The Football Tradition of the Catholic League in
The 1980 game was played on Friday, September 26, 1980
Copyright © 1980, The Times-Picayune
Rando Can't Hold Back the Flood as Holy Cross Whips Jesuit, 24-14
By BILL BUMGARNER
Because of the stature he acquired Friday night and the size he had accumulated over untold years, Henry Rando found it hard to hide the tears as over 10,000 fans paid homage to him and his program by singing the Holy Cross alma mater.
And when the band finished and his players hoisted the hefty coach aloft, it was evident that the rise from a 0-10 program two seasons ago to a 4-0 plateau this year had taken its toll.
Jesuit, a former employer, had been vanquished, 24-14, in the Superdome for Rando's most compelling victory ever at Holy Cross and because of that he was crying.
"I'M LIKE THIS every game at halftime," he would say later after his sobs dried - a statement that would bear some refuting. "I feel very good but I'm going to try and not show it. As for later tonight, I might just get polluted."
But there was no refuting or denying his team Friday as some 20,000 high school fans witnessed another chapter in one of the city's most fierce and oldest rivalries.
As expected, Holy Cross unveiled its standout back, Dennis Degan, and Jesuit did the same with its back of high merit, Gill Fenerty. There would be no questioning their motives this night. Simple up-and-down running.
They slashed and churned and drove through defenders. Fenerty for 81 yards in eight carries at halftime, Degan for 109 carries as Holy Cross went into the break ahead, 17-14. At that point, the offenses were way ahead on execution as only jarring contact and the goal line had stopped anyone.
THE GAME BEGAN on a jolting note, one that would set the tone for the entire game as Jesuit's Ernie Danjean had the ball knocked from his grasp on a violent hit. The Tigers recovered and, with the aid of three Jesuit penalties for offsides, marched 32 yards to the 6-yard line where the effort stalled. So Rusty Rousell was summoned and he hit a 32-yard field goal at 5:23.
The HC defense stood fast, forcing a very short Jesuit punt on only 14 yards. The Tigers needed no prompting here, gong the distance in four short plays as quarterback David Ernst rolled and hit Billy Marks for 34 yards to the 5-yard line. Degan carried over three plays later from the one and it was 10-0.
Then Danjean rebounded from his fumble with a 56-yard kickoff return that was quickly cashed in for a touchdown. Blue Jay quarterback John Powell found Bobby Foret unattended in the end zone from 30 yards as Jesuit tried a double reverse-pitchback that worked in spite of a poor lateral to Powell. The Jays would assume the lead shortly thereafter when another punishing lick separated Degan from the ball after 21- and 19-yard gains with Randy Hubbell recovering at the Blue Jay 12. Fenerty then broke loose for 54 yards, setting up his own 5-yard run at the 8:09 mark.
BUT DEGAN ANSWERED that with q 27-yard effort on the first scrimmage play after the kickoff and the Tigers did not stop on their 70-yard drive until Ellis Cathalougne rushed over from the 6-yard line with 3:41 left, making it 17-14.
Not done, Jesuit roared right back downfield from its own 29-yard line to the HC 18, but time ran out because the Jays' three timeouts had been used on a PAT attempt, and on another occasion when two were called in succession.
From that point on, Holy Cross had possession of the game.
"We made a few adjustments at half, but mostly it was just a case of stopping them with field position," said Rando. In the last two periods, Jesuit would take over at its 18-. 20-, 8-, 8- and 10-yard lines. Holy Cross, meanwhile, scored only once but moved sufficiently to keep the Jays pinned.
"We just never had the ball," said coach Billy Murphy. "But they just whipped us. They have a bunch of tremendous backs."
THE LONE SCORE was a three-play, 42-yard drive that ended when Ronnie Booksh scored from 15 yards with 3:04 left in the third period. From that point on, Jesuit was intercepted by Pete Lopinto, fumbled over to Jack Fabre and was picked off again by Mike Guttuso.