Blue Jays Are Shut Out in Second Half as Curtis Rallies for a Win, 24-16
Jays Need to Shake Off Third District Loss and Focus on the Raiders This Saturday at Tad Gormley
Different teams, absolutely. Different venue, definitely. Different circumstances, for sure. Different outcome, unfortunately yes for the Blue Jays.
Week 6 of the 2015 season brought Jesuit and John Curtis together at Joe Yenni Stadium for the first time since squaring off for the Division 1 state championship last December in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Jesuit fans know the outcome of that first encounter against the River Ridge school whose football squad is renowned for having won more state titles than any prep team in the country.
Friday night’s game in Metairie was a rematch as well as the first time the two teams were playing for a district win. Curtis moved up in LHSAA classification (from 4A to 5A) and is one of the schools in the Catholic League. Coming into the game, the Pats were 3-1 overall and 0-1 in district, having lost to Brother Martin two weeks ago before enjoying a bye weekend. The Jays, meanwhile, were 2-3 overall and winless two weeks into district play. The Jays’ Homecoming was spoiled by a surprisingly tenacious St. Aug team, 34-20, and in the annual Rivalry against Holy Cross last week, Jesuit lost 28-21 in double overtime.
The only certainty about Friday night’s game was that one team would leave with its first win in the Catholic League. If only the Jesuit – Curtis game had ended at the conclusion of the first half, when the Blue Jays took a 16-7 lead into the locker room. But that would be fantasy prep football.
The Jays did, indeed, command much of the first half with big plays on offense and defense, jumping out to a 7-0 lead near the end of the first quarter when quarterback Peter Hontas found Kalija Lipscomb in the end zone for a 15-yard TD. Crew Jacobs added the PAT.
Midway through the second quarter, Hontas connected with Lipscomb for a second touchdown, a 35-yard reception with the senior wide receiver hugging the sideline for the final 10 yards into the end zone. Although Jacobs missed the PAT, his first of the season (he’s successfully kicked 15 of 16 extra points), the Jays had a 13-0 lead.
The Patriots, however, marched down the field and in nothing flat, made it a 13-7 ball game. With two minutes left in the second quarter and a drive fizzling on the Patriots’ 10-yard line, Jacobs came in on fourth and five to kick a 32-yard field goal — right through the uprights, and Jesuit led 16-7 at halftime.
The second half is a completely different story. That’s because the Patriots and the Jays looked like different teams. It’s as if the two teams made simultaneous balance transfers, the Patriots playing like the Jays did in the first half and the Jays stumbling worse than the Pats did. On the first play from scrimmage, Curtis scored on an 80-yard touchdown run to pull to within two points, 16-14. The Patriots controlled possession of the ball and added another touchdown in the fourth quarter, followed by a field goal. The final score: Patriots 24, Blue Jays 16. It was the first time in many a game that the Jays were shutout in the second half.
“We made mistakes and we didn’t play well offensively in the second half,” said Coach Mark Songy. “We couldn’t get things together because our offense was off the field quite a bit. My hat’s off to Curtis because they’re a very good football team and very well coached. I’m proud of the fact that our kids fought as hard as they did.”
The fight will be even tougher next week when the Blue Jays host Rummel on Saturday, Oct. 16. Kickoff is at 6 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium. Week 7 will be here soon enough and the Jays’ first district win cannot arrive any faster.
The New Orleans Advocate: John Curtis rallies past Jesuit for first Catholic League win