Usually defense plays a huge role in any team that makes it to the state championship game, and that rings true for 2A contender John Curtis and their linebacker Duke Riley.

Against Springfield, John Curtis Patriots linebacker Duke Riley was a wrecking ball.

The senior showed why he is a top recruit: Riley had 15 tackles and a fumble recovery as the Patriots shut out the Bulldogs. Riley is being recruited by several BCS schools, including TCU and Ole Miss.

“He’s a guy that tackles sideline to sideline and plays the pass extremely well, and he’s an emotional leader on defense,” coach J.T. Curtis tells WGNO Sports. “Every time he goes out, he plays with great enthusiasm, and we have to keep that under control. I would rather have to keep it under control than encourage it. Believe me, when he takes the football field, he will be ready to play.”

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