The Football Tradition for the Prep League in

Oct. 1, 2003  As the 2003 season starts to shake out in the first week of October, both the Tigers and Jays are riding high with identical 3-1 records.  Holy Cross holds a comparative edge, as they defeated a highly-regarded Catholic High team, while Jesuit dropped their game with Catholic.  Both games were closely fought.  According to the Times-Picayune ratings, Jesuit has an uphill fight looming, as the newspaper rates four opponents in the local top ten, with they Jays unlisted.  These are Holy Cross at No. 7, Brother Martin at No. 8, McDonough 35 at No. 9 and St. Aug rated in the tenth spot.  All of these teams, as well as Jesuit, sport records of 3-1.  They Jays play against Mac 35 on Saturday, October 4.  This opponent nearly defeated the area's No.1 team, Curtis.  At the same time, Chris Markey easily leads all rushers in the metro area with 914 yards on 103 carries, with 11 touchdowns.  Who's going to stop Chris?  The Tigers' Sean Santos is a highly ranked as a passer with 46 completions in 92 attempts for 694 yards and 7 TD's.  Early season overwhelming favorite Rummel has fallen from grace with two losses; however, these were to two of the best teams in the state, so Rummel should still be considered the team to beat.

Oct. 9, 2003  Our two favorite local prep teams are heading towards the big clash of November 7, but the players and coaches are not thinking about that game.  They have to get through the rest of the Catholic League, which begins district play this weekend.  As it stands now, no one can predict the district champions with any degree of confidence.  The four top teams are all ranked in the metro standings, virtually tied.  They all won last weekend and Jesuit and Holy Cross both had impressive victories.  Rummel has lost two games, but they were to the No. 1 ranked 5A and 4A teams.  Certainly not to be taken lightly.  Brother Martin is capable, as are the other three, of running the table, although that seems unlikely, with the parity that exists this year.  St. Augustine and Shaw are considered to be the weaker teams, but either of them is apt to upset any of the "big four."  It will be four weeks of cut-throat competition before the season finale on Nov. 7.  Holy Cross has a major test against Brother Martin (4-1) and Jesuit will play Shaw (1-4) as league play begins.  Chris Markey of Jesuit, with 1114 yards, continues to lead all running backs in the metro area.  His nearest competitor trails by just over 300 yards.  The Tigers' Sean Santos is one of the best passers with 881 yards and 10 touchdowns on 57 completions.

Oct. 23, 2003  Holy Cross ran into a determined Rummel eleven last Friday and lost a close one.  Jesuit continued its winning streak with a lopsided victory over Shaw.  With just three weekends left in the prep season, nobody can afford to lose any of the critical remaining games.  No team in the tough district can be taken for granted, as usual.  The Times-Picayune writers have just put some gris-gris on the Blue Jays by ranking them fifth in the metro area, ahead of both Rummel and Holy Cross.  From our viewpoint, Rummel is certainly the team to beat, just as was predicted in preseason.  Holy Cross dropped to eighth in the rankings with its loss last Saturday.  Jesuit and Rummel are tied for the district lead with identical 2-0 records.  But, as everyone knows, that don't mean nothing.  Jesuit's Chris Markey continues to lead all rushers with 1450 yards, almost 300 ahead of his nearest rival.  He has an outside chance of making 2000 in the regular season.  That should be some sort of Blue Jay record, we expect.  Holy Cross' prolific passing attack of Sean Santos to Richard Lyons is near the top in the metro rankings and the best in the district.  Last Saturday night, we were personally unable to attend the game's), so we listened to the Jesuit game over WTIX on the Internet, since the signal is weak on the North shore, and we simultaneously followed the Holy Cross-Rummel contest on Rummel's website.  Rummel students do a great job of providing the play-by-play as it happens each week.  You just have to keep refreshing the screen.  It's pretty nice.  We are not certain that tomorrow night's Jesuit-Brother Martin clash will be carried on WTIX.

Oct. 30, 2003  The season is rapidly approaching the big climax game in just over a week for Tiger and Blue Jay fans; but that is no reason to look past tomorrow night.  Jesuit faces its biggest test thus far in a tough Rummel eleven and the Tigers cannot afford to take St. Aug lightly.  The Purple Knights very nearly succeeded against both Jesuit and Rummel.  Last Saturday, the Knights blew their 7-0 lead over Rummel, losing at the end by 14-7 due to a muffed punt and a critical penalty.  Last weekend Jesuit was impressive in its blowout of Brother Martin and Holy Cross handed Shaw its biggest defeat in recent times.  (See the stories of those two games elsewhere on this site).  For those of us who have been following this football season, these two weeks look delicious, indeed.  We can hardly wait.

Both Jesuit and Holy Cross showed up in the state rankings this week at the bottom of the also rans.  You cannot ignore good winning records of these two teams.  The Metro top ten is unchanged.  Jesuit is still fifth, followed closely by Rummel and Holy Cross.  Hahnville and West Jeff continue to lead with 8-0 records.  District 10-5A has Jesuit on top (3-0, 7-1)  Rummel (3-0, 6-2) follows.  Then comes Holy Cross (2-1, 6-2), St. Aug (1-2, 4-4), Bro. Martin (0-3, 4-4) and Shaw (0-3, 1-7).  Jesuit's Chris Markey leads the city with 1607 yards on 208 carries.  Second place is De. Thomas of East St. John at 1256 yards.  Markey also leads scorers with 150 points.  Jesuit's Chris Scelfo has made the passing rankings with 42 of 77 for 410 yards; however, the Tigers' Sean Santos is way ahead in fifth place with 96 of 172 for 1501 yards.  The Jesuit-Rummel game should be a good one.  Rummel's vaunted defense needs to stop the Jays' running attack, but cannot overlook the solid passing game.  This week will show just how good Rummel's defense really is.  the Raiders have not been noted for their offensive prowess this season, but they might surprise.  The Jesuit Rummel game will be carried on WTIX and on Rummel's website.  If you live in the New Orleans area, plan to come to the games this weekend and the big one on Nov. 7.  If you can't make the game, turn on your radio and your computer.  Holy Cross will play Saturday afternoon.    

Nov. 6, 2003  Here is the way that District 10-5A looks as we slide into the final weekend of the regular season:












Holy Cross   










St. Augustine   










Bro. Martin   




This year's big game is another classic battle, albeit for the runner up spot.  Rummel faces Brother Martin and is expected to prevail.  Congratulations to the Rummel Raiders.  They have clinched at least a tie for the title and this makes five consecutive years that they have won or tied.  This is the first time in the history of the Catholic League that this has happened.  That goes back fifty years.  It also never did happen in the old Prep League, so it is truly historic.  

As far at the Times-Picayune's metro rankings, Holy Cross is 5th and Jesuit has dropped to 10th, thanks to being decisively defeated by Rummel last week.  The city's top rated teams are Hahnville, West Jeff and East St. John.    You can read more at www.nola.com,  The LHSAA website does not seem to be up this morning, but you can go there and see the computer-calculated power rankings that are used to line up the teams for the playoffs.

Jesuit's Chris Markey continues to lead all rushers in the city with 1666 yards over nine games.  This is over 200 better than second place.  He's also the leading scorer with 168 points.  Holy Cross Sean Santos is the sixth most successful passer with 110 of 229 for 1708 yards, while the Tigers' Richard Lyons has 41 receptions for 699 yards, achieving a ranking of second to Wallace of O. Perry Walker.  Wallace has 830 yards. 

Chris Markey's 28 touchdowns eclipses the former Jesuit season record of 19 held jointly by Pat Screen and Eddie Toribio.  There is no season record compiled for rushing yardage, but we believe that Chris probably has that, too.

We urge everyone in the area to go out to the game tomorrow night.  It is Homecoming for Holy Cross and a cool front will come through and make it very enjoyable.  

Markey, Jesuit defense shine


Saturday November 08, 2003

Copyright © 2003 The times-Picayune

By William Kalec
Staff writer

Even with 280 yards rushing and six touchdowns, Jesuit running back Chris Markey failed to regain his usual center stage status.

That's because the Blue Jays defense stole the spotlight.  Despite bending all night, the Jesuit eventually shattered Holy Cross' attempted late rally by collecting seven total turnovers, four of which came in the final period. The Blue Jays secondary intercepted Sean Santos four times in their convincing 64-28 victory -- a critical win that should keep Jesuit home when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday.

To his credit, Santos did throw for 371 yards and three touchdowns -- all to receiver Dicky Lyons who finished with 12 receptions for 247 yards.

"We've seen those two guys do that for three years now, so for them to put up those numbers was to be expected," Jesuit coach Vic Eumont said. "But our goal tonight was to get the turnovers, especially interceptions. We wanted about four. And the defense gave that to us."

The most crucial takeaway from the set Jesuit collected came courtesy of senior safety Jason Thompson. On the first play of the fourth quarter and with the score 35-21, Jesuit brought pressure, forcing Santos to fling the ball into traffic where Thompson was waiting in the end zone.

Like they did on all but one of the turnovers, Jesuit (8-2, 4-1) turned the gift into points, this time with quarterback Anthony Scelfo hooking up to Philip Blancher for a 52-yard pass, upping the score to 42-21 and unofficially icing the game.

In retrospect, the decision to pass with the ball on the 5-yard line was an easy one for the Holy Cross coaching staff since All-District tailback Moncell Allen injured his leg midway through the second quarter and did not return. Trainers told Tigers coach Barry Wilson that Allen most likely fractured his right tibia, leaving his status for the playoffs in serious doubt.

"You hate to see that happen to Allen," Eumont said. "They are so multi-dimensional, but that took a key dimension from them."

After their opening drive stalled on a missed field goal, the Blue Jays got on the scoreboard initially, capitalizing on Santos' first pick. Markey took a big step toward erasing the memory of last week's sub-100 yard performance by running the ball in from 26 yards to give Jesuit an early 7-0 lead. Unfortunately for Eumont's crew, that advantage didn't last long.

Because three plays from scrimmage later, Santos found Lyons on a simple pitch-and-catch that Lyons, who has committed to Kentucky, turned into a 48-yard touchdown.

From there, the Tigers offense stopped itself as Allen fumbled twice inside Holy Cross territory. Blessed with great field possession after the latter takeaway, Jesuit wide receiver Ryan Finney scored on a 16-yard reverse to put the Blue Jays ahead 21-7.

 . . . . . .

William Kalec can be reached at wkalec@timespicayune.com or (504) 826-3839.

NOTE FROM YOUR WEB PAGE EDITOR: No, Jesuit did not actually go for two on their sixth touchdown; it was a bad snap that turned into a two-point play instead of trouble.  Sometimes that ole Blue Jay luck really runneth over!


First downs    20    21
Yards rushing    318    124
Yards passing    157    391
Total offense    475    515
Passing -- A-C-I    13-7-0    37-23-4
Punts-Avg.    3-29    2-30
Penalties-Yds.    0-0    2-20
Fumbles-lost    1-0    5-3
Jesuit    14    7    14    29     64
Holy Cross    7    7    7    7    28
Jes: Markey 26 run (Retif kick)
HC: Lyons 48 pass from Santos (Hrapmann kick)
Jes: Markey 41 run (Retif kick)
Jes: Finney 16 run (Retif kick)
HC: Ryckaert 1 run (Hrapmann kick)
Jes: Markey 31 run (Retif kick)
HC: Lyons 59 pass from Santos (Hrapmann kick)
Jes: Markey 15 run (Retif kick)
Jes: Blancher 52 pass from Scelfo (Retif kick)
HC: Lyons 37 pass from Santos (Hrapmann kick)
Jes: Markey 20 run (Carriere pass from Scelfo)
Jes: Markey 61 run (Retif kick)
Jes: Carriere 4 run (Retif kick).



The 2003 game last Friday was one for the books.  But looking through the series in this website great games are the norm rather than the exception.  I followed the series closely throughout the 1950s until the mid 1960s when I moved out of state for far too many years.  Several games stand out in my mind: the two games in 1951 won by Holy Cross, the 1953 game, won by Jesuit’s state champions, a very disappointing loss for Jesuit in 1954 to an outstanding Holy Cross team, the Jesuit state championship team in 1960 and the Holy Cross state champions in 1963.  Since returning in the early 1990s the 2000 game was another exciting, high scoring game that comes to mind and last year’s game (2002) was a thriller that went down to the wire, both Holy Cross wins.

My two sons attended Bellarmine College Prep, the Jesuit high school in San Jose, CA.  Their bitter rival, you guessed it, was St. Francis, the Holy Cross Brothers high school.  That too was a long time rivalry, both schools contending for Sectional honors (the equivalent of state championships as California does not, or did not then, have a state championship in football).

 The write up and statistics for the game last Friday are in another section of the website and won’t be repeated here.  But a few numbers tell an interesting story.  Jesuit ran and passed for an unbelievable 475 yards and Holy Cross outdid that with a total of 515 yards!!  Holy Cross passed for almost 400 yards and Jesuit ran for over 300.  On top of it all, the two teams ran up 92 points.  Neither team had weak defenses.  Going into the game the Jesuit defense gave up the fewest points in the Catholic District, allowing more than 13 points only twice.  Although they gave up a few more points, Holy Cross had a solid defense.  It was simply a night for the offenses. 

The story of the game was turnovers.  For Holy Cross fans it was mistakes; for Jesuit fans it was opportunistic defense.  Jesuit intercepted 4 passes and recovered 3 fumbles, all stopping Holy Cross drives.  The killer was the fourth quarter interception at the Jesuit goal line which resulted in a Jesuit touchdown, a 14-point swing.  One statistic that may have been overlooked was that there were only 2 penalties in the entire game.

I would like to close with an invitation to one and all to attend high school sporting events.  These boys play great football, basketball, baseball, etc.  They are good enough to make the game enjoyable and their youth and enthusiasm make it exciting.  Pro sports and college sports have a lot to offer, but so does high school sports.  Going to the game is easy, it’s inexpensive, the game moves along without commercial breaks & unnecessary delays.  Some of these boys will play college ball, a select few may make it to the pros.  Do yourself a favor and go to a game – if you enjoy sports, you’ll enjoy seeing these young men play and develop.

NOV 13, 2003:   As the regular season was completed last weekend, Jesuit's Chris Markey led all metro area rushers with 1,946 yards.  He also led all scorers with 34 touchdowns and 204 point.  Holy Cross wide receiver Richard Lyons was the area's top receiver with 53 catches for 946 yards.  Our congratulations to both!  Holy Cross QB Sean Santos was ranked No. 2 as a passer with 133 of 238 for 2079 yards and 23 TD's.  Chris Scelfo of Jesuit finished as 12th best passer with 62 of 113 for 1083 yards and 5 TD's.  In rushing, the Tigers' Moncell Allen was 14th with 158 carries for 916 yards.  Allen will be back next year and might be the top rusher.  The Jesuit team was ranked 8th in the Times-Picayune metro rankings and Holy Cross finished 10th.  Our hats off to the Rummel Raiders, who won their unprecedented fifth straight title, including ties.  All three teams made the playoffs, along with St. Augustine.  The Purple Knights face a stern test in East St. John, but we believe they have a good chance to advance to the second round.  It you are not local, please check here again Monday for the first round playoff results.

NOV 29, 2003:  Our warmest congratulations to all of the participants of both the Holy Cross and Jesuit football programs in 2003.  Both schools made fine efforts and demonstrated the fighting spirit that has characterized this great rivalry throughout the past 81 years.  Now that both teams have played out their season with trips to the playoffs, the two schools can turn to other pressing interests and begin preparation for the 2004 season.  All Catholic League football fans look forward to another great season.  We congratulate the LHSAA semifinalists for outstanding play.