The Football Tradition of the Catholic League in
1982 game was played on Saturday night, October 9, 1982.
© 1982 The Times-Picayune
Cross blows down Jesuit in big District 11-AAAA rivalry
Holy Cross huffed and puffed and finally blew Jesuit away
Saturday night in the 62nd renewal of this District 11-AAAA
10th-ranked Tigers, behind a punishing ground game that
netted 261 yards, scored 15 points in the final five minutes to down the
stubborn Blue Jays 22-7 before 9,000 fans at Tad Gormley Stadium.
The winners improved their record to 5-1 overall, 2-1 in the
district, while Jesuit fell to 3-3 and 1-2.
With Rummel’s 21-14 upset win over previously unbeaten
Brother Martin Saturday night, five teams currently share the district
lead – Rummel, Shaw, Holy Cross, Martin and St. Augustine, all with
The loss severely damages Jesuit’s chances of defending its
The two teams fought to a 7-7 tie for 43 minutes, despite the
Tigers holding a tremendous edge in time of possession and offensive
yardage. Holy Cross
outgained Jesuit 267-71 and held an 18-4 advantage in first downs.
The Tigers needed a blocked punt by Ray Cusimano and Andre
Roux, then Ronnie Haggerty’s 1-yard touchdown run with 4:50 left to
finally shake the Blue Jays loose.
Bobby Leitz added an 8-yard scoring run with 22 seconds
remaining and Klay Guillot ran a two-point conversion for the final
Jesuit played the contest minus three defensive starters:
defensive backs Danny Schellhaas and Lance Engolia and tackle John
Hazard, who was hospitalized with a virus Friday night.
The Tigers exploited Jesuit’s rebuilt defense behind the
power running of Leitz, Guillot, Robbie Gravolet and Haggerty, who
played for the first time this season after injuring his knee last
The four backs combined for 268 yards rushing with Leitz
leading the way with 117 yards on 23 carries.
Gravolet gained 49, Guillot 55 and Haggerty 47.
The Tigers were their own worst enemies, failing to score on
four different occasions inside the Jays’ 20-yard line.
The Holy Cross defense, meanwhile, swarmed to the ball, limiting
Jesuit to 71 yards total offense and the district’s second-leading
rusher, Chuck Dalferes to 23 yards.
Jesuit failed to complete any of its four pass attempts,
while Holy Cross connected on one of four for six yards.
“We did everything but score,’ said Holy Cross coach
Henry Rando. “We were
just too physical for them, but we hurt ourselves with mistakes when we
got down close.
“They’re to be commended.
They played with a lot of adversity.
But hey, this is s physical league and things like that
(injuries) are going to happen.
“Tonight was the first time this season we were able to
play our first 11 offensive players who ended last season.”
Play they did. The
Tigers dominated first half action, running up 143 first half yards and
10 first downs to Jesuit’s 86 and two, but still found themselves tied
at 7-7 at intermission.
Holy Cross got on the scoreboard first when Ray Cusimano
recovered Mark McDowell’s fumble in the end zone with 5:03 left in the
first period. Keith
Hodnett’s kick gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Holy Cross held its lead and looked like it may inflict
further damage, pinning the Jays deep in their own territory midway
through the second quarter. But
McDowell redeemed himself, taking a pitch from Mickey Parenton at his
own 21- yard line and ran 79 yards around right end for the score.
McDowell collapsed on the sidelines after his long run, only
to carry the ball one more time during the course of the game.
He finished with 68 net yards on seven carries.
“Our defense was on the field the whole game,” said
Jesuit coach Billy Murphy. “Holy
Cross played well. They
deserved to win.”
Despite Holy Cross’ domination, the outcome was in doubt
until the final five minutes. With
the Jays set to punt at their 9-yard line, Tiger defenders broke through
and blocked Charles Serio’s punt and Holy Cross’ Doug McGinty fell
on the ball at the four.
Leitz bulled to the one, then Haggerty hurdled the final yard
for the score. Hodnett’s
point after gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead with 4:50 left.
Jesuit failed to mount any offense on its next possession and
its kicking game once again gave the Tigers great field position.
Mike Dugan’s punt traveled just 10 yards and Holy Cross
took over at the Jays’ 17-yard line.
Guillot and Leitz took turns lugging it to the eight then Leitz
slipped around right end for the clinching TD with just 22 seconds left.
Guillot tacked on two more points with a successful run and
the Tigers started their homecoming celebration.