State title game: Curtis comes up big when it matters most - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

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State title game: Curtis comes up big when it matters most

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 8:03 pm

Natrell Curtis has had an odd season.

An ankle injury slowed his offseason, he admittedly gained some unnecessary weight and then he injured his elbow in training cam. The Mountain Pointe senior also had to contend with some off the field matters toward the end of the regular season.

His play along the offensive line has been as dominating as expected, but other than the season opener in Las Vegas, Curtis, a 6-foot-4, 340-pound guard, hasn’t played a significant role on both sides of the ball mostly because coaches weren’t sure he was in shape to play both ways.

Then came a matchup against the most prolific rushing team in the history of big-school football in Arizona.

And guess who was right smack dab in the middle of the line plugging up gaps and pushing back offensive linemen to hold Desert Ridge to its lowest rushing total (131) on the season in the state semifinals?

Big ol’ No. 75.

“I still got the juice,” said Curtis, who is committed to Washington but recently visited Oklahoma. “My coaches challenged me to all week and I did my part for this team. We needed to stop their run game to win this game and I had to be out there with them.”

Don’t be surprised to see Curtis doing the same thing Saturday in the Division I state title game against Hamilton.

In the first meeting – a 37-27 win by the Pride – Hamilton threw the ball 33 times (completing just 12) and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Huskies throw it half as many times in this go around.

Mountain Pointe’s defense would be that much better off if Curtis can do his part again.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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