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The Football Tradition for the Prep League in
1953

1953 FOOTBALL ROSTERS (Click below)
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Jesuit vs. Istrouma (Playoff) Jesuit vs. Bryd (State Champs)

JAYS WIN STATE AGAIN

The 1953 season would see the Blue Jays, with a new coach, win the state championship once again, the first one since 1946.  The big title would elude the school's footballers for the rest of the twentieth century with a single exception, that being 1961, when Pat Screen would lead them to another one.

The Jays won state in 1953 with a great, speedy team.  They ran over their regular season schedule with ease, except for the Tigers of Pensacola.  A single loss, 7-6, would mar an otherwise perfect season.  Pensacola would prove to be the Jays' nemesis in future years, as well. 

1953 saw a new team enter the Catholic league, that being the Cavaliers of DeLaSalle.  The new uptown school would represent itself well in its first foray into league play and they would go on to win many games over the next fifty years in the league.

The 1953 Jesuit-Holy Clash was played on Sunday afternoon, November 15, 1953.  Everybody wanted to know if the Jays were for real, and only their archrivals from Dauphine street could provide the acid test.  The account follows.

Copyright 1953, the Times-Picayune Publishing Co.

Jays Explode Early to Hand Tigers Humiliating 47-13 Defeat

SCORE 4 TDS IN FIRST QUARTER

Massa Paces Jesuit in One-Sided Victory

BY N. CHARLES WICKER

It's going to take plenty to convince Jesuit football fans that their team isn't the best in the land after the 47-13 trouncing the Jays handed Holy Cross Sunday afternoon at City Park Stadium before the season's largest crowd.  

Knocked from the ranks of the undefeated last week by Pensacola, the Jays stunned the Tigers with the same effect of an atomic bomb in the first period, scoring 28 points, more than any scored in one period in a prep game played in New Orleans this year.

It was the worst defeat handed a Lou Brownson-coached team and one of the worst handed a Tiger team in years.  In 1935 the Tigers lost to the Jays 47-6.

Mickey La Nasa threw the switch that caused the explosion when he took the opening kickoff, a low one, which he fumbled and picked up and raced 90 yards for a touchdown.  Before the period was over, the Jays had scored 28 points, four touchdowns, two extra points and a safety.

While it was La Nasa who started off the scoring rampage, it was Frank Massa, 141-pound halfback, the lightest man in the Jesuit backfield, who paced the Jays to victory.

Massa scored three touchdowns.  His first score came on a 32-yard return of a Holy Cross pass which he intercepted.  The other two came on runs of 35 and 37 yards.  Massa also accounted for an extra point.  

Roscoe Van Zandt completed the Jays scoring with two extra points from placement.

George Schneider* and Gerry Heap scored the Holy Cross touchdowns.  Schneider got his score when he took a fumbled lateral from the hands of Heap at the 50-yard line, cut to the left, reversed his field and cut back and went all the way for the Tigers' first score.

An 80-yard pass, Cooper to Heap, gave Holy Cross its second and final touchdown.

Even the most ardent Blue Jay supporters didn't think the Jays would romp over the Tigers the way they did Sunday.

Jesuit showed no effects of the loss of their diminutive halfback, Sid Gelpi, who suffered a broken collarbone.  Silva took over masterfully and the Jays clicked.

The Jays, lighter, but more experienced in the line, led by Clarence Ritter, Al Ecuyer and Russell Carroll, played well.

With Silva leading the parade, the Jays gained 361 yards net running and didn't complete a pass.  They tried only one.

Holy Cross' only weapon was their passing but they didn't throw enough.  Even when behind by 28-0, their aerials were scarce.

Charles Cooper was the best Tiger.  He led his team in running with 56 of the 156 yards gained rushing and completed three of six passes for a total of 130 yards.  

Final statistics showed Jesuit gaining 361 yards running and passing and Holy Cross 286.

* - Better known to us all as Earl Schneider.  Your editor recalls that great run.  Earl grabbed the botched pitchout, ran to the right, then to the left, with Blue Jays lunging at him all the time.  He spotted a narrow lane and took off and zipped into the end zone untouched.  It was one for the all time highlight reels.  I kept hoping someone would tackle him but, alas, it was not to be!  I, along with many Jesuit rooters, had to applaud him when we realized what we had just seen.  Truly amazing!

NOTE: Mickey LaNasa returned the opening kickoff 90 yards after he dropped the ball and picked it up again.  It was the second-longest kickoff return in Jesuit football history at the time and, 50 years later, still ranks as number six on the all-time Jesuit list.

LINEUPS    JESUIT    HOLY CROSS
Ends    Clarence Ritter, Salaun, Phil Brooks, Bill Renaudin, Donald McClure, Blanchard    Freddy Reppel, Milton "Bubby" Campo, Newman, Lee
Tackles    Frey, Ernst, R. Brown, A. D. Smith    Jim McDowell, Cavallino, Hughes, Joseph Benitte, Stepanski
Guards    Russell Carroll, Al Ecuyer, Roscoe Van Zandt, Donald Remson    Reeder, Dautrieve, Sedberry, Arena
Centers    Will Billon, Terry Brown    Guttuso
Backs    Micky La Nasa, Charlie Silva, Frank Massa, Bobby Menard, Billy Ladner, Tommy Surcouf, Richie Petitbon    Ray Heap, Charlie Cooper, Earl Schneider, Keim, Young, Ray Bianchini, Donald Carriere 

 

Score By Quarters   

1   

2   

3   

4   

Total

Jesuit   

28   

0   

19   

0   

47

Holy Cross   

0   

6   

0   

7   

13

SCORING:: Touchdowns, 
Jesuit- LaNasa, Menard 2, Massa 3, Silva.  Holy Cross- Schneider, Heap (Pass from Cooper)
Points After Touchdown, 
Jesuit - Van Zandt 2, Massa.  Holy Cross - Cooper
Safety. Bianchini - tackled in end zone by Jesuit


GAME STATISTICS   

JESUIT   

HOLY CROSS

First downs running   

9   

6

First downs passing   

0   

1

Total first downs   

9   

7

Yards gained running   

366   

203

Yards lost running   

5   

47

Net yards running   

361   

156

Passes A-C-I   

1-0-0   

9-3-3

Punts-Avg.   

4-32.5   

2-48.5

Penalties-Yds.   

1-5   

6-27

Fumbles-Lost   

3-2   

3-2   

 

1953 SEASON RECORD JESUIT   

Eddie Toribio, Coach   

Opponent   

Jes.   

Opp.   

Comment

Terrebonne   

19   

7   

 

Baton Rouge   

27   

21   

 

Redemptorist   

33   

0   

   

St. Aloysius   

26   

7   

 

Istrouma   

6   

0   

 

Nicholls   

61   

6   

 

Fortier   

63   

0   

 

Pensacola   

6   

7   

(L)

Holy Cross   

47   

13   

 

De La Salle   

37   

7   

 

Warren Easton   

46   

13   

 

Istrouma   

19   

0   

So. La. Championship

Byrd   

7   

6   

State Championship

Season Record: 12-1-0

1953 HOLY CROSS SEASON RECORD   

Lou Brownson, Coach   

Opponent   

HC   

Opp.   

Comments

Sulphur   

6   

20   

(L)

Baton Rouge   

12   

19   

(L)

Bogalusa   

7   

6   

 

Fortier   

64   

0   

 

St. Aloysius   

18   

12   

 

De La Salle   

39   

0   

 

Redemptorist   

46   

6   

 

Jesuit   

13   

47   

(L)

Nicholls   

58   

0   

 

Season Record 6-4-0

 

Our thanks to Warren Gravois for HC yearbook information

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