Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PrepNation 101 Preseason FB Countdown: No. 66 John Curtis Christian

66. John Curtis Christian (River Ridge, La.)

Last season’s record: 12-2, Class 2A champion

Coach: J.T. Curtis

Key players: RB/LB Kenny Cain (5-11, 210, Sr.), DT Walker Ashburn (6-2, 265, Jr.), DB/WR Jonathan McKnight (6-0, 170, Jr.), OG George Alonzo (6-0, 300, Sr.), OG Shane Conraddy (6-1, 250, Sr.), LB Jonathan Pippin (6-0, 210, Sr.), LB Matt Stansbury (5-11, 195, Sr.), DT Mike Henry (6-5, 270, Sr.), QB Evan Ingram (6-1, 220, Sr.)

Biggest strength: Defense

Question mark: Inexperience on offense

Outlook: Last season the Patriots added their fourth consecutive state championship and 10th in 12 years. There are nine starters back including McKnight, younger brother of Joe (now at USC) and a fellow two-way playmaker with excellent speed and quickness. Cain is a big, physical back who moved from LB to RB and ran for 1,200 yards. At QB is Ingram, a strong-armed transfer who sat out last season. A strong nucleus returns from a defense that allowed only 65 points in the Patriots’ final 10 games. Ashburn played great in the postseason and was named defensive MVP of the state championship game. Hard-hitting linebackers Pippin and Stansbury each totaled more than 100 tackles last season.

Toughest games: Sept. 1 vs. Euless Trinity (Texas), Sept. 11 vs. East St. John, Sept. 26 at Blount (Ala.), Oct. 4 vs. No. 75 North Miami Beach (Fla.), Oct. 31 at St. James

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