Jays Looking Forward to Friday Night with Wolves
Jesuit and St. Paul’s Meet Friday, Sept. 11, at Tad Gormley Stadium for a 7 PM Kickoff
Jesuit and St. Paul’s will meet on the gridiron at Tad Gormley Stadium this Friday night for what will be only the sixth time. Until last year, the Jays were 0-4 against the Wolves. In 2014, Jesuit visited St. Paul’s in the second week of the season, coming off a 24-21 loss to Ponchatoula in the opening game of the season. The pundits didn’t give the Jays much of a chance a year ago against the Wolves, especially having to visit the lair across the lake in Covington. But Jesuit stunned St. Paul’s, 49-22, and picked up what would be the first of six consecutive wins in a memorable season that culminated with a Division 1 state championship.
That was last year. This year, the Jays dropped their season opener against a very tough Warren Easton team last Thursday, 26-21. St. Paul’s, meanwhile, had an easy time with Karr, 34-7, and is ranked #6 this week among the metro area’s large schools by Nola.com. (Jesuit isn’t on the list.) The Wolves still lead the series, 1-4.
Pre-sale ticket prices are $6 for adults and students and $3 for children (ages 6-11). Tickets are on sale at Jesuit’s switchboard (Banks Street blue awning entrance) through Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., and on Friday in the Student Commons during lunch. All tickets purchased at the gate are $8 each. Please note that student IDs will not be accepted at the gate for this non-district contest. Faculty and staff IDs will be allowed for admission plus one guest for the St. Paul’s vs. Jesuit football game on Friday night. The Blue Jays are the home team and will cheer for their team on the Marconi Drive side of Tad Gormley.
The game will be streamed live on WWL.com.
According to Coach Mark Songy, the St. Paul’s team is much improved over last year’s squad. The Wolves rely on their passing game slightly more than their ground attack. “They have a decent running game and they get rid of the ball quickly,” said Coach Songy, adding that the Jays have practiced hard this week at John Ryan Stadium in an effort to eliminate the mistakes that plagued the team against Warren Easton.
“We’re learning lessons from last week,” he explained, adding that “a whole lot of mistakes” were the “product of youth — we need to grow up. Our communication was not real good. We were taking too long to get the plays in and it was taking too long for the players to line up. We lacked a sense of urgency at times.”
Jesuit gave up a touchdown on the opening kickoff to the Eagles. “The players on the special teams have to simply play better when they’re on the field,” said Coach Songy. “We have to really try not to put our defense in a tight spot.” He paused before adding: “I’m still making sure that we have the right 11 guys on the field.”
Coach Songy and his assistants have no shortage of players, what with a roster featuring 114 players, 15 of whom are freshmen, “guys we think will be playing at a young age.” The fat roster means several players are wearing duplicate numbers. A player on the field with a duplicate number is typically the older player. One freshman with his own numbered jersey is Marc Dougherty (43), who saw plenty of action at his linebacker position and had five assisted tackles. Senior linebacker Ro Harper (36) led Jesuit’s defense with eight solo and five assisted tackles, and one quarterback sack; junior linebacker Cameron Crozier (54) had seven solo and three assisted tackles. Senior defensive backs Mark Beebe (22) and Jakirai Wiley (4) each had four solo tackles; Wiley also had four assisted tackles. Every time Wiley catches a punt or takes in a kickoff, he poses a real threat because there is always the chance he will break it open for a big return or go all the way. Beebe also had two assisted tackles and, more importantly, he was able to block the extra point attempt after the Eagles’ second touchdown.
Jesuit had 246 yards in total offense against the Eagles: 90 yards rushing (on 34 attempts) and 156 yards in the air. The Blue Jays’ backfield is anchored by senior quarterback Peter Hontas (15), accompanied by junior running backs Connor Prouet (20) and Kai Rozas (24). Prouet gained 61 yards rushing on 18 attempts (plus two receptions for 13 yards) and Rozas had 30 yards on nine carries (plus one catch for four yards). Prouet bulldozed his way into the end zone from one yard out for the Jays’ first score. Hontas completed 14 of 24 passes and two were for touchdowns to senior wide receivers Malachi Hull (6) and Kalija Lipscomb (17). Lipscomb had seven catches for 91 yards, including a 32-yard strike that was his longest and kept the Jays in the game until the last minute. Hull had three catches for 42 yards, including a 22-yarder for his longest of the game.
“After the first five minutes against Easton wore off, we played the remaining 43 minutes at a high intensity,” said Coach Songy, adding that the Eagles were a really good team. “We did not lose to a lesser football team. I think if you watch us the next couple of weeks, we’ll be maturing. You’ll see a noticeably better team each week. Whether that’s going to be enough for district play, I don’t know. I sure hope so.”
The New Orleans Advocate: Jesuit rivalry big for Sears family