Rummel is considered by many to be the best high school team in the state.
At least that’s what all the rankings and polls suggest.
The Raiders are ranked No. 13 nationally by MaxPreps (the state’s only team in those rankings).
They are also No. 1 in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 5A poll and are No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Large School Super 10.
But how do Jay Roth’s Raiders stack up outside the Louisiana border?
That will be answered in the next two weeks as Rummel takes its show on the road.
The Raiders (2-0) play the first of a two-game out-of-state road swing Friday night when they travel to the Mississippi-Alabama border to play Wayne County (Mississippi).
Next week, Rummel hits the road again (well actually they’ll be hitting the friendly skies) when they travel to New Jersey to play Bosco Prep.
“Usually when you play somebody, you know the kids personally and the kids know each other because they played park ball together and hang out together,” said Roth. “But this week everything has been different because you don’t know about them.”
It’ll be just the second time Rummel has traveled outside of Louisiana for a game and the first time since Roth took over.
Their other trip was also to Mississippi in 1971 when they lost to South Natchez 12-7 in the Shrimp Bowl.
Making Friday’s game even more special is that it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, also a first for Rummel.
“That part is exciting,” said Roth. “I hope we can compete for 48 minutes and give everybody a good game. I told the kids you can’t pick this week to have an off week because you are on national TV. People follow high school football and watch those games, so you definitely don’t want to look bad this week.”
Rummel will be playing one of the most consistent and tradition-rich programs in Mississippi when they face the War Eagles and their rowdy Auburn-like orange-and blue-clad fans.
The War Eagles (2-1) are ranked No. 3 in the state by Mississippi Gridiron and No. 6 in The Clarion-Ledger Super 10. The school boasts three state titles and has reeled off 17 consecutive winning seasons.
Their marquee player is senior defensive lineman Benito Jones (6-2, 260), a four-star prospect who originally committed Alabama but switched to Ole Miss.
“Their offensive line and defensive lines are impressive,” Roth said. “Their three-man front is one of the best I’ve seen on the field together in a long time. You know Benito is good, but the other two are good too. Usually you see a team that looks like us, with big players and then some players who look like typical high school players. I don’t see any typical high school looking players for them.”
Wayne County is playing an out-of-state team for the first time since back-to-back wins over Salmen in 2003 and 2004.
They will look to slow down a Rummel team that has outscored its first two opponents 72-7.
Rummel quarterback Chase Fourcade, the son of former Ole Miss linebacker Keith Fourcade and the nephew of quarterback John Fourcade, leads the Raiders offense.
Fourcade (Nicholls State) is one of four players on the team who have already committed. He is joined by two offensive linemen commitments: Larry Robinson (Southern Miss) and Joe Oliver (Nicholls) and defensive lineman Briston Guidry, who originally committed to Mississippi State before changing to Arkansas.
Cornerback Kristian Fulton, a four-star recruit who recorded 11 interceptions as a junior, has scholarship offers from all over the country.
Wayne County counters with quarterback Reggie Stewart (708 passing yards, six TDs) and running back Freddie Jordan (292 yards, five TDs).
“The guys are looking forward to it,” Roth said. “For two weeks in a row we are playing two teams that are considered among the best in their states.”