Jays Hit the Road Again, This Time to Play Tigers of Pensacola High
Jesuit’s varsity football team leaves Friday, September 26 for the Florida Gulf Coast, destination Pensacola. But the nearly 100 players — along with their entourage of coaches, managers, trainers, cheerleaders, the Blue Jay Band, and the Jayettes — are hardly vacationing and will not set foot (or feet) on the sparkling white sand beaches of Santa Rosa Island.
Instead, the eyes and minds of Coach Mark Songy’s players are focused on a football rivalry. The Jays and the Tigers of Pensacola High meet for their 20th game in a rivalry that extends back to the mid-1960s.
That rivalry lay dormant for decades until last year when the two teams agreed to play each other. Pensacola traveled to New Orleans in 2013 and the two teams duked it out at Tad Gormley Stadium with the Jays besting the Tigers, 28-7. The series stands at 13 Jesuit wins to Pensacola’s 6 wins.
Now it is Jesuit’s turn to hit the road, to which the team is now accustomed. The Jays have played three games, the first two of which were “away” games. After dropping their season-opener against Ponchatoula, 24-21, the Jays chased off the butterflies and have played solid football. In week 2, Jesuit crossed the Causeway to play St. Paul’s and throttled the Wolves, 49-22. Last Friday, the Jays played their first home game at Tad Gormley Stadium, a decisive 35-6 win over Central High (Baton Rouge).
The Jays are 2-1, looking sharper, and playing smarter each week. Pensacola is 2-2 and coming off a tough loss to cross-town rival Milton, 31-21.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Pensacola High Stadium (not 7 p.m. as was previously reported). Pre-game tickets are on sale for $5 each for adults, students, and children. All tickets purchased at the gate are $6 each. Tickets will be on sale at the switchboard on Wednesday and Thursday of this week from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tickets will not be sold on Friday. Student IDs and season passes will not be accepted at the gate.
A Blue Jay Spirit Bus is also heading to Pensacola on Friday… But its occupants won’t see the beach either.