The Football Tradition of the Catholic League in 19963
1963 State Championship Game
This game was played on Tuesday night, December 17, 1963
Copyright © 1963 The Times-Picayune
Unbeaten Holy Cross Tops Jesuit for State Crown, 14-6
GORNTO'S PAT IS DECISIVE
Smith, Culotta Get TD's; Donnelly Gets Jay TD
By N. CHARLES WICKER
Holy Cross' Tigers, given a real tough battle and scare, captured the Louisiana State Class AAA football championship by defeating the Jesuit Blue Jay, 14-6 in Tulane Stadium Tuesday night.
A crown of about 27,500 fans, the largest in years, saw the contest.
Waiting 19 long years for a state prep title, the Tigers climaxed an undefeated but once tied campaign.
Holy Cross went 9-0-1 during the regular season and won three games in the playoffs to finish the year with a 12-0-1 record.
Holy Cross scored in the second and fourth periods. The game was half over when the Tigers god their second touchdown. Jesuit scored in the second period.
Losing four games this season, the Jays put up a great battle and they can hold their heads high for this performance.
Glenn Smith and Ray Culotta scored for the Tigers. Smith got the first score of the game for the Tigers, bucking over right guard in the second period.
Culotta scored from the one on a quarterback keeper in the fourth period.
Richard Gornto converted for both points after touchdown and for a while his first looked like it might be the margin of victory especially after the Jays failed on their try for the PAT after their touchdown.
Dennis Donnelly scored the Jay touchdown, taking in a long pass from John Franck on a play that covered 63 yards. The pass was for 38 yards and Donnelly ran an additional 25.
There was no scoring in the first period. Each team pushed across a touchdown in the second. And the Blue Jays had a scoring opportunity halted at the Holy Cross four where Scarengos intercepted a pass thrown by John Franck of the Jays.
Holy Cross wont he toss and elected to receive. But the Tigers were unable to capitalize. On second down, Smith, tackled by Larry Merrigan as he approached the line of scrimmage, fumbled and Keefe Hecker recovered for the Jays at the Holy Cross 41.
Jesuit likewise didn't do too well with the ball the first time they had it on offense. Trying to get a quick score, the Jays took to the air immediately, with Schweigert throwing two passes that fell incomplete. On third down as he attempted to pass he was thrown for a 10-yard loss by Tony Caruso. Roy Tackaberry punted to Scarengos on the Tiger 10 and the Holy Cross halfback returned it to the 19.
After Holy Cross failed to move the ball for any real gain, Scarengos got six, added one and Smith was held for two yards, forcing the Tigers to punt.
Schubel punted to Hecker at the Jesuit 38 where the Blue Jay captain signaled for a fair catch.
From here the Jays began to move the ball. They went from their 38 to the Holy Cross 28 where on fourth down a pass from Schweigert to ... (unintelligible) ... a first down.
After stopping the Jays, the Tigers found themselves offensively for the first time and drove 72 yards for the game's first score.
The tally came with 8:28 left in the half. the drive began two plays before the first period ended.
After Rappold started things off, gaining six and then two,
,,, Holy Cross 39. Kuehne in two carries got nine.
Marino made it first and ten at the 26. Schweigert moved it to the 21 on and end around that found him coming up limping. He was taken out of the game. After Franck knocked down a pass from Franck, Franck passed seven yards to the Tiger 14.
Jesuit tried to get off a quick play and was guilty of illegal procedure and penalized five yards to the 19. Scarengos then ...(unintelligible).
the Jays drove the second half kickoff from their 32 down to the Tigers' 17 but after getting to that point they ran into trouble. Schweigert lost 12 and, when two passes by Schweigert fell incomplete, the Tigers took over on their 28.
Holy Cross again failed to hold onto the ball. After picking up five yards on first down, Scarengos fumbled and Ralph Savoie recovered for Jesuit at the 38.
Schweigert failed to gain and when two of his passes fell incomplete, Tackaberry punted to the Tiger 12. Holy Cross took the ball at that spot and didn't give up until they had pushed it across the Jays' goal line.
TD Made Up for Boots -- Kahlbacher
Shouldn't Have Let 'Em Drive -- Tarzetti
By BUDDY DILIBERTO
John Kahlbacher, the game ball tucked tightly under his arm, paced up and down the Holy Cross dressing room as jubilant Tiger rooters whooped it up outside.
"We gave away a lot out there but that last touchdown drive made up for a lot of mistakes," Kahlbacher said.
Quarterback Ray Culotta, who got key yardage in the 89-yard, 17-play march and scored the touchdown on a sneak, said:
"They were pinching their ends in and that opened up the outside. I felt that I could bootleg on 'em."
Culotta twice ran wide for first downs on third and long yardage situations.
Culotta also figured in another key play - the Jesuit touchdown which came on a 64-yard pass play from John Franck to Don Donnelly seconds after Holy Cross had taken a 7-0 lead in the second quarter.
Culotta appeared to have intercepted the ball when suddenly Donnelly came up with it and rambled the rest of the way for the score.
"He just took it out of my hands," Culotta....(unintelligible) ... started to bring the ball to me the Jesuit boy just took it away."
Tiger halfback Allan Rappold, who was injured in the first half and didn't play in the second, tried to explain the first half play in which he was on his way to a touchdown after taking a pass from Paul Lastrapes only to stumble over teammate Ken Martin.
"I saw Ken all the way," Rappold said. "But I thought he was going to move the other way. But he went the same way I did and I couldn't stop myself. I almost really messed us up."
All-state center Barry Wilson, who played with a broken hand, was used at guard.
"I have never played the position before," Wilson said. "But the coach had me learn the guard assignment a couple of days ago when it became apparent that I couldn't play center. It worked fine. I enjoyed it."
The thrilling game was played in bitter cold. Someone asked Kahlbacher if the weather bothered his team, which fumbled away the ball several times.
"I didn't even feel the cold until the game was over," Kahlbacher smiled.
The scene was entirely different over in the Jesuit room where the Jays sat quietly while their loyal supporters cheered outside the locked doors.
Captain Keefe Hecker, fighting back tears, said, "We just shouldn't have let them march on us like that. We didn't let 'em do it the last time. I don't know what happened in the second half."
Donnelly, who scored the Jesuit touchdown, said he wasn't sure if he took the ball away from Culotta or not.
"It happened so fast I don't know what happened. I was looking for the ball. I saw him out of the corner of my eye. We both grabbed for it and I took it," Donnelly said.
Tailback Pete Schweigert, whose running and passing kept the Blue Jays in the game all ...(unintelligible)...the way said, "I don't think we played as well as we did last time. they covered our receivers last time, but we had men open a lot tonight. I thought we'd be able to run on 'em more than we did."
Coach Ken Tarzetti, who threw caution to the wind and played a free-wheeling game admitted that the Jays had a flock of new plays for this game.
"We gave 'em some new stuff to look at. We were better offensively this time but didn't play nearly so well on defense. We had 'em backed up on the 11 and let 'em drive all the way on us. There's no excuse for that," Tarzetti said.
"Well - maybe now I won't get as many letters from people saying, 'Why don't you pass more?'" Tarzetti smiled. "We threw enough tonight for a season."