So much for that Rummel vs. John Curtis game everyone has talked about all season.
Jesuit crashed the party Saturday night, stunning Rummel 28-14 with a monumental victory before an electric Tad Gormley crowd.
Shortly afterward, there was a massive celebration right in front of the student section, including one Jesuit student who held up a sign that read “#JaysToTheDome.” It’ll be their first trip to the Superdome for the championship game since 1978.
Saturday’s outcome shocked many. Don’t count first-year Jesuit coach Mark Songy among the surprised ones.
Songy, who didn’t take over the program until late July, knew this year’s team had a chance. He watched the Blue Jays while helping with radio broadcasts the past few years.
“I had been studying these guys for a couple years,” he said. “I had watched these guys grow up. I felt really comfortable with them and thought they had a lot of players and tools in the right place, and they certainly had been well-coached. So I thought this team could do something special.”
And, boy, was this special.
So special that Songy’s wife, Jolene, had to chase down her hubby and get an extra kiss right before he went to give his team a postgame talk.
“He lives for this,” Mrs. Songy said. “He’s in his glory now.”
Songy commended his team for the passion it played with.
The surprise Saturday wasn’t so much that the Blue Jays won but how convincing of a win it was.
It was Jesuit, not Rummel, that played as if it was the No. 12 team in the country according to USA Today.
“When we play our best football and we are clicking, we can play this kind of football,” Songy said. “I really wanted this community and everybody to be able to take the next step, and we did tonight. My guys have a lot of guts and a lot of character and played their behinds off tonight.”
Songy had fallen short three times in the semifinals in his first stint at Jesuit in the 1990s before getting over the hump Saturday night.
Rummel was denied a chance at a third straight title.
For the second straight year, the Catholic League champion jinx struck, and the team that rolled through the league undefeated fell a game short of making it to the Dome.
Last year it was St. Augustine that steamrolled through district play before getting stunned by Rummel in the semis.
This time it was Rummel on the losing end, losing for the first time since a regular-season loss to St. Aug in 2013. The Raiders had their 17-game winning streak snapped. And they lost their chance for a third consecutive state championship.
Jesuit now has to play giant-slayer again, beating another team looking to add to its championship haul when it plays John Curtis on Friday at 8:30 p.m. Curtis is going for its fourth straight title and 27th overall.
J.T. Curtis, the coach who has led the Patriots to all those titles, has had quite a bit of success against Catholic League opponents over the years. He has an 18-3 lifetime record against Catholic League opponents. He is 3-0 against Brother Martin, 2-0 against Holy Cross, 7-1 against Shaw. And 6-2 against St. Augustine, which beat Curtis in 2013 and this year.
But this will be the first time he has faced Jesuit, which is seeking its first state title since 1960.
“If I could’ve written the script on this, I couldn’t have written it any better,” Songy said seconds after getting congratulatory hugs from Jesuit fans.
“One more,” he said. “One more.”