The Football Tradition for the Prep League in

1942: Lou Brownson Takes Over at Holy Cross

Holy Cross Tiger coach Ray Scheuering was one of the hundreds of thousands of American men called up by Uncle Sam to take the fight to the enemy in the early days of World War II.  The huge opening created by his departure was filled in by Jesuit line coach Lou Brownson.  Brownson would coach the Tigers to several state championships and was probably the No. 1 coach of the 1950’s in the Prep League.  He was innovative, inspirational and a stickler for discipline.  One supposes that he realized that Brown had the Jesuit gig locked up for as long as he wanted it and he didn’t seem to want to go elsewhere, so he made the big move.

Now, for the official article on the game played on Sunday, Nov. 26, 1939

Copyright © 1942, The New Orleans Times-Picayune

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 By Stanford Opotowsky

The mighty Jesuit Blue Jays exploded three touchdowns in a dynamite-laden second period and then went on to produce two more in the last half as they outlasted Holy Cross, 31-19 on a brilliant scoring duel before 10,000 thrill-tingled fans Saturday night at City Park Stadium.

Blue Jay Star Al Widmer in '42
(Al passed away on October 8, 2016 at the age of 92.)

Al in 2003.  Still a star. Al in 2011 at the Jesuit-HC game

It was up to sturdy Al Widmer, a veteran of three year’ experience in the Prep League football wars to lead the Jays to their eighth straight victory of the season.  He scored three of the Jays’ touchdowns and then shot the pass to Bert Leveau for the fourth during the course of the action-crammed festivities.  And so, to Al go principal thanks for the Blue Jay win.

But when you hand out laurels for the wild and wooly thrill festival, you can’t overlook Ray Cureau, Bill Schroll and Stanley Garlepied for the great defensive jobs they turned in for the Jays.

Holy Cross really shot the works offensively Saturday night, turning coach Lou Brownson’s bag of tricks inside out.  But with Cureau and Schroll backing up the line at the ends and Garlepied leading the pass defense along with Widmer, the Tigers just weren’t able to outdo the Jays in the battle of touchdowns the two teams put on.

Out to Throw Passes

Holy Cross went out there determined to pass the Jays groggy, and while the Tigers did gain 131 yards through the air, this strategy boomeranged somewhat since two of Widmer’s touchdown runs for Jesuit were on pass interceptions and he set up a third tally with a 55-yard runback of a Holy Cross pass he nailed. 

The Tigers went into the lead in the first period after they recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and they were in front, 6-0 at the end of the period.  In that second quarter, though, the Jays started their blasting and they held an 18-6 edge by half time.  Widmer ran 25 yards for one touchdown.  He passed to Leveau for another after setting the scoring play up with a pass interception and then he scored the third with a 34-yard pass interception dash.

Holy Cross popped back into the game in the third period when Eddie Ramagoz clicked to Earl Meyer for three straight aerials.  The first was good for 14 yards, the second for 12m and the third for 19 and a touchdown.

Thus the count was 18-12 when the mighty elevens roared into the final period - but it seems the action had only begun.

Two Quick Touchdowns

Jesuit came up with two quick touchdowns at the outset.  Widmer shot a sensational 44-yard pass to Tom Loker to the Cross 11 to start things popping and four plays later Schroll hammered over right guard form the one for a touchdown. 

Holy Cross bounced back passing but Schroll intercepted one of Ramagoz’ aerials on about the Jesuit 25 and he lateralled to Widmer on about the 45.  From there, Al picked up magnificent blocking and scooted the rest of the way down the west sidelines for the touchdown.  For the first time in the game, an extra point was made when Loker booted it from placement, and so Jesuit led 31-12, at that point.

The Tigers didn’t give up, though, and sure enough they scored again – producing the game’s eighth touchdown.  Leroy Chollet recovered Ray Coates’ fumble on the Jesuit 26 to set the tally up.  Then Ramagoz passed to Bill Lamy to the six and Ramagoz swept right end for the touchdown from there.  Dunn kicked the extra point.

Ramagoz, Winters Play Well

Both Ramagoz and Bernie Winters of Holy Cross played their best games of the year as they led the Holy Cross offense in the titanic struggle.  Ramagoz’ passing was quite accurate, although sometimes not quite long enough.

Ray Coates aided in the Jesuit victory along with Loker, Cureau, Widmer and Malachi Mills.  Coates was especially dangerous on kick returns all night.

Holy Cross got the best of the principal statistics.  The Tigers led in first downs 14 to 9, in net yardage running 99 to 93 and in yards gained passing 131 to 113.  You can get an idea (or part of an idea) from these facts how much of the game was played in the air.  Both sides almost had to call out air raid wardens. 

The victory kept Jesuit’s undefeated victory banner fluttering atop the Prep League standings along with that of Easton and now all that remains for the championship deciding is the titanic struggle between these two mighty elevens December 5 at Tulane Stadium.  That’s two weeks off, but you can put in my ticket reservation now.  It’ll be one whale of a battle.

The Lineups:

Jesuit (31)   


Holy Cross (19)

























Ray Coates   



Al Widmer   







Holy Cross:   

 Arthur, Espenan, Bringer, Johnson, Daly, L. Chollet


 Hodgins, Viau, Verlander. Leveau, Price, Bergeron

First Downs:   

 Jesuit 9, Holy Cross 14.

Net Yardage:   

 Jesuit 206. Holy Cross 230

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Cumulative record, Jesuit leads the series 16-3-2

Season Record:

Jesuit: (Gernon Brown, Coach)
Metairie                       27-6
Baton Rouge                32-6
St. Aloysius                  26-6
Lake Charles                19-13
St. Stanislaus                46-6
Nicholls                        19-6
Peters                           28-0
Holy Cross                 31-19
Warren Easton (L)        13-27
Season Record: (8-1-0)

Holy Cross: (Ray Scheuering, Coach)

Istrouma                       16-6
Fortier                          20-0
GCMA                        13-0
Peters                           19-6
Warren Easton (L)       6-19
St. Aloysius                  14-6
Jesuit (L)                      19-31 

Season Record: (5-2)