A Knock-Down, Drag-Out Battle Expected Saturday Night Between Two Prep Football Titans
Jesuit and Rummel Kick Off at 7 PM at Joe Yenni Stadium
Week 8 brings two titans of Catholic League football to the gridiron — Jesuit and Archbishop Rummel — for a Saturday evening (October 25) showdown at Joe Yenni Stadium that could well determine which team is crowned king of District 9-5A.
The Jays and Raiders will kick off at 7 p.m. and for those unable to attend, there are two options: the game can be heard locally on WGSO Radio (990 AM) as well as streamed on Sportsnola.com.
Tickets are $8 at the gate, but students will be admitted with their Jesuit IDs.
Jesuit brings a 6-1 record to the game while the Raiders are unbeaten (7-0).
Both teams have high-powered offenses and stingy defenses. The Jays are led by senior captains Trey LaForge (quarterback), Foster Moreau (tight end), Hunter Robert (defensive tackle/ fullback), and Dillon Knight (cornerback). The opposition will be chasing senior running backs Charles Jackson and Chris Mills, along with senior wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb and junior receiver Malachi Hull.
The Jays’ defense will be counting on linebackers Robert Lobrano, Mitchell Melito, and Jonathan Giardina to back-up the defensive line, which features Osman Torres, Zack Robert, and Stephen Brown. Jakirai Wiley, Justin Helm, Harrison Daste, and Mark Beebe will be looking for interceptions.
This will be the 49th game between the two rivals with Rummel holding a four-game edge, 22-26. The Jays hope to make it 23 on Saturday night.
Jesuit’s Wild Photographer sat down with head Coach Mark Songy on Thursday evening after the team finished practice and had a free-wheeling discussion about Saturday’s big game against Rummel.
At the impromptu meeting on the field following the Shaw game last week, you told the players that the Rummel game will be essentially for the District Championship. How have the players reacted?
Coach Songy: Very even-keeled, which I like and I’m very excited about. They know what’s going on and they understand the situation we’re in. This is a real big one with regard to District championship implications. With that in mind, they’re treating this game like they treated (the one) last week and the week before that. Honestly. I’m real proud that we’re not making this out to be the game that it is. We’re approaching it the way we’ve approached everything that we’ve been successful doing. I talked to them a little while on Thursday about the game’s implications and I felt like I didn’t have to do that because they understand it real well. They’ll be ready to play.
Anything different at practice this week?
Coach Songy: Our practice schedule remains the same. We tweaked our offense and defense and our special teams, as we do every week according to what we see on the film and what we’re capable of doing against an opponent. We didn’t change anything. Our pre-game schedule is exactly as it always is. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary.
Will Rummel see any surprises?
Coach Songy (grinning): We have surprises built in every week. And that can be printed.
The Jays have a 6-1 record going into the game with that lone loss against Ponchatoula in the season-opener. What did we learn from that loss?
Coach Songy: There was some built-in excitement of the opening game. We made some early mistakes and spotted them 7 points right out the gate. You can’t do that with any team, especially a really good team. If we spot Rummel 7 points, we’re going to have a heck of a night ahead of us, we’re going to have a fight and a half.
What’s your take on the Raiders based on the videos of their games?
Coach Songy: We’ve been studying the videos since Sunday (October 19). They’re really good. There really is not a weak spot anywhere with these guys. We match up to them well. They run the ball very effectively on offense and then they’ll throw one right over your head when you’re not expecting it. That’s real good coaching and talent. Defensively, they run to the ball very well, so we will have to maintain blocks a lot longer. We need to play well on special teams. They’re very simple on special teams. We are, too. But we look for weak spots and there really aren’t any. We have to play our game. We have to play well. I don’t think they see many weak spots on our side either.
What do you think Rummel is doing to prepare for us?
Coach Songy: I hope different things. But I have a fear they’re preparing the same way they always do. We come from the same school with that, (Rummel’s head coach) Jay Roth and I. Their kids don’t need to be told anything, that this is Jesuit week. People are prepared to play against us every week. That’s the truth. Rummel is a little different. They’ve been in a number of big games this year; they won two state championships back-to-back. They know how to win.
Jesuit plays Rummel on Saturday night, then Brother Martin on the following Saturday (November 1) during the day, and we close the regular season against St. Augustine on Friday (November 7). Nothing’s easy, right?
Coach Songy: I wouldn’t call it a disadvantage, but we have the toughest district schedule because we see Rummel, Brother Martin, and St. Augustine all in a row. No one else plays those three teams in a row. We have three big tough ones in a row and it starts with the toughest.
Do you think the players are nervous about playing in a big game?
Coach Songy: No, there’s an excitement with these guys. I’m pretty sure they’re confident in their ability to win. I also know that they know this is going to be a four-quarter game. It’s going to be a knock-down, drag-out fight. If we’re going to win, it’s going to have to go to four quarters, and it will be knock-down drag-out.
In our seven games, we’ve scored 299 points, which averages out to 43 points per game. We’ve held our opponents to 111 points which averages out to 16 points per game. Any predictions for the Jesuit – Rummel game?
Coach Songy: Rummel is a different animal. This is an animal that is deep (in depth). When one guy goes down, another guy comes in, and he’s not a step-down. He’s the same kind of guy. They’re deep and they’re experienced – their quarterback won a state championship… They’ve got moxie about them. They’re something else to watch. They’re big, physical, they run well, they’re well-coached. Where can we expose them? We think more like we’ll have to get away with this or that. We’ll have to make this kind of strike happen, more so than where can we attack them? More like we’re going to have to get away with this. We’re gonna have to be able to do this to do that. Those things go hand-in-hand on both sides of the ball.
Jesuit’s punter, Shawn Walsh, has been out with an ankle injury since the game against St. Paul’s. Safety Mark Beebe missed some games and in the Holy Cross game, we lost fullback Michael McMahon. How do we stack up injury-wise?
Coach Songy: Mark Beebe is back. (Wide receiver) Kalija Lipscomb is back. We’re healthier going into this game than I expected us to be, not just because it’s Rummel, but it’s week 8. Knock on wood, we’re healthy. And that’s credited to the way we practice, the weight training, the nutrition, and just being smart about how we work.
Sportsnola.com: Roth, Songy, Rummel, Jesuit and ties that bind