For the second-straight season, Curtis (River Ridge, La.) will play "host" to one of Florida's best teams at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. A preview of the No. 6 Patriots' matchup against third-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) leads off the latest edition of the MaxPreps Top 10 Football Games of the Week.
Last year, John Curtis trounced Plant (Tampa, Fla.), 33-3, helping pave the way for the Patriots' first No. 1 finish in many national polls. This year's task against Aquinas – a team that has two national titles of its own – will likely prove to be much tougher.
There are six more teams from this week's MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings featured in this week's Top 10 GOTW slate. Top teams in action include No. 4 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) taking on a talented Chandler (Ariz.) squad, fifth-ranked Karr (New Orleans) playing a crosstown showdown against the Leonard Fournette-led St. Augustine Purple Knights, and No. 15 Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.) hosting Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.) in what figures to be a high-scoring affair.
GOTW author Jamie DeMoney's (21-8-1) lead in our season-long predictions contest narrowed significantly after he picked only five out of 10 winners last week. Stephen Spiewak has closed to within one game in second place, and Colin Ward-Henninger is only three games back in third place.
Here's a look at this week's Top 10 games along with predictions by MaxPreps staff writers and contributors Mitch Stephens, Stephen Spiewak, Kevin Askeland, Leland Gordon, Colin Ward-Henninger and Jamie DeMoney. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) vs. Curtis (River Ridge, La.)
What to watch:
A Superdome showdown between two of the nation's elite programs. In addition to seven state titles in the last 20 years, St. Thomas Aquinas also claimed the mythical national championship in 2008 and 2010. John Curtis earned its first national title last season while adding its 25th state crown. Aquinas (1-0) opened the season with a dominant 38-3 win against another former national poll champion – Miami Northwestern – at Sun Life Stadium on Aug. 31. Three-star running back Madre London
had 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries according to the Miami Herald
. Curtis (1-0) opened last weekend with a victory against perennial New Jersey power Bergen Catholic (24-13). It extended the Patriots' winning streak to 29 games. Just the facts:
Neither team is a stranger to playing on a national stage against top-flight competition. St. Thomas Aquinas is 7-1 against out-of-state opponents since 2008. Curtis has won four of its last five versus non-Louisiana teams in the same period, including two wins against Florida foes. … Curtis head coach J.T. Curtis ranks second all-time with 521 wins. He is the son John T. Curtis Sr., who founded the school in 1962.Mitch Stephens:
Curtis 21, St. Thomas Aquinas 20Kevin Askeland:
Curtis 28, St. Thomas Aquinas 14Jamie DeMoney:
St. Thomas Aquinas 21, John Curtis 10Stephen Spiewak:
St. Thomas Aquinas 21, John Curtis 20Leland Gordon:
St. Thomas Aquinas 24, Curtis 22Colin Ward-Henninger:
Curtis 24, St. Thomas Aquinas 21