Jays Purple Hazed at Homecoming
St. Aug Plays the Spoiler on Jesuit’s Big Night
The Blue Jays kicked off to St. Augustine, one of those pooch kicks that Jesuit’s Crew Jacobs should apply for a patent, and defensive back Patrick Spiers recovered on the Purple Knights’ 30-yard line. Forty-six seconds elapsed from the start of Jesuit’s 2015 Homecoming game when quarterback Peter Hontas connected with wide receiver Malachi Hull for a touchdown. Jacobs splits the uprights to light up the Jesuit score, 7-0.
A few rambunctious cheers quickly subsided from the Blue Jays’ side of Tad Gormley, which was half-filled with fans. Many were still making their way into the stadium from a pre-game tailgate on Marconi Drive. Many others were in a queue for concessions. And then there were those who were talking it up on the ramps and walkways while staring at their ubiquitous cell phones. Surely, some fans were not even aware that Jesuit had put points up so early.
At that stage, how many fans or coaches or players had the same fleeting thoughts racing through their minds? Hmm, when a team — doesn’t matter if it’s the Blue Jays or the Saints — scores in the first minute, there portends an omen, sort of like the creeps that rolled in with the fog in that John Carpenter movie of the same name.
Five minutes later, having chopped through Jesuit’s usually stout defense, St. Aug scored. There was some consolation when the PAT hit the upright (in fact, on three PATs, St. Aug’s kicker smacked the upright). Then, two minutes later from the five-yard line, Jesuit’s vaunted running back, Connor Prouet, followed his left tackle Nicholas Gauthé into St. Aug’s end zone for another score. With Jacobs’s kick, the Jays were in front, 14-6.
On the first play of the second quarter, St. Aug finished off a drive and made a two-point conversion to tie the game, 14-14. Jesuit retook the lead a few minutes later when Jacobs kicked a 27-yard field goal. Then the Purple Knights jumped in front, 20-17, capitalizing on a Jesuit miscue. A fumble on Jesuit’s next possession paved the way into the Jays’ end zone and St. Aug, with a 26-17 lead, suddenly looked invincible.
So the refs blew a couple of calls — first negating a Hontas to Kalija Lipscomb touchdown reception in the far reach of St. Aug’s end zone, then ruling a fumble recovery by the Purple Knights, which killed a steady drive by the Blue Jays with less than four minutes in the half. But the Jays can’t blame the stripes.
Presentation of the 2015 Homecoming Court should have been the antidote to the Jays’ anemic first half performance. But the pomp and circumstance did nothing to sweep away that fog that followed the Blue Jays into their locker room. The only smiles on the Jesuit side were painted on the faces of the Homecoming couples as they walked under the swords of the JROTC’s Color Guard. And, of course, their proud parents who watched from the stands, cells recording it all, including the coronation of this year’s Homecoming queen, Ms. Amelia Haydel, who is a senior at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
The second half began much like the first, but it was all reversed. St. Aug kicks off to the Jays, who fumble. This time, however, Jesuit’s defense prevailed and St. Aug came up empty. Later in the third quarter, Crew Jacobs kicks another 27-yard field goal to make it a 26-20 game. The Jays could still pull off one of their miracle finishes. They had the entire fourth quarter to do it.
But there would be no such happy ending for this year’s Homecoming. St. Aug scored yet again with six minutes on the clock to make it a 32-20 game. It would also be the final score, the St. Aug win once again tying the series between the two teams at 25 apiece.
“We turned the ball over five times and when you turn the ball over five times, you can’t beat anybody, much less an explosive team like St. Aug,” said Coach Mark Songy. “When you miss tackles and play sloppy on defense, and play like you’ve never seen certain formations that you’ve worked on, you’ll fail. So that’s exactly what we did. We came out and made enough mistakes, again — maybe for the fourth week in a row — for a lifetime. We’re going to learn sooner or later that you can’t make even close to that many mistakes and expect to survive in this league we’re playing in.”
What did Coach Songy tell the Blue Jays on the field after the game?
“I told them the truth, I always do,” he replied. “Told them the truth about how poorly we played, show them the mistakes that they made, work next week to correct them. I don’t sugarcoat it and I’m not going to start sugarcoating it. Sure, we were ready to play, but you’ve got to play for 48 minutes and not make mistakes. If you execute in a sub-par way, you get beat. This league is loaded with that. Every week you got to show up to play and you can’t play like we did. It’s that simple.”
The New Orleans Advocate: Big plays spark St. Aug