It was supposed to be a showdown of two of the top teams in the area, both ranked in the Top 5 of The New Orleans Advocate Super 10.
It ended up being a Rummel rout.
Junior quarterback Chase Fourcade accounted for three touchdowns and the lights-out defense did the rest as No. 2 Rummel hammered No. 4 East St. John 39-0 in the season opener at Joe Keller Memorial Stadium.
Even Rummel coach Jay Roth was a bit surprised at how dominant his team was.
“I didn’t expect this outcome like this, to be honest,” Roth said.
“I knew offensively they were skilled and thought they may put some points on the board. And our offensive line played really well and could be the strength of this team before the season is over. They are going to carry us.”
It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Raiders dating to last season when the team went on to claim its second straight state championship.
Other than a slew of penalties (12 for 115 yards) and three turnovers, the Raiders looked every bit worthy of all the preseason rankings they have garnered.
They entered the game ranked No. 2 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Large School Super 10, No. 2 in Class 5A by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and No. 15 nationally in the USA Today Super 25.
It was Rummel’s second straight shutout over East St. John after blanking the Wildcats 14-0 the 2013 season opener. This one wasn’t nearly as close.
“They are the same as last year,” said East St. John coach Phillip Banko. “They are ready to roll and get there again. They are making us better for next week.”
Fourcade wasted little time getting started. Fourcade’s first pass was a 35-yard touchdown strike to Brandon Phillips on the Raiders’ opening possession.
Fourcade’s 2-yard keeper in the second quarter stretched the lead to 14-0.
“Chase is our guy,” Roth said. “He is our leader, and he makes things happen.”
Fourcade finished 5-for-5 passing for 83 yards.
“Credit to the offensive line,” Fourcade said. “They opened up the holes, and we didn’t have to throw it much. We made some mistakes as far as penalties, but we’ll get that fixed.”
The Raiders looked ready to break the game open in the second quarter when Maurice Bailey raced 25 yards towards the end zone but was stripped near the goal line.
East St. John responded by putting together a solid drive, getting to the Rummel 16-yard line. But a holding penalty pushed the Wildcats back and they came away empty when Michael Mosley intercepted a Xavier Lewis pass at the end of the first half.
Rummel held East St. John to just 46 yards ( 1 rushing, 45 passing) in the first half. Things didn’t get much better in the second half for the Wildcats, who finished with just 104 yards of offense.
Rummel junior defensive lineman, a Mississippi State commitment, sacked Lewis in the end zone for a safety in the third quarter.
“We felt like if we could stop the quarterback we would do well because he is their go-to guy,” Guidry said. “Not to sound cocky or anything, but I wasn’t surprised. I have a lot of faith in this defense.”
Guidry later blocked a field goal and rumbled to the East St. John 29-yard line to set up the Raiders’ next touchdown.
“Briston was like that as a sophomore, and he just picked up where he left off last season,” Roth said.
Fourcade, the son of Keith Fourcade and the nephew of John Fourcade, somehow bulldozed his way through the pile and escaped and scampered 20 yards for a touchdown.
Maurice Bailey added a highlight reel 39-yard touchdown run in the fourth and sophomore Devin Hutton capped it off with a 3-yard scoring run. The backfield duo of Bailey and Hutton combined for 206 yards. Bailey finished with 113 yards and Hutton had 93.
Lewis, an LSU commitment, was held in check. He finished with (-10) yards rushing on 11 carries and completed 4 of 7 passes for 58 yards.
“You have to give the Raiders credit,” Banko said. “We have to get first downs and extend drives, and we didn’t do that tonight. We wanted to give Xavier the ball and we gave him the ball, but we didn’t execute. We are going to go back and look at the film and get ready for next week.”
East St. John travels to Scotlandville Friday, while Rummel plays at Hahnville.
“I thought we played really well against a very talented East St. John team,” Roth said. “To hold a team like that to zero is pretty good. Our schedule is brutal and this is the first week of it and I am proud of the outcome.”