Jesuit’s State Football Title Defense Ends at the Hands of Top-ranked Rummel
Jesuit’s defense of its magical 2014 Division I State Football Championship ended on a cool Friday night, Nov. 20, 2015 not by any sleight-of-hand but by the calculated expertise of Louisiana’s top-ranked team.
Rummel (10-1), dispatched by the Blue Jays last year on Jesuit’s road to the title, exacted a measure of revenge this time around in Joe Yenni Stadium, winning 44-14 and ensuring that a new champion will be crowned next month in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The Blue Jays were done in by the Raiders’ depth, the strong right arm of Rummel senior quarterback Chase Fourcade, and the swift and elusive limbs of Raiders’ senior tailback Israel Tucker.
Fourcade outdueled Jesuit senior quarterback Peter Hontas, throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Raiders to 41 unanswered points after the Jays had taken a 7-3 lead with 6:45 to go in the first quarter thanks to junior running back Connor Prouet’s 10-yard scoring run.
That capped a five-play, 55-yard drive in which Prouet accounted for 28 of the 55 yards in the march that was aided by a holding penalty against the Raiders.
Jesuit had held Rummel to a field goal on the game’s opening possession despite a 25-yard pass from Fourcade to junior wide receiver David Mosley that beat a Blue Jay blitz and gave the Raiders a first-and-10 on the Jesuit 14.
“They’re a really, really great football team; very talented,” Jesuit head coach Mark Songy said after the fourth meeting between the teams in two years. “They’re very well-coached. We came in knowing that we couldn’t make mistakes and be able to play with them.”
“We made a few. I was really encouraged by our first drive, on both sides. Defensively, we held them to three points. And then offensively, we just came roaring back. Then they kind of turned it up there with the talented players that they have, and we had our hands full. They were too much for us.”
After Jesuit took that 7-3 lead with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter, Fourcade went to work, first handing the ball to Tucker, who did not play because of injury the first time the teams played this season (a 28-14 Rummel victory on Oct. 17 in Tad Gormley Stadum), then picking up a first down himself on an 8-yard run through an open lane up the middle splitting the Blue Jays’ pass rush.
Fourcade kept the drive alive with a 4-yard third-down scramble to the Jesuit 26, and converted another third-down with a 5-yard sneak to the Blue Jays’ 13.
From there, Rummel senior tailback Maurice Bailey scored to make it 10-7.
Rummel’s defense forced a three-and-out on the next series and following the Blue Jays’ punt to the Raiders’ 39-yard line, Fourcade found sophomore wide receiver Jamar Chase for a 33-yard pickup on the last play of the first quarter, moving the ball to the Jesuit 28.
Fourcade gained 11 on a scramble, then Tucker raced 16 yards to the Jesuit 1, taking it into the end zone on the next play for a 17-7 Raiders’ lead.
On a night which featured a moving, joint halftime performance of the French National Anthem by the Jesuit Marching Band and the Rummel/Chapelle Band that followed by a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in last week’s terrorist attack in Paris, the Raiders’ overall depth caught Songy’s eye.
“He was hurt in the first game, or he was banged up a little, and they held him,” Songy said of Tucker. “He’s a he”ll of a back. I was watching some of the cuts he was making on the line of scrimmage. He’s a big-time back.
“And, of course, the quarterback makes them go, too. He was on tonight. He’s competitive as all hell. Hats off to them. They’re a really good football team.”
Fourcade had thrown for just 138 yards in the regular season meeting between the teams.
“The coverage tonight dictated that we throw the football,” said Rummel Coach Jay Roth, “and we executed tonight. We missed on some of those in the first game. The first game, Chase did not make plays. He made plays tonight, and made plays with people in his face.”
Fourcade had scoring passes of 17, 11 and 63 yards.
But on the play after Fourcade’s 63-yard scoring pass to senior wide receiver David Hensley that made the score 44-7, Jesuit senior receiver/kick returner Kalija Lipscomb took the ensuing kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jays a bit of a spark with 10:33 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The deficit, however, was too steep.
Jesuit finished the season 5-7.
“I feel bad for our seniors, going out on a note like this,” Songy said. “But it is the quarterfinals of the playoffs. I think with the exception of this ball game, all year we were in every single football game, even these guys the first time around. But they’re hitting stride at the right time and they probably have a good chance to win the whole thing.
“Last year was the ultimate high,” Songy said. “This is kind of low. But our kids fight hard the whole time, and we can build on that. It’s going to carry over into next year. I think we’ve got a good group coming back that knows how to work and fight.”
The New Orleans Advocate – QB Chase Fourcade powers Rummel past Jesuit 44-14 to reach the state semifinals