Rugby Team Punches Ticket to State Championship with 26-12 Win Over St. Paul’s
Update: Due to inclement weather, the state championship game was rescheduled to Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Gretna Park Field.
With their 26-12 win over the St. Paul’s Wolves on Monday, April 25, the Blue Jay rugby team is headed to the State Championship game. The Jays will face the Bayou Hurricanes on Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Gretna Park Field in the hunt for the state title.
The Jays and the Wolves played a hard-fought match in front a large group of fans at the Marconi Field. Jesuit started the scoring after winning a St. Paul’s scrum. Junior scrum-half Ian Fogarty secured the ball and tossed to junior Patrick Brou who slashed his way over the goal to score a try. Senior Scott Derbes’ conversion was good and the Jays led, 7-0.
Jesuit added to their lead when senior and team captain Will Waguespack stole the ball from the Wolves and tossed it to junior Case Ellis. Ellis dashed his way 45 yards and passed several Wolf defenders to score. Derbes was again good on his conversion, increasing the Jays’ lead to 14-0.
St. Paul’s Nicholas Montreuil answered the Blue Jay score with a long tackle-breaking run for a score late in the first half. Adam Schmidt’s conversion was good and the score would stand 14-7 at the half.
The Jays opened the second half moving the ball. Senior Evan Slattery broke through the defense to get the Jays deep into St. Paul’s territory. The Wolves’ defense stiffened and the Jays left without adding points.
The Jays kept getting into Wolves’ territory, but the Wolves kept fighting them off. Eventually the Jays used their characteristic sharp ball movement to break through. Case Ellis found himself on the receiving end of a nice toss and weaved his way through tight St. Paul’s traffic to score. Derbes’ conversion was solid, giving the Jays a 21-7 lead.
After some back and forth, sophomore Gabe Massey picked up a loose ball and outran the Wolves’ defense 55 yards for a score as Jesuit fans cheered wildly. With the missed conversion, the Jays led, 26-7.
St. Paul’s battled hard throughout the match. The Wolves penetrated the Blue Jays’ defense late in the match and scored on a try. The conversion was no good, leaving the Jays with a 26-12 win.
As is customary in rugby, the home team treats the traveling team to a shared post-match meal. Blue Jay Rugby families treated the St. Paul’s players, coaches, and families to a meal of pastalaya, salad, and dessert. Each team also honored the other with a “Man of the Match” in the spirit of sportsmanship and tradition. The Jays honored St. Paul’s Nicholas Montreuil as their “Man of the Match,” while the Wolves honored Jesuit’s Case Ellis.