits

© Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_9915629_168383134_lowres.jpg

It may be #ComebackSZN for Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, but the NCAA has effectively sent the former Aggies quarterback into early retirement when it comes to his side hustle as the self-appointed social media recruiter for Texas A&M.

Olaijah G, Son Of Warren G, Signs With Southern Cal

Twitter | @OlaijahGriffin Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 1.09.36 PM.png

Olaijah Griffin is a five-star cornerback — the No. 28 overall player in the country, per 247Sports — who starred at Mission Viejo (CA) High School.