The Football Tradition for the Prep League in


One interesting news item that year was that Americus (GA) High School defeated Forsythe High by a score of 240-0!  

Now, for the official article on the game played on Sunday, Nov. 24, 1943

Copyright © 1943 The New Orleans Times-Picayune

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By N. Charles Wicker

In as thrilling a ball game as was ever played in the Prep League, the Jesuit Blue Jays rose to superior heights in defeating a favored Holy Cross eleven, 18-14 Sunday afternoon at City Park Stadium before a near-capacity crowd of almost 25,000 fans.

The game was packed full of thrills during the entire 48 minutes of play.  So thrilling was the game that all stayed in the stadium until the final horn sounded.  There were long runs, excellent punting, and fine defensive play by both teams.

Ray Arthur of the defeated Tigers made the afternoon’s longest run when he intercepted one of Ray Coates’ passes and scrambled 93 yards for a touchdown which tied the score in the second period.

Another long run, that by Captain Ray Coates of the Jays for 70 yards in the third period for a touchdown proved to be the Jays’ winning play.

Hodgins Goes 50 Yards

Norman Hodgins of the Jays turned in the first long run when he ran 50 yards from this own 35 to the Tigers’ 15 before being brought down from behind by Ray Arthur of the Tigers.  It was the first real threat made by either team.

Sunday’s game will go down in the records along with such thrilling games as several between Jesuit and Warren Easton.

The victory Sunday was the seventh straight for the Jays, who have only their archrivals, the Warren Easton Eagles, between them and the championship.  The Eagles and the Jays meet on December 4.  A victory for Easton over the Jays and a win for Holy /cross over Nicholls next Sunday will throw the race into a tie.  The setback was the first in seven games for the Tigers.

Coates and Hodgins played their greatest game.  They proved a thorn in the side of the heavy Holy Cross line throughout the afternoon.

Gain 261 Yards

The two backs picked up 261 of the 277 yards gained during the afternoon by the Jays.  Coates alone picked up more yards than all of the Tiger ball carriers.  The Jesuit captain gained 149 yards while Arthur, Rudy Daly, Johnny McManus and Spooky Johnson of the Tigers could gain but 143 yards through the lighter Jesuit line.  Hodgins picked up 112 yards.  Both backs had their total swelled by long runs.

The Jesuit line was outweighed by the Holy Cross line some 16 pounds to the man, according to the weights in the program.  The Jays had the edge in the backfield weights.  The Jesuit backfield outweighed the Tigers approximately 12 pounds to the man, but the Jays were outweighed as a team by approximately five pounds.

Jesuit, out first-downed by the Tigers 11 to 7, outgained the downtown team in running and passing.  Jesuit picked up 256 running and 15 yards passing for a net gain of 281 while the Tigers hit the Jesuit line for 143 yards and added 83 through the air for a total of 226.

Jays on Offense

The Jays were on the offensive throughout the first half.  But in the second half, thanks to some fine line backing by the secondary, the Jays were able to put up a defensive battle.  The Tigers were on the offensive most of the second half.

Only in the third period did the Tigers really steamroll over the Jays.  The Tigers drove 71 yards to overcome a 12-7 margin held by the Jays at the half.

The Tigers made the first threat and the initial first down of the game following an exchange of punts, which gave them the advantage.  A 16-yard pass over the center of the line from Johnny McManus to Spooky Johnson brought the Tigers to the Jesuit 31, but the Jays held and the Tigers had to punt. 

Tigers Forced Back

Another exchange of punts followed by a clipping penalty sent the Tigers back deep in their own territory to the 16-yard line.

Winters punted out of bounds on the 43 and after a line play and a penalty Norman Hodgins brought the fans to their feet with a 50-yard jaunt from his own 35 to the Tigers’ 15 before being brought down from behind by Arthur.  Jesuit had little success at the line and lost the ball on downs on the nine-yard line.

A 55-yard punt by Bernie Winters, Tiger captain, from his own nine-yard line to the Jesuit 45 got the Tigers out of the hole temporarily.  But the Jays kept knocking.  Coates returned the punt 19 yards to the Tigers’ 36 and after two plays netted six yards and a pass fell incomplete, Coates, aiming for the sidelines, kicked over the goal line.

Taking the ball on the Tigers’ 20, Johnson on an end around got 12 yard and a first down.  But the Tigers took to the air and Coates intercepted Arthur’s pass on the Tiger 47 and returned it to the 38 and the Jays were on the march.

Hodgins Scores

Hodgins went around end for nine yards and then ran 29 yards for a touchdown.  His try for extra point failed.  The score came with a little more than a minute and a half remaining in the first quarter.

The Tigers kept fighting and the Jays, desperately trying to increase the lead, took to the air. 

Getting possession of the ball on their 39, the Jays completed one 15-yard pass from Coates to Curry, but the second time they tried to pass Ray Arthur intercepted the ball on his seven-yard lie and ran 93 yards for a touchdown to tie the score.  It was a beautiful run.

Spooky Johnson kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 7-6.

Alert playing by the Tigers gave them an excellent opportunity when Octave Tournillon fell on the kickoff on the Jesuit 28.  A lateral and then a forward pass from McManus to Arthur was good to the Jay 10-yard line but Arthur fumbled and Hodgins recovered for the Jays.  This took the starch out of the Tigers for a moment.

Coates quick-kicked to the 45-yard line and again the Tigers took to the air, only to find Bill Curry stealing the ball away from Arthur on a pass to the Tigers 33-yard line.  From here the Jays marched to a score with Coates going over from the nine-yard line.  Hodgins try for the extra point failed and the Jays lead, 12-7, at the half.

Holy Cross came back strong in the third period.  From their own 29 they rolled off five first downs and Johnson scored on an end around from the eight-yard line.  McManus, Arthur and Daly brought the ball down the field on running plays to the eight.  This was the only time the Tigers outplayed the Jesuit forward wall.

Johnson kicked the extra point and the Tigers led 14-12, only to see the Jays come back again and score when Coates circled right end and ran 70 yards for a score.  The extra point again failed.  Only a few seconds remained in the third period when Coates scored. 

Holy Cross tried desperately to go ahead but the Tigers couldn’t find any continued success at the Jesuit line in the fourth period.

The Lineups:

Jesuit (18)                                                                   Holy Cross (14)
Leveau                                     L.E.                              Espenan
Bertucci                                    L.T.                              Winters
Ramirez                                    L.G.                             Brinker
Barousse                                  C                                 Tournillon
Boudouequis                            R.G.                             Stadler
Mills                                         R.T.                             Long
Dane                                        R.E.                             Johnson
Johnson                                    Q.B.                             Boullet
Raymond                                  R.H.                             Arthur
Coates                                     L.H.                             McManus
Hodgins                                    F.B                              Daly


Holy Cross: Collins, Ohman.
Jesuit: C. Brown Benowitz, Bernich, Van Giffen Tauzier, Curry.

First Downs: Jesuit 7, Holy Cross 11.
Net Yardage: Jesuit 281, Holy Cross 226
Penalties, Jesuit 40 yards, Holy Cross 108 yards.

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Cumulative record, Jesuit leads the series 17-3-2

Season Record:

Jesuit: (Gernon Brown, Coach)
Peters                           20-0
Baton Rouge                19-0
St. Aloysius                  33-0
Fortier                          24-0
Nicholls                        6-0
Holy Cross                 18-14
Warren Easton (T)        6-6
Baton Rouge                7-2 (So. La. Championship)
Byrd                             25-7 (State Championship)
Mt. Carmel (Ill.)           12-0 (CYO Classic)

Season Record: (9-0-1)

Season Record:  
Holy Cross: (Lou Brownson, Coach)
Istrouma                       25-6
GCMA                        27-0
Peters                           46-6
Fortier                          41-0
Warren Easton             14-7
St. Aloysius                  27.12
Jesuit (L)                    14-18
Nicholls                        (Won)
(There may be an error here, because
the Tigers were supposedly 7-2)


Here is another article that appeared in the same area as the game story, above:

Jays Shout ‘Bring on Those Eagles” After Close Victory

By Carol Bart

Some happy, some sad, the fans who witnessed the Holy Cross-Jesuit game Sunday filed out of the stadium all agreed it was a great ball game they had seen, perhaps the finest football game played in the city this season.

Both schools were splendidly represented by a crowd of nearly 25,000 that saw the game.  The Jesuit followers had plenty to cheer about as they left their seats at the end of the game, for their Blue Jays had beaten a Tiger eleven that had gone undefeated in six previous contests.  Loud and long were the lusty yells which they emitted, proud to let everyone know from what school they came.

The Jesuit dressing room was the picture of happiness – all smiles.  The players entered in high spirits, shouting loudly the battle cry, “Bring on those Eagles!”  Before winning the championship, Jesuit must get by Warren Easton on December 4 at Tulane Stadium.

Gives Aides Credit

Coach Gernon Brown gave credit for the victory to his assistant coaches, Bill Brown and George Gillespie, saying, “To Bill Brown and George Gillespie goes most of the credit for the fine play in the Jesuit line.  Brown and Gillespie did marvelous work in keeping up the line which had 145-pound guards and 150-pound ends to work with.  Overcoming a 20-pound weight advantage per man is some obstacle for anyone to overcome.  Coates and Hodgins rose to great heights this afternoon.”

Captain Ray Coates, who made the winning touchdown by dashing through Tigers for 70 yards, was given the ball after the game.  He requested that the members of the team autograph the ball and it be given to the Sacred Heart Orphanage.

Tigers Shed Tears

Over in the Holy Cross dressing room, the scene was exactly the opposite to the Jays’ quarters.  The players shed tears and were greatly disappointed that they lost.  “This was one we wanted to win.”  Might sum up the feeling demonstrated by the team. 

But to the loyal followers and students of Holy Cross the team had covered itself with glory by the great battle it had put up before bowing by the slight margin of four points.

Outside the dressing room a spontaneous demonstration took place with the Tiger fans cheering for all they were worth to let the team know they were not downhearted.  Each player was given a separate cheer and the gathering would not cease shouting.  Finally it was dispersed so Coach Lou Brownson might talk to his players in the dressing room.  Though Holy Cross had lost the game this gathering showed that the team lost not a particle of its favor with the followers and well-wishers of the college.

To Jesuit goes the victory in the scorebook and to Holy Cross goes the knowledge that they went down fighting – that they played their best and lost to a fine ball club.