De La Salle holds slight edge on Holy Cross in scrimmage

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A pair of fine football teams that will contend and make noise in 2020 clashed Thursday night at Tad Gormley Stadium in scrimmage action.

In a well-contested matchup, De La Salle held an edge on Holy Cross while both sides got in good work and looked good in the process.

Arizona commit Montrell Johnson scored a touchdown for the Cavaliers while Ian Helmcke kicked a field goal to account for the points for De La Salle in the two 15-minute halves of the team portion of the scrimmage.

De La Salle coach Ryan Manale was pleased with the way his team met the challenge against a good opponent.

“I was very happy with the effort,” Manale said. “It was great to get back on the field, especially for these seniors. We knew we would not be in mid-season form.”

Manale was most pleased with the physicality of his squad.

“We played De La Salle football, playing physical, playing fast,” Manale said. “We took care of the football and had no pre-snap penalties. We managed to stay somewhat healthy. We did lose a linebacker in Keidrek Richardson but we feel we will be ready for week one.

“I thought Dwane Tillis, a senior defensive lineman, played very well at defensive end,” Manale said. “Byron Phillips worked extremely hard in the offseason and he had some punishing runs while sophomore P.J. Martin ran the ball very well. Cole Milford ran things well.”

Manale, who coached and played at Rummel, enjoyed facing a good Catholic League team.

“It was great to play a quality program that is well coached,” Manale said. “We knew they would be physical and talented. Hopefully, we both got something good out of it to prepare for week one.”

De La Salle opens on the road at Catholic New Iberia next Friday night.

For Holy Cross, starting quarterback John David Wooton was out with a sore back but should be fine for the season opener at Chalmette next Friday night.

Jalen Johnson scored the touchdown for Holy Cross in the two 15-minute half portion of the scrimmage. Amare Franklin played exceptionally well at running back while Cole Trosclair was a standout at tight end blocking and receiving.

First-year coach Nick Saltaformaggio was pleased overall with what he saw.

“I felt like we got really good work in,” Saltaformaggio said. “It was good to against a really good football team. They were a little bit better than we were. They really got after us. They are very good up front defensively.”

With his starter out, Saltaformaggio got a good look at a sophomore quarterback.

“For us, the big thing was I didn’t have John David Wooton. Cooper Couvillion got some valuable time and he did a few things well,” Saltaformaggio said. “It was good experience.”

On the other side of the ball, there was good and there were areas to work on for Holy Cross.

“Defensively, I felt like our front six and Kolbe Cage played really well but our back end struggled a little bit,” Saltaformaggio said. “We have a lot of new starters back there. De La Salle was able to get to our edge in the run game. I felt good about it. We can look at this, build on it and we won’t see another running back like that.”

The experience against a quality team will only help Holy Cross in Catholic League play.

“We won’t see that kind of size again until we play John Curtis,” Saltaformaggio said. “It made me feel really good about where we are as a football team. De La Salle is a very, very good football team.”

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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