Top-seeded Rummel ousted defending state champion Jesuit from the Division I select playoffs Friday night, attacking the “unexpected” and defeating the Jays 44-14 at Yenni Stadium.
Rummel quarterback Chase Fourcade riddled Jesuit’s defense for a school-record 342 passing yards and three touchdown passes as the Raiders pulled away early, leading 30-7 at halftime. The previous record was 316 yards, established by Damian Williams against Lafayette in the 2012 state playoffs.
The Raiders (10-1) move into next week’s semifinals against Catholic League rival Curtis (8-2), a winner over St. Paul’s. Rummel is seeking its third appearance in the state championship game in the past four years.
A year ago, Jesuit stopped a 17-game Rummel winning streak when it knocked the Raiders out of the playoffs with an upset in the semifinals.
“We didn’t talk about that too much,” Fourcade said, “but after Mass today, (coach Jay Roth) did mention it to us.”
Jesuit (5-7) began the game in man-to-man coverage, and Fourcade punished the strategy with passing gains of 25, 33, 60, 25, 20 and 63 yards. He completed 20 of 30 passes, but three of his incompletions were clock-stoppers near the end of the first half.
“We were surprised that they came out in man (defense). That was unexpected. ... We were expecting Cover 2 or Cover 4,” Fourcade said.
“Coverage dictated we throw the ball,” Roth said. “We had some of those opportunities in the first game, but we missed those.”
Fourcade threw for only 131 yards and missed three open receivers in the end zone in Rummel’s 28-14 District 9-5A win in October.
Jesuit took a 7-3 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Raiders scored on five straight possession and led 30-7 at halftime.
The Raiders gained the lead for the first time on one of their patented, ball-control drives, moving 67 yards in 12 plays. Maurice Bailey finished with a 13-yard run to make it 10-7.
Fourcade, who threw for 213 yards in the first half, found Jamar Chase over the middle for a 33-yard gain that sparked a 61-yard, four-play spurt that made it 17-7. Tucker scored on a 1-yard run less than two minutes into the second period.
Alexander Bollinger’s second field goal ran it to 20-7, and then the Raiders defense stole the ball right back.
Andre Danove’s hard tackle on a pass play popped the ball loose from the receiver, and Shahid Reece intercepted at the Jesuit 23. Fourcade split double coverage for a 17-yard TD strike to Tucker on third-and-goal from the 17 to make it 27-7.
Bollinger added his third field goal of the half as time expired.
Jesuit quarterback Peter Hontas, who threw for 324 yards in the first meeting, was sacked three times Friday. He completed 19 of 35 passes for 176 yards. Jesuit’s run game produced only 42 yards.
“We wanted to keep the pressure on,” said Rummel’s Robert Hudgins, who had a hand in all three of his team’s sacks. “We wanted to limit the rushing plays. We knew if they had to throw, we had a chance to win.”