Blue Jays Rise to the Occasion in Hahnville Jamboree
In the weeks leading up to the season opener next Thursday against Warren Easton, some positive buzz has already been circulating about the strength of Jesuit’s defensive front. Thursday night’s face-off against Hahnville proved to be a true testing ground, and, excepting a few break-away gains for the Tigers, the defense passed the test with high marks.
The story line going into the jamboree contest focused on Hahnville’s star running back, Kansas-signee Anthony Williams. For the Blue Jay defense, the name of the game was containment. “I was really happy with the way the team took the challenge head on,” said head coach Mark Songy. “All things considered, we played good defense against a special player.”
On offense, the Jays were deft at moving the ball downfield. Senior quarterback Alex Watermeier navigated the pocket very well and controlled the pace of the game throughout. The combination of gritty fourth down conversions and the ability to take advantage of Hahnville penalties kept the chains moving downfield all night.
“Our team grew up a little bit,” Songy remarked . “We made some big mistakes, but I’m confident that we’ll be able to overcome them in the weeks ahead with effort and intensity.” Although the mistakes were small in number, they cost the Jays the opportunity to notch their third consecutive Hahnville Jamboree victory. Despite tremendous confidence in the march downfield, Jesuit struggled to get the ball into the end zone. They failed to convert three times in the red zone, including a fumble from the 16 yard line which let the Tigers keep the Blue Jays at bay in the first half.
But it wasn’t all bad news at the goal line. Watermeier threw a first-half bullet to junior receiver Noah Varnado in the end zone to put the first points of the night on the board. The second Blue Jay touchdown came in the second half when junior running back Willie Robinson broke though multiple tackles to complete a 30+ yard run with a score.
Things looked good for a Jesuit victory with a 14-7 lead with just over a minute to play. But it just wasn’t meant to be for the Blue Jays. The defense, which had until then kept a tight lid on the Hahnville attack, allowed Williams to break away from the pack and march all the way down field to tie the game with just under a minute to play. Despite a brave Blue Jay offensive effort in the last drive, the game ended in a tie, 14-14.
The testing time for the Blue Jay football squad is over as the Jays open regular season play against Warren Easton next week. Kickoff time is 6:00 PM on Friday night at Tad Gormley Stadium. Only time will tell if this year’s Blue Jay football team can maintain its high level of play and clean up the mistakes to ensure a successful season.