Rummel suffered its first loss of the season last week in New Jersey against Don Bosco and clearly had no intentions of losing consecutive games for the first time since 2010.
The Raiders held true to the formula that has cemented them as the state’s top team by pounding out 256 yards rushing with running back Keirell Jackson leading the way. The 5-foot-5, 185-pound sophomore totaled 107 yards on just eight carries as Rummel rolled past Shaw 49-14 Catholic League victory Saturday at Joe Yenni Stadium.
With the win, the Raiders retain the Rummel-Shaw Megaphone for the fourth consecutive time dating to 2009. Games in 2011 and 2012 were canceled because of Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Isaac, respectively.
“In my four years on the team, it’s been great because the Megaphone has been on 1901 Severn Ave,,” Rummel senior quarterback Chase Fourcade said. “It’s a great experience because I was captain two years in a row and we got the megaphone both years.”
And Fourcade played a big part in the victory as Rummel (4-1, 1-0) scored on all five of its possessions in the first half, excluding a kneel to end the half. The 6-foot, 175-pound Nicholls State commitment did damage through the air and on the ground, scoring Rummel’s first two touchdowns on runs of 10 and 2 yards.
Fourcade showcased his arm strength with a 74-yard bomb down the left sideline to a wide-open Colby Brunet for a 21-0 lead with just more than 10 minutes left in the second quarter.
Shaw (2-3, 0-2 District 9-5A) gambled on its next possession, leaving its offense on the field for a 4th-and-3 from its own 49 but the Rummel defense came up with yet another big stop. The Raiders offense quickly capitalized as Fourcade sprinted 38 yards into the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the half.
“Shout-out to the O-Line,” began a modest Fourcade, who finished 6 of 8 passing for 147 yards while rushing six times for 62 yards. “We made plays (running) and (passing) and we were executing the plays that coach called. ... The whole week we wanted to get back in our mojo of scoring. Week 2 we put up 48 against Covington and we found that groove again tonight.”
With the momentum squarely in Rummel’s favor, Shaw committed another big mistake on a botched handoff from Matt Keller to running back Trey Ragas.
Robert Hudgins grabbed the ball out of the air, taking it 15 yards the other way to Shaw’s 13-yard line. Two plays later, Israel Tucker scored on a 3-yard run for a commanding 35-0 lead with 3:49 left until halftime.
Jackson tacked on another score in third quarter on a 13-yard run before Shaw’s offense was finally able to put a drive together behind the running of Ragas.
The 6-foot, 210-pound three-star prospect ripped off consecutive runs of 17, 19 and 30 yards to Rummel’s 5 before eventually punching it in from a yard out. That cut the deficit to 42-7 with 6:03 left in third quarter, but the outcome had essentially been decided.
Rummel’s defense forced three turnovers, including interceptions by Andre Danove and Kristian Fulton.
“I think we were really dominant on defense today,” Fulton said. “We had two drives we gave up for touchdowns but (we played well) and we had the loss last week on our mind. We used that as motivation, and we had to come out and get our swagger back and show we’re the top team in the state.”
Fulton and the Raiders, ranked No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Super 10 football rankings as well as the LSWA state poll, take on Holy Cross at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Shaw faces St. Augustine at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.