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Brown Is Golden in Paraclete Victory

Alpha League: He scores four touchdowns and passes 5,000 yards rushing in 51-6 rout of Kilpatrick.


LANCASTER — It's been a learning year for Curtis Brown of Paraclete High.

He's learned to sacrifice personal numbers for the good of the team. He's learned quiet patience pays off. And he's learned winning never gets old.

Through all this learning, he's also shown that he's almost in a class by himself.

Brown rushed for 126 yards in 17 carries and scored four touchdowns Friday night as Paraclete clinched its third consecutive Alpha League title with a 51-6 romp over Kilpatrick at Antelope Valley College.

The talented junior became only the ninth player in region history to surpass 5,000 yards rushing in his career.

It's nice, but the Spirits' fourth consecutive Southern Section title would be nicer.

"I'm happy," said Brown, who scored on runs of one, 33, one and 21 yards. "It's been frustrating at times, but we have a winning tradition here and I want to keep it going again to the [Southern Section] championship."

The focal point of a pro-set offense as a freshman and a sophomore, Brown has shared carries in a double-wing set this season and gained a comparatively low 1,351 yards.

His 5,092 career yards are 544 shy of the Antelope Valley-area mark of 5,636 set by Jermaine Lewis of Antelope Valley.

Erick Jackson has been the beneficiary of the shared load. Jackson, also a junior, rushed for 138 yards in 11 carries and added touchdown runs of 33 and 22 yards.

Alex Williams scored on a one-yard run.

Kilpatrick (5-5, 3-1) suffered another disheartening defeat to the Spirits (9-1, 4-0) in a rematch of the last two Division XII final, falling to 0-7 against its nemesis.

Paraclete, which has won nine games in a row and hasn't lost to a team in its own division since 1996, outgained the Mustangs, 418-216.

The Spirits limited Jeremy Hartsfield to 56 yards in 11 carries. Hartsfield had rushed for 1,011 yards in slightly more than six games.

Quarterback Steve Romero scored for the Mustangs on a one-yard run on the final play of the half for a 21-6 deficit.

The game was played with a running clock for the final 11 minutes.

Everything is right on schedule for Coach Jeff Cortez, who took over a Paraclete program that won three consecutive section titles and five league championships in a row, dating to the Spirits' days in the High Desert League.

Pressure? What pressure?

"Expectations are high, but that's fine," he said. "It's a whole lot better than coming in and having to rebuild."

Michael Washington of Paraclete, who had his seventh interception of the season and four catches for 111 yards, has a chance to graduate with four section title rings.

"We're not ready yet," he said.

"But once we get the kinks out, we got it and nobody can stop us."

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