Jays Lose a Close One to Rummel, 22-21
The Jesuit football team put forward a strong performance against Archbishop Rummel in the historic game played at Yulman Stadium on Friday night. The first Catholic League football match-up on Tulane’s campus in nearly 40 years saw the Blue Jays play extremely well for the first 40 minutes.
The game started with a rush a excitement for the Blue and White. Junior Ethan Kerrigan led the charge by hauling in an interception on the first drive of the game. The offense then quickly entered the red zone, and senior running back Michael Torry bounced outside the cadre of linemen to cross the goal line and put the Jays ahead, 7-0.
The defense continued to hold the line for the Jays on the next Raider drive. Rummel tried to even the score with a methodical march down the field, taking the ball all the way down to Jesuit’s 1-yard line. Not to be intimidated on the 4th-and-1 attempt at the end zone, junior defensive back Cameron Helm tore through Rummel’s offensive line and delivered a hard-hitting tackle to force a turnover on downs.
Rummel would eventually even the score at seven before senior Michael Hull made a leaping interception along the Rummel sideline and ran for 52 yards to inside Rummel’s 10 yard line. A running play up the middle by junior Willie Robinson set up a diving reception by junior Noah Varnado for the score with just a few seconds left on the clock before halftime.
Just before Jesuit was able to hit the locker room leading by a touchdown, Rummel returned the kickoff after Varnado’s score for nearly 70 yards. Cameron Helm proved he was truly the goal-line protector by running down the kickoff returner and again making a tackle to save a touchdown. The Raiders settled for a field goal to make the score 14-10 at the half.
“I was really impressed by how well we played,” said head football coach Mark Songy. “For most of the game, we were physically dominant against a team that has exceptional athletes. Our defense played hard-nose football, especially in the red zone, and I couldn’t be prouder of our improvement in all aspects of the game.”
After a quiet third quarter for both teams, the Blue Jays broke the silence with an 86-yard reception by junior Robert McMahon to put them in striking distance. Michael Torry brought the ball across the goal line for the second time that night and improved Jesuit’s lead to 21-10 with just under eight minutes to play.
Unfortunately, a lot can happen in eight minutes. With a total of four turnovers in the fourth quarter, Rummel took advantage of the swings in momentum to score twice on 30-plus yard receptions.
The defense maintained their composure through the late-game surge by Rummel, interrupting both attempts at 2-point conversions. Junior Cameron Helm again showed his determination to keep the Raiders out of the end zone by perfectly timing his break on the ball and batting down a passing attempt for one of the conversions.
The Jays just couldn’t hold on as the clock expired, and Rummel escaped with a victory, 22-21.
After the game, Coach Songy said, “You don’t lose a football game because of a few mistakes. You lose because of a culmination of everything that happens from the beginning of the game until the end. I told the team that what counts is is how you handle yourself in every situation. That’s true for football, and it’s true in life.”
The Jays are back in action on Saturday night against Archbishop Shaw. Kickoff is set for 7 PM at Hoss Memstas Stadium.