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 Jays Capture all Major State Titles in a Single Year

Everyone that has been raised in the Jesuit tradition is familiar with the legendary year of 1946.  In that single calendar year, Jesuit captured the Louisiana State championships in Basketball, Track and Field, Baseball and finally Football.  To make it even sweeter, they captured the American Legion State and World Series Titles.  It is thought that perhaps no other major high school in America has ever equaled such a record in interscholastic athletics.  The Jays had a great bunch of athletes and put them to very good use.  Every first year student on Carrollton Avenue has had the experience of wandering down the school’s Hall of Champions and looking in awe at the 1946 photographs and trophies.

The championships did not come without a struggle, of course, as many tough games had to be won and many fine athletes had to be contended with.  Not the least of which was the now-perennial winners from Dauphine Street.  Holy Cross had indeed come into its own under the capable tutelage of Coach Lou Brownson.  The Tigers also held their own in the other major sports and were in the process of building a dynasty in Wrestling under their coach, Brother Melchior.

Lou Brownson set up a dream game early in the season with the famed Boys’ Town of Nebraska.  This game was a chinch to draw a huge gate.  However, it all fell through when it was discovered that Boys’ Town’s quarterback and one other player were Negroes.  When told that they would not be allowed to play in the segregated South, Father Flanagan pulled out of the game.  This left the Tigers with a slate of only seven games for the season, a grave disappointment.


John Petitbon and Hugh Oser were the top players for the Jays in 1946 and they have gone down in history as two of the greatest of all time.  Petitbon, a junior in 1946, later went on to star for Notre Dame.

Jesuit handled all of their opponents with few scares that year.  They won their playoff games by comfortable margins and took the state crown by beating Jennings 48-14.  They then defeated Gonzaga of Washington, D.C. 19-0 in the CYO classic to cap off a 13-0-0 season.

Meanwhile, Holy Cross had an outstanding season of its own, going undefeated and losing only to the Jays in a disappointing game. 

Now, for the official article on the game played on Saturday, November 16, 1946

Copyright © 1946 the Times-Picayune Publishing Co.


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Petitbon, Villavaso Pace Jays to Triumph

By Pete Baird


A record local crowd of 42,000 football fans saw the veteran, hard-hitting Jesuit line and an equally hard-running backfield overwhelm Holy Cross, 32-0, at Tulane Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Jesuit dominated the game all the way, stopping Al Hanzo, the league’s leading ground gainer, and while the Jays couldn’t stop Floyd Duffy and Hank Lauricella all the time, they held the gold-shirted backs pretty well in hand.  Never was Holy Cross able to make a serious threat.

On the other hand, John Petitbon and Charles Villavaso, running with vigor behind that sharp-shooting Jay line, romped up and down the field for touchdowns in every period but the first.
Holy Cross used a four-man line most of the time but changed its defense quite frequently.  Bobby 
Heap played a great game at end but the Jays were not to be stopped.

Petitbon made three touchdowns, Villavaso one and Joe Shirer one. Hugh Oser kicked two extra points but missed the others, which didn’t much matter.

The Jays showed a varied attack that worked every time they had a scoring chance and a 5-3-2-1 defense that hemmed in Holy Cross constantly.

The Tigers also tried everything and showed, in Floyd Duffy, a fine running back.

The Bengals were fighting just as hard and playing possibly better in the fourth quarter than in the opener.

The two teams were slightly jittery at the start.  Neither team could work up a sustained drive in the first period, though Lloyd Duffy for the Tigers and John Petitbon for Jesuit made some good gains.
Holy Cross was kept pretty much in the hole, but Hank Lauricella kept getting off punts to keep the hard-hitting Jays at a distance.

Hugh Oser and Petitbon also kicked well and had the Tigers unable to get into a position to take many chances.

Opening the second quarter, Lauricella kicked from his 15 to Petitbon on the Jays’ 45and he brought it back in a nice run to the Tigers’ 30.  Al Hanzo nailed Petty for a two-yard loss at left end, but John gained it back at the other end. 

Then came a pretty play.  Chuck Villavaso completed a pass to Oser, who lateralled it to Monroe Caballero.  The play barely failed to gain a first down and Lauricella pretty soon had to punt again.  This time, Petty returned it from his 47 to the Holy Cross 38.

Petitbon gained 11 yards at right tackle and repeated for two to move to the Holy Cross 25.  The Tigers went into a four-man line and Pat Rooney was held to one yard over center.

Villavaso then passed to Oser for a first down on the Tiger 15 and Villavaso went around left end – and the Holy Cross eight-man line – for the touchdown. 

Holy Cross started passing after the next kickoff and Petitbon intercepted one of Lauricella’s tosses on the Jesuit 46, where he was downed.  Petty and Joe Shirer made a first down.  Villavaso gained three at left tackle and then ran 32 yards around left end, where Heap brought him down.
Petty rammed it to the Tiger four.  Shirer went to the one and on the next play crowded it over for the touchdown.  Starting the second half, the Jays took the Holy Cross kickoff and marched right on down.  A forward-lateral pass, with Villavaso carrying the ball gained seven and he repeated for seven more through the line.

The Jays were stopped momentarily but, on an end around, Oser circled right end for 27 yards on the Tiger 20.

A Holy Cross penalty for unnecessary roughness set the Tigers back to their 10 and Petty took charge, going for five on his first try, two on his second and the payoff three on his third dash.
The Jays soon started again.  After Lauricella punted out on the Jay 41, the Jays soon punted back and a Holy Cross fumble was recovered by Blue Jay Al Tauzier on the Tiger nine.  Petitbon this time rammed all they way on his first attempt to make it 26-0.

Starting the fourth, Jesuit took the ball on downs on the Tigers’ 30 when Holy Cross elected to try to gain instead of playing it safe.

But the Tigers intercepted a Jay pass and Lauricella returned it to the Tiger 10.  A fumble by Villars, however, put them in misery again when Ralph Bayard recovered for the Jays on the Holy Cross 26.  Bayard got a yard, and on the next play, Villavaso tossed a perfect pass to Petitbon beyond the Tiger safety and it was another Jesuit touchdown, the final one making the score 32-0 for the Blue Jays.  


NOTE: See additional article, below.


The Lineups
Jesuit (32)                                                                   Holy Cross (0
Oser                                         L.E.                              Minyard
Rooney                                    L.T.                              Dugas
Ford                                         L.G.                             Burtchael
Thomas                                    C                                 Jenevein
Martin                                      R.G.                             Hecker
Tauzier                                     R.T.                             Korndorfer
Ward                                       R.E.                             Heap
Caballero                                 Q.B.                             Lauricella
Petitbon                                    R.H.                             Villars
Villavaso                                  L.H.                             F. Duffy
Shirer                                       F.B                              Hanzo

Burguieres, Clark, Schulte, McGill, Johnson, Brown, Rocker, Juge, Landrieu, Chaney, Leach, Demma, Bayard, Smuck, Knowles, Rappold, McGinn, Thomas, Pujol, Carroll, Glennon, Ryall
Holy Cross: Prats, Greer, Watkins, Corne, Breaux, Korndorfer, Callery, Garrity, Nastasi, Stoltz, Adams, Schexnaydre, Cook, Howard, Mouier, Hymel, Clair, Duffy, Dunn, Westcott, Nettles, Perret, Lucia, Musemeci.

Game Statistics:                     Jesuit              Holy Cross

Yards rushing                           208                              93
Yards passing                             43                              (Unknown)
First downs                                 10                               6
Penalties                                   5-35                             5-50

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Cumulative record, Jesuit leads the series 18-5-2

Season Record:
Jesuit: (Gernon Brown, Coach
Pensacola                     24-6
Baton Rouge              41-14
St. Aloysius                  13-0
Boys; High (Ga.)          20-0
St. Stanislaus                31-6
Nicholls                        55-0
Peters                           41-6
Holy Cross                 32-0
Fortier                          20-7
Warren Easton             27-6
Istrouma                     19-6 (So. La. Championship
Jennings                     48-14 (State Championship
Gonzaga (D.C.)          19-0 (CYO Classic)
Season Record:

Season Record:
Holy Cross: (Lou Brownson, Coach)
Boys’ High of Atlanta               26-12
Gulf Coast Military Academy    19-0
Peters                                       82-6
Fortier                                      7-0
Warren Easton                         6-0
St. Aloysius                               7-0
Jesuit                                      0-32 (L)

Season record: (6-1-0)

A second article appeared in the Monday edition of the Times-Picayune:

“Red Hot” Jays Jubilant Over Victory Saturday

By N. Charles Wicker

There was jubilation in the Jesuit dressing room after Saturday’s game and the Jays had every reason to be happy as they played a great ball game.  To say they were “hot” would be very mild.  They outplayed the Tigers in every phase of the game. 

It was three years ago, almost to the day, that the Tigers suffered their last local defeat and it was Jesuit that handed the Tigers their last local setback in 1943, 18-14.

Few of the 42,000 fans, which bettered the old record of 34,345made in 1940 when the two teams battled in City Park Stadium, thought the game would wind up in such a one-sided manner. 

It was no disgrace for the Tigers to lose to the Jays, for after losing all the key men from last year’s championship team, Holy Cross came back this year and carried on undefeated.

Captain Roy Ward, Hugh Oser, Don Ford and John Petitbon were singled out as the stars of the game by Jesuit’s old grads and students.  This quartet was carried off the field by the Jesuit fans, who also carried coaches Gernon Brown, Bill Brown and Eddie Toribio to the Blue Jay dressing room.
The Jays’ celebration in the dressing room after the game was very short.  After being carried with the ball in his hands, Brown (unintelligible) up a bit, but then in his genial manner said, “OK boys, this game meant more to me than all I have every won, and it’s all due to the fine performance by you boys.”

Saturday’s triumph gained for the Jays the Catholic school gridiron crown, which the Tigers have won for the past two years.  It also won for them a bid for the fourth annual CYO game to be played here in City Park Stadium either on December 15 or 22 – provided the state playoff games don’t cause a setback.

The triumph practically clinched for the Jays the local prep title, which the Tigers also won last year.
Jesuit has Fortier and Warren Easton to play and these two teams were both beaten by the Tigers by a single touchdown.

One of the key plays in the game in the mind of the Jesuit coach was when John Petitbon intercepted Lauricella’s pass around midfield prior to the Jays’ second touchdown.

Coach Brownson, in no mood to talk, did praise the work of his two co-captains, Bobby Heap and Al Hanzo, in the Tigers’ dressing room, where there was a little gloom, despite the loss.

Loyal Tiger followers kept the players and coaches hemmed into the dressing room.

Holy Cross players didn’t fail to commend the Jays on the fine game they played, but stated that the Easton team tackled harder than the Jays.

”Petitbon is the runner and the best player on the Jesuit team, Pat Rooney is a good tackle and Caballero is a good blocker,” were other comments made by Tiger players.

The Jays gained 208 yards net running to 93 for the Tigers.  In first downs, Jesuit made seven running, one passing and two on penalties.

The Bengals registered five first downs running and one on a pass.  “Chuck” Villavaso threw five passes for the Jays and completed three.  One gained 25 yards and two were nine yards each.

Hank Lauricella tried four passes and failed to complete any.  Cliff Breaux, in the late stages of the game, tried three passes, of which two were complete.  Two of Lauricella’s passes were intercepted by the Jays.  Mike Thomas and Petitbon were on the intercepting end of Lauricella’s heaves.

Holy Cross was penalized five times for 50 yards while the Jays were set back five times for a total of 35 yards.

Hugh Oser of the Jays out punted the Tiger quarterback, Lauricella.  Oser punted three times, one for 44, another for 45, and a third for 35 yards.  A quick-kick by Petitbon for 44 yards improved the Jays’ punting average.  Lauricella’s punting average for six tries was 29.5 yards.

In punt returns, Petitbon ran back two for 39 yards.  Floyd Duffy returned two Jesuit punts for nine yards.

Holy Cross fumbled three times and recovered one of their own fumbles and one Jesuit fumble.  The Jays fumbled once and recovered two of the Tigers fumbles.

Coach “Fuzzy” Brown of the Istrouma Indians, who will play the New Orleans champions for the South Louisiana crown, scouted the Jays.

Coaches Gernon Brown and Eddie Toribio left after the game to scout the Indians against Bogalusa.