It had all the makings of a showdown: Two years ago, Hahnville coach Nick Saltaformaggio led East Jefferson to the top of the Class 4A football heap. Last year, Jesuit’s Mark Songy led the Blue Jays to the top of the Division I select schools heap while Saltaformaggio got acclimated to his new home in Hahnville.
Thursday night, the two went head-to-head in the first night of jamboree action in the River Parishes. Both have some work to do, but Jesuit may be a step ahead after taking a 17-0 win.
Led by senior quarterback Peter Hontas, wide receiver Kalijah Lipscomb and a pair of solid running backs, the Blue Jays rolled up 237 yards.
Hontas completed 6 of 13 passes for 107 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown to Lipscomb on Jesuit’s first possession. Running back Conner Pruet rushed for 89 yards and scored the Blue Jays’ second touchdown on a 2-yard run with 7:29 remaining. Crew Jacobs added a 27-yard field goal with 1:45 remaining in the game.
Hahnville finished with 132 yards, led by first-year starting quarterback Mike Neal. He completed 9 of 17 passes for 91 yards. Wide receiver Devonte Cravin had four catches for 59 yards. The Tigers’ running game finished with 41 yards. Hunter LeBlanc was the bright spot for the defense, nabbing an interception late in the first half.
Hontas got the Jays into Tigers territory with an 18-yard pass to Malachi Hull, then connected with Evan Slattery for 5 yards to get the Blue Jays to the 47. From there, Hontas connected with a wide-open Lipscomb for the score.
Hahnville put together a time-consuming drive with some strong throws by Neal, and the running of Anthony Williams. But the drive stalled at the Jesuit 23-yard line when Neal threw incomplete in the end zone.
Hahnville had another opportunity late in the first half, after LeBlanc’s interception. The Tigers got down to the Jesuit 13-yard line in the final seconds of the half. But on third-and-2 at the 13, Neal was forced out of the pocket and scrambled for a 1-yard gain. Then on fourth down, he was sacked for an 8-yard loss to end the half with Jesuit leading 7-0.
After forcing the Tigers to punt from midfield on the opening possession of the second half, Jesuit put together a 13-play, 61-yard drive with Pruet and Rozas alternating runs and Hontas throwing as needed. After Rozas got Jesuit to the 2-yard line, Pruet took it in with 7:29 remaining to give the Blue Jays a 14-0 lead.
Hahnville started its next drive with a nice 30-yard pass from Neal to Crave, taking the Tigers to the Jesuit 49, but the drive didn’t go much farther. Neal threw two incompletions and was dropped for a 9-yard loss, forcing the Tigers to punt on fourth-and-24 at their 37.
From there, Jesuit took 10 plays to score with Pruet and Rozas slashing their way through the weary Hahnville defense. With the drive stalled at the 10, Jacobs kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:45 left.