Jesuit routs Holy Cross in District 9-5A opener _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Jesuit's quarterback Trey Laforge scrambles for yardage against Holy Cross earlier this month.

It’s still a little too early to cast those ballots for Most Valuable Offensive Player in the Catholic League.

But seven weeks in, Jesuit quarterback Trey LaForge has put himself in the conversation.

The senior has completed 100 of 150 passes for 1,511 yards and 18 touchdowns.

More importantly, he has helped lead the Blue Jays to a 6-1 record and a No. 5 ranking in Class 5A in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association poll.

But Saturday he gets his shot at doing something that no one has been able to do in almost a year: Beat Rummel.

The Blue Jays clash with the undefeated and nationally ranked Raiders in a highly anticipated showdown at 7 p.m. Saturday at Joe Yenni Stadium.

The winner gets a leg-up in what looks to be a season-ending three-team round robin to determine the Catholic League champion.

(Brother Martin is also undefeated and plays Jesuit next week and Rummel the week after that.)

Rummel enters the game on a 13-game winning streak. The Raiders last loss came in 2013 against St. Augustine.

A week later, they almost lost again, falling behind Jesuit 13-0 in the first half before rallying for a 24-21 overtime victory.

But winning close games is nothing new for the Raiders.

They have won six games by six points or less and five by three points during their winning streak.

If the streak is to end at unlucky No. 13, LaForge may be a key factor.

It would perhaps help if he gets off to a fast start like he did last week against Shaw when he completed his first 10 passes.

LaForge draws high praise from Rummel coach Jay Roth.

“Trey gets rid of the ball really fast, he as a rhythm, and doesn’t make many mistakes,” said Roth. “He reminds me a lot of (former Jesuit and current Tulane quarterback) Tanner Lee.”

LaForge was honored by the comparison.

“That’s a huge compliment for me because Tanner taught me so much when he was a senior and just took me under his wing,” LaForge said.

Unlike Lee, the college coaches haven’t been ringing LaForge’s cell phone off the hook.

He said he doesn’t hold any offers yet but has received some interest.

“I just look at that as a motivator for me to keep playing every game hard, and you never know what is going to happen,” said LaForge, a two-year starter.

Jesuit coach Mark Songy is a bit surprised the college recruiters aren’t flocking to Banks Street.

“But I think they will start coming soon,” Songy said.

A win Saturday could sure help, especially going against a Rummel team that is downright nasty on defense, especially up front.

Senior defensive lineman Tyrell Jacobs, who has committed to Oklahoma, and junior Briston Guidry, a Mississippi State commitment, anchor the front. Kristian Fulton, a ball-hawking junior defensive back mans the Raider secondary.

“He has simply been unbelievable,” Roth said about Fulton, rated one of the nation’s top juniors. “He hasn’t slowed up a bit since he returned. He is just a big playmaker.”

Fulton has had two games with two interceptions since returning from a shoulder injury.

LaForge has thrown just one interception all season but knows his team will face its stiffest test of the season this week.

“Rummel is definitely known for their defense, even more their defensive lines,” LaForge said. “For us it will start with our offensive line and how well they play.”

For LaForge, it’s a chance to get the biggest win of his high school career.

Jesuit hasn’t beaten Rummel since 2011, when LaForge was a freshman. Now he is a senior, one of an experienced group that most predicted in the preseason to finish second behind Rummel.

“It’s not just their record, but you look at how they got to 6-1,” Roth said. “They have won by big margins.”

Since Jesuit’s season-opening 24-21 loss to Ponchatoula, their closest game was a 40-14 rout of East Jefferson.

Chances are, it won’t be a blowout Saturday.

Just getting a win over Rummel could be a tall task.

But LaForge could give the Blue Jays a chance.