Rummel quarterback Chase Fourcade breaks former mentor’s record; coach Jay Roth links success to his work ethic _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- Rummel quarterback Chase Fourcade is pushed out of bounds by Jesuit's Mark Beebe during a Division I playoff game Friday at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie.

Chase Fourcade was a bit startled when a media member told him after Friday night’s win over Jesuit how many yards he had just thrown for.

352.

“What?” Fourcade recalled responding.

Fourcade, Rummel’s senior quarterback, knew exactly what that number meant.

He had studied the school records in the Rummel media guide enough times to know that it was a single-game passing record.

Making it even more special is that the old record was held by a guy who mentored him, former Raiders standout Damian Williams, now a backup quarterback at Mississippi State.

Fourcade was a freshman during Williams’ senior year when he threw for the previous school record of 316 yards in the playoffs against Lafayette.

“Damian taught me a lot,” Fourcade said. “He was a guy who never thought about himself because he was just so unselfish. I looked up to him. He was my role model my freshman year. Everything he did, I did. He took me home, brought me to school and brought me to workouts. He taught me a lot.”

Fourcade shared the news with Williams earlier this week.

“He told me that he wouldn’t want any other person to have the record,” Fourcade said.

Fourcade also has 19 touchdowns on the season, eclipsing the old mark of 18, which Williams threw for as a junior and a senior.

Passing records are hard to come by at Rummel, known more for its potent ground game. But the Raiders showed Friday that they are far from being one-dimensional.

“When you throw for 352 yards in a game at Rummel, it’s like 800 yards at some other school,” Raiders coach Jay Roth said. “We had intentions of throwing it, but not 30 times. It all goes back to the confidence we have in Chase and him taking care of the football. He takes care of the football, and he’s not going to get us in a bad play. It just goes to show how hard he works.”

Fourcade has been working at it since he started playing quarterback at Cleary Playground when he was 6 years old.

Football, of course, is in his blood.

His father Keith was a linebacker and his uncle John played quarterback at Ole Miss, with John going on to play with the New Orleans Saints.

He gets quarterback tips from both after games.

But he said there was never any pressure having the last name Fourcade.

“Going into it, I just tried to make a name for myself,” said Chase, who is committed to Nicholls State.

He did just that, and he did it throwing passes instead of breaking up passes.

“I remember his father came to me saying Chase would be OK if we moved him to safety or linebacker,” Roth recalled.

But Roth kept him at quarterback.

It’s a decision that has paid off.

Fourcade helped lead the Raiders to the Division I title as a sophomore and has led the school to back-to-back Catholic League titles as a junior and a senior.

He’s been durable as well, having missed just one play, as a junior in the playoffs against Jesuit.

This season he’s completed 108 of 189 passes for 1,880 yards with 19 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

“To walk on that practice field for three years and to know you have a guy who is going to take care of the ball and be a leader, it makes it fun to go to practice,” Roth said. “He’s lost just one district game in three years. He might not have the numbers, but for Rummel, he has great numbers.”

That lone district loss came as a sophomore against a Leonard Fournette-led St. Augustine team. Rummel avenged that loss in the postseason and went on to win the state title.

That championship gave Fourcade bragging rights at the family gatherings over Keith and John, who both fell short of a state title during their playing days at Shaw.

“I always brag to them about that,” Chase said with a laugh. “I did something neither one of them has done.”

Fourcade now looks to add another ring. Rummel is two wins away from its second title with Fourcade at quarterback.

First, the Raiders have to beat John Curtis on Friday in the semifinals at Yenni Stadium. The winner advances to the championship game to play the Evangel Christian-Catholic-Baton Rouge winner.

A second state title would give Fourcade one more ring than Williams.

“That would be a good way to close my chapter at Rummel,” he said.