Jesuit’s precision-like dismantling of Rummel’s 17-game win streak and the Raiders’ march to a possible third straight state football title was so convincing, it left Jesuit coach Mark Songy in shock.
“I’m kind of in shock right now,” Songy uttered moments after his team’s 28-14 Division I select semifinal win over No. 12 nationally-ranked (USA Today) Rummel.
Jesuit (11-2) now moves to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to play Curtis (10-1) for the Division I championship Friday night.
The Jays dominated all three phases of the game while taking a 14-0 lead midway through the third period before parrying a Rummel score just before halftime.
A 56-yard run by Chris Mills stretched the Jays’ advantage to 21-7 less than four minutes into the third quarter. Mills carried 13 times for 96 yards against the vaunted Raiders defensive front, giving him 1,090 yards gained for the season.
Quarterback Trey LaForge, whose impeccable execution and timing of the Jays’ short-passing enabled him to complete 17 of his 21 passes, hit Malachi Hull with an 18-yard touchdown to make it 28-7 with 7:49 left in the game.
LaForge threw for two TDs and 224 yards. Mills and Charles Jackson (54 yards, eight carries) led a running attack that gained 160 yards.
“We took advantage of every opportunity tonight,” Songy said. “We dialed it up. I don’t know if we could have played much better against a great football team.”
Jesuit’s defense limited Rummel to 69 rushing yards and, once behind, the Raiders threw 32 passes. In last week’s win over Teurlings, the Raiders threw two.
Defensive back Jakirai Wiley made two leaping deflections of possible Rummel touchdown passes in the end zone, killing threats in the first quarter and then again late in the fourth.
“Our defense had some big stops,” Songy said.
“Rummel (11-1) is a fantastic team, probably the best defensive team we’ve played all year,” Jesuit offensive tackle Brad Gaudet said. “We focused all week on playing a very physical game.”
By midway through the second quarter, LaForge had taken the Jays on drives of 70 and 79 yards and Jesuit had a 14-0 lead midway through the second period.
A 35-yard scramble by LaForge and a 29-yard pass over the middle to Mills on the next play gained 29 yards to the Raider 3. Jackson finished the five-play scoring series with a 3-yard run.
LaForge completed five passes that gained 63 yards on the seven-play second drive. Tight end Alex Rabalais, covered the final 22 yards after dragging defenders then breaking loose with Laforge’s first TD pass. Rummel first moved 69 yards in the final 5:55 of the second quarter for its only score of the half.
Fourcade drilled a 14-yard slant to Damion Jeanpiere for the touchdown with :47 seconds remaining.
“I feel fantastic,” Songy said. “We played one hell of a game against a great football team.”