The most prolific career of any Rummel wide receiver is over.
Prized recruit Ja’Marr Chase suffered season-ending ligament damage to a knee while making his third touchdown catch in the final eight minutes of a 55-28 victory against Byrd of Shreveport on Friday night in the first round of the Division I state playoffs.
MRI tests performed Monday revealed a partial tear to a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and two bruised bones that make up the patella, Chase and a somber Rummel coach Jay Roth said Tuesday.
“Ja’Marr’s high school career is over,’’ Roth said. “I just saw him today. He’s on crutches and wearing a knee brace. He’s started rehab. Surgery is yet to be determined on his knee. But he’s already strengthening the knee trying to get it better for whatever the future holds.’’
“I didn’t like it when I first heard the news on Monday,’’ Chase said. “I broke down because my season is ending. But I pulled my head back up, and I’m going to cheer my team on.’’
The official orthopedic diagnosis of the injury based on the MRI are a partial tear of the PCL and bruising of two bones in the front of his patella (knee cap), Chase said.
Results from a CT scan also performed Monday will determine whether surgery is necessary, Chase said. Recovery without surgery is projected at four months, he said, and recovery with surgery is 6-9 months.
Ranked as the nation’s No. 10 senior wide receiver prospect and No. 50 overall recruit by Rivals.com, Chase suffered the injury as he landed after leaping to record Rummel’s seventh and final touchdown on a 15-yard scoring catch of a fade pattern.
“I just landed flat-footed on my right leg and my knee went back. And that was it,’’ Chase said. “I hyperextended it.’’
“Ja’Marr came down, (with) no contact whatsoever,’’ Roth said. “It was a fade (route) in the end zone. He came down wrong, his knee buckled and hyperextended.’’
The awkward landing and subsequent injury, Roth said, silenced the crowd at Captain Shreve’s Lee Hedges Stadium as Chase was attended to by Rummel medical’s staff.
“How valuable is he to us?" Roth said rhetorically. “I’ve never heard a stadium go totally silent where you could have heard crickets. (The crowd) knew it was the shame that the best player on the field got injured.
“They were very respectful of (the situation). It was something. The Byrd players came to see him as he was walking off of the field. Ja’Marr was being helped (up), but then walked off the field on his own.’’
Chase, 6-feet-1, 195 pounds, had put on a dazzling performance with 248 all-purpose yards that included the three touchdown catches included among his nine receptions good for 129 yards along with seven carries out of the backfield for another 72 yards, one kickoff return for 37 yards and two punt returns for 10 yards.
Chase also had a 70-yard touchdown run negated by penalty.
Chase finished his senior season with school single-season records of 61 receptions good for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns. It is the first 1,000-yard season recorded by a Raiders receiver.
Chase also finished as Rummel’s career leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns with 115 catches good for 2,152 yards and 30 touchdowns.
“I’m just blessed to get this far in life,’’ Chase said. “I thank God for everything.’’
Chase is scheduled to accompany the ninth-seeded Raiders on their return to Shreveport on Friday to face top-seeded Evangel in the Division I quarterfinals scheduled for 7 p.m. at Evangel.
Chase said he then plans to make an unofficial recruiting visit to Georgia on Saturday to attend the Bulldogs’ SEC game against Kentucky scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Athens.
Chase said he has scheduled his first official visit for the following weekend to Michigan. Chase plans to attend the Wolverines’ nationally televised regular-season finale in Ann Arbor, Michigan, versus Ohio State scheduled for 11 a.m. at Michigan Stadium, Roth said.
Chase said he also is considering Florida State, TCU, LSU, Missouri and Auburn along with other schools for his final four official visits.
Chase de-committed from Florida last week following the departure of Jim McElwain as head coach of the Gators. Florida remains a consideration, “but I’m trying to wait to see who is the coach.
“I’m just being patient, and I’m going to wait till signing day to make my decision.’’
Pooka puts on a show, but ...
Hahnville running back Anthony “Pooka’’ Williams rushed for 305 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries to help the Tigers record their eighth consecutive victory with a 42-21 Class 5A first-round playoff victory against Denham Springs on Friday night in Boutte.
But the brilliant performance, which included touchdown runs of 45, 7, 7, 61 and 57 yards, does not represent his best as a Tiger. Hahnville’s 5-10, 170-pound senior rushed for 355 yards and four touchdowns on 29 carries in a 44-27 District 7-5A victory against Thibodaux last season as a junior.
Williams also scored five touchdowns earlier this season in a 52-35 District 7-5A victory against Terrebonne in which he carried 26 times for 287 yards and four scores and returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown.
The uncommitted Williams now has rushed for 2,039 yards and 28 touchdowns on 158 attempts in 11 games with an average per carry of 12.9 yards. He has scored 30 touchdowns good for 180 points.
Tenth-seeded Hahnville plays at No. 7 Ruston at 7 p.m. Friday in the second round of the Class 5A state playoffs.
Grace King Classic
Bonnabel, McDonogh 35 and East Jefferson headline a field of 12 boys teams entered in the Grace King Tip Off Classic that begins Wednesday at Grace King.
The four-day tournament, which concludes with a 6:30 p.m. championship game Saturday, opens with four games Wednesday pitting Ehret vs. Riverdale at 3:30 p.m., East Jefferson versus Ben Franklin at 5 p.m., host Grace King versus Martin L. King at 6:30 p.m. and Destrehan versus Belle Chasse at 8 p.m.
Bonnabel, a Class 5A finalist last season, and McDonogh 35 begin play on Thursday with Bonnabel playing the Destrehan-Belle Chasse winner at 4:20 p.m. and McDonogh 35 facing the Grace King-Martin L. King winner at 7 p.m.
The Ehret-Riverdale loser and Grace King-Martin L. King loser open Thursday’s slate of five games at 3 p.m. Warren Easton also faces the East Jefferson-Ben Franklin winner at 5:40 p.m. followed later at 8:20 p.m. by Crescent City versus the Ehret-Riverdale winner.