Catholic High had chances to turn the tables on top-ranked Archbishop Rummel.
The fifth-ranked Bears took the lead in the third quarter. They got the ball four times in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead or tie it.
But the Raiders had the right combination of offense, defense and special teams along with a flair for the dramatic while claiming a 17-14 victory over Catholic on Friday night at Olympia Stadium.
“It was as good a game as you could hope for,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “Both teams were going after it making plays on both sides of the ball. We came out in the second half and got the long run from Trevell (Johnson) and took the lead. They answered. … They had a long run of their own.
“It was just a dogfight. I had the feeling it would be this close, I really did. I’m proud of our guys for the way they battled. They’ve got an excellent team and we were right there with them.”
Kristian Fulton played a key role, intercepting two passes, including one with 1:12 left to help clinch the win. The Rummel defensive line led by Oklahoma commitment Tyrell Jacobs and Mississippi State commitment Briston Guidry helped put the clamps on Catholic running back Derrius Guice, who finished with 24 yards on 13 carries.
The Raiders limited the Bears to 139 rushing yards, 74 of which came on Johnson’s long run. Johnson led Catholic (3-1) with 84 yards on three carries. Ian Brian completed 13 of 20 passes for 108 yards.
Rummel (4-0) remains unbeaten also thanks to the efforts of kicker Justin Mourain, whose 26-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter provided the winning points.
Maurice Bailey led Rummel with 124 yards on 10 carries, including a 71-yard TD run in the third quarter after Catholic claimed a 14-7 lead. Chase Fourcade completed 9 of 17 passes for 89 yards.
The game ended with some confusion. Catholic got the ball back with 12 seconds after a Rummel punt and was at the Raiders 36 with 3 seconds left, but the clock expired before the Bears could run a play.
“We were physically outplayed in the first half I thought,” Rummel coach Jay Roth said. “We didn’t give up big plays. We bled slowly when we did bleed. We had 11 guys running to the football.”
Rummel controlled the first quarter. Aided by a muffed punt that was recovered by Corey Harris, the Raiders held the ball for 13 plays and the first 6:43 of the game.
Fourcade’s 13-yard completion to Damion Jeanpiere on fourth-and-8 in the red zone set up a 1-yard TD run by Brandon Phillips that put Rummel ahead 7-0.
Catholic ran just six scrimmage plays in the first quarter. The Bears got going in the second period, completing an 87-yard drive that started with 1:05 left in the first quarter. With Rummel intent on bottling up Guice, the LSU commitment, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Brian made a savvy play. The junior quarterback faked a dive play and dumped a short pass off to tight end Nick Deranger, who raced 38 yards to the end zone to tie it with 7:59 left in the half.
Johnson’s 74-yard run set up a 17-yard TD pass from Brian to Guice that gave Catholic a 14-7 with 10:22 left in the third quarter. Three scrimmage plays later, Bailey scored on his 71-yard run.
The Raiders then stopped Brian short on a fourth-and-1 play. Enter Mourain, who put Rummel ahead for good with his field goal on the final play of the third quarter.