Walker: Quiet Shaw RB Trey Ragas lets strong play do his talking _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Trey Ragas (5) scores a touchdown during the first half of the Shaw vs. St. Augustine high school football game at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015.

Trey Ragas was the only Shaw player who knew the words to the St. Augustine alma mater.

He mouthed some of the words Saturday while standing by teammate Matt Keller after Saturday’s game at Tad Gormley Stadium.

That would be considered a lot of emotions for the Eagles star senior running back who is described as really quiet by his family members.

“I almost have to force him to talk when I call him on the phone,” his big brother Troy Jr. said.

It’s a trait his mother Debbie says he inherited from Troy Sr., who died when Trey was 9.

“Trey’s just not one for many words,” Debbie said.

So it probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Ragas wasn’t jumping up and down yelling and celebrating after Shaw’s 42-39 victory over St. Augustine.

There was no need to.

His play had spoken volumes.

On the inside, you can bet he was all smiles.

This one came against St. Aug, the school Ragas attended in the eighth and ninth grade before transferring to Shaw.

He came to Shaw for two reasons, he said.

It was closer to his Marrero home, which made things easier on his mom.

And St Augustine wanted him to play linebacker.

And he wanted to be a running back.

The man of few words let his actions do the talking Saturday, finally getting a victory over his old school and ruining the homecoming for many of his Purple Knight friends who he talked with during the week.

Ragas scored four touchdowns and rushed 29 times for 227 yards.

“And we probably needed every one of those yards,” Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather said.

Ragas also delivered a key block on a touchdown run by Keller in the first half that ended with Shaw holding what looked like a commanding 28-7 lead that they eventually stretched to 35-7 in the second half.

But Shaw had to hold on for dear life to survive this one.

Ragas wasn’t going to let this one slip away, even with a heavily bandaged hand that was still oozing with blood after the game. He broke the skin in the palm of his hand on the opening possession of the third quarter but got it wrapped up and re-entered the game just moments later.

He had come oh-so-close to getting a win last year, but Shaw fell 15-14.

“This means a lot,” Ragas said. “It made me feel better about transferring to Shaw. There was a time when we would lose a game and I would say, ‘Maybe I should’ve stayed.’ But it all paid off in the long run.”

It is probably the biggest win of his career. It’s only his second-ever Catholic League win after beating Holy Cross as a junior.

This one was special because of who it came against.

It’s why one of his best friends, Trey Royal, was one of the first to arrive at Gormley Saturday. Royal sported a t-shirt with No. 5 on the back and a picture of Ragas on the front. It was Royal’s first game seeing this season.

“I usually have to work,” Royal explained. “But I had to make this one. I knew this one meant a lot to him.”

The performance edged him even closer into the Shaw record books.

In the next three or four games, he is likely to become the school’s all-time leading rusher, surpassing Daniel Borne. Ragas eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark this season on Saturday.

“I’ve had a couple good running backs in my tenure,” Bairnsfather said. “I’ve had a couple guys who have gained 2.000 yards in a season. Trey is the best one. He’s going to be the school’s all-time leading rusher, knock on wood. That’s saying a lot at a school like Shaw.”

Ragas admits that holding that record would mean a lot.

“It would mean my name is in the record books and I won’t be forgotten,” he said. “It would be something I could tell my kids one day.”

Tulane, Ole Miss, Louisiana-Lafayette, Kansas, Utah, Western Kentucky and Colorado State are among the schools that have offered Ragas.

There’s no front-runner right now. He is focusing on the season.

Saturday, without a doubt, is the highlight so far.

Even his big brother Troy, a 2007 St. Aug grad and former linebacker, was able somehow enjoy this one.

Troy sat in the stands wearing a St. Aug hat, but cheering for Shaw’s No. 5.

“It was hard for him to leave St. Aug, but he had more opportunity at Shaw,” Troy said.

Being a Purple Knight, it was hard for me to see this loss. But I was happy for him. Family comes first. He wanted it bad.”