With 34-5 Brother Martin Win, Blue Jay Rugby State Championship Bound
Last Saturday’s Blue Jay rugby match against the Brother Martin (BM) Crusaders began like a heavyweight fight — each opponent taking his best shots, but neither entering the lead. Then — suddenly — the team got down to business, scoring 20 unanswered points and blocking all Crusader scoring attempts until only 12 minutes remained in the match.
Despite the resounding 34-5 Jesuit victory, it took 22 minutes for the Jays to get on the board. Coming off of a BM scrum, senior Josh Cashio blocked a BM kick and senior Patrick Brou scooped it up and took it in for the try. Junior Nick Gauthe punched it in coming off of two BM penalties, and the Jays were up 14-0 with nine minutes left in the half.
On the ensuing BM drive, the Blue Jay defense stood its ground with tough physical tackling and a nice poach, holding the Crusaders out of the try zone. Senior fullback Jack Gab added a penalty kick with time running down to make it 17-0 Jesuit at halftime.
The Jays opened the second half strong with some tough long runs and nifty passing, methodically moving the ball down the field. Gab added another penalty kick to increase the lead. Both teams battled hard throughout the second half — the Crusaders even penetrated the Blue Jay defense several times, but came up short as the Jesuit line stiffened at each attempt.
Facing a shutout, the Crusaders desperately tried to stage a final comeback and scored their first — and only — try with 12 minutes left in the match. The conversion was no good and the lead stood in Jesuit’s favor, 20-5.
With the match well in hand, junior Frank Sclafani pulled in one of Cashio’s laser passes and punched it in for the try. Junior Noah Tobin finished up the scoring with a 10-meter run for the final try of the day.
Head coach Adam Massey was pleased with the effort.
“The last time we played Brother Martin it was a much closer contest, and we came out flat in poor weather,” said Massey. “This time our guys were ready for the challenge.”
With the win, the Blue Jays earn a trip to the State Championship Match for the second year in a row. Jesuit will face the defending State Champion Bayou Hurricanes on Saturday, April 22, at 5 p.m. at the Gretna pitch.