After Heartbreak in Overtime, Jays Look Forward to St. Augustine
The Blue Jay football team is slated to take on the Purple Knights of St. Augustine on Friday night at 7 PM at Tad Gormley Stadium. As the team works through a week of preparation for this first-round playoff contest, head coach Mark Songy remains optimistic about his team’s attitude and character.
“We are not doing anything special regarding preparation for St. Augustine,” Songy said. “Our players know what is at stake and are preparing as we always do – appropriately. Our spirit and effort at practice has been as it always is. Our guys come to work each day with a great attitude, ready to prepare for the challenge that lies ahead, placing no more or less importance on the team we are about to face. In this regard, our players have been exceptional all year.”
Jesuit enters into the postseason looking for vengeance after a heartbreaking overtime loss to Brother Martin in Week 10 of the regular season. That game was preceded with a special presentation for Senior Night, as seniors greeted their parents on the field and thanked them for the many years of love in support of their formation as players and young men.
The game itself was a back-and-forth battle where the lead changed five times before the teams landed at a 17-17 tie as time expired. It was without question the most exciting and competitive game of the season.
The Blue Jays were the first to strike late in the first half, when a massive Michael Torry rushing effort set up a field goal for kicker Max Schuerich.
The Crusaders answered immediately with a breakaway touchdown reception to close out the first half with a score of 7-3. The lead changed yet again in the first few minutes of the third quarter when Torry ran for 46-yard touchdown. The 10-7 Blue Jays lead lasted all quarter, but the Crusaders took the lead back 14-10 at the beginning of the fourth.
With 7:30 left to play, senior quarterback Alex Watermeier began a masterful drive, using all his receiver resources to march the ball downfield. Watermeier completed the drive with a 8-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Robert McMahon, and the spirit of Blue Jay fans reached new heights.
With 3 minutes to play, the Jays were ahead 17-14, but the outcome was far from settled.
After a Brother Martin three-and-out, the Jays just needed to control the ball until time expired by getting a few first downs. They got one big first down but failed to get a second.
Brother Martin took over with 1:00 on the clock and got the field position they needed to send a field goal through the uprights as time expired to force a show down in overtime.
Although Brother Martin came out ahead in the final 23-17 tally, the Blue Jays walked off the field battle-tested. The thrill of competing at such a high level is a great jumping off point for the postseason.
“I think our players learn something new about themselves each week,” concluded Coach Songy. “Our coaches do as well. All along, we’ve known that we have what it takes to compete with anyone in Louisiana. Our progress throughout the year has been steady. I am still certain that we have not yet played our best ball, and I am looking forward to having that happen this week.”
On Friday night, the Blue Jays look to play their best ball of the season against St. Augustine, who escaped a close game of their own last week against Archbishop Rummel. With Catholic league schools playing each other so closely at the end of the regular season, all signs indicate that it will be an exciting series of playoff battles in the weeks ahead.