Jakirai Wiley’s 54-yard kickoff return helped position Crew Jacobs for a game-winning 25-yard field goal after time expired as Jesuit defeated Karr 17-15 Thursday night at Joe Yenni Stadium.
Karr had overcome a 14-0 Jesuit lead by scoring twice in the final 3:41 of the game to take a 15-14 lead. After quarterback Aldon Clark scampered for a two-point conversion following the Cougars’ second touchdown, only 24 seconds remained.
Wiley took the kickoff at his own 18-yard line, sprinted for an ally just to the left of his wedge and then veered toward the sideline. He was run out of bounds on the Karr 28-yard line with 12 seconds left.
Jesuit quarterback Trey LaForge found William McMahon for a completion of 15 yards to the 13-yard line.
Jesuit coach Mark Songy called timeout with 3 seconds remaining and sent in his field goal unit. Jacobs missed the 30-yard attempt as time expired, but Karr was guilty of a personal foul. The penalty moved the ball near the 8-yard line and Jacobs converted the game-winner in the first game of the Sixth Annual Kiwanis Jamboree.
“We showed a lot of pride in the way we came back,” said Karr coach Nathaniel Jones. “We did a good job against an experienced team. We do have to be a little more disciplined on special teams.”
The scoreless first half saw little offense although Jesuit had two long gains called back because of penalties.
Jesuit scored twice early in the second half. A blocked Karr punt was recovered by Jesuit’s Kyle DiMarco in the end zone for the first touchdown.
LaForge made it 14-0 when he hit Malcolm Ben in a seam of the Cougars defense for an 18-yard touchdown with 4:37 remaining. The play finished a 96-yard, 13-play drive.
“We probably should have been up 14 points in the first half if we don’t commit two penalties … when we’re driving,” said Songy. “It went back and forth. We made a lot of mistakes. They made a lot of mistakes.
“I am really proud of the way we came back at end. We competed the entire time,” Songy said. “I think we’ve got a great bunch of kids.”
Clark, a sophomore, triggered Karr’s passing attack in the second half. He hit Jerry Martin for a 61-yard touchdown with 3:41 to play. Clark’s 44-yarder over the middle to Kenneth Simmons started Karr’s second touchdown drive, which culminated when Clark threw a 3-yard touchdown to Simmons.
“I am really pleased with the way we played with pride,” said Jones, who is coaching a team that has made four consecutive trips to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome finals in Class 4A.
“When we were down, we went to the sideline. We talked about it, and our kids really responded.”
The Cougars are ranked No. 9 in the New Orleans Advocate’s Large School Super 10.
“We played with that Karr pride,” Jones said. “Now we’ve got to play with that Karr discipline.”
Jesuit opens its regular season next week at Ponchatoula. Karr plays at St. Paul’s.