East Jefferson wins instant classic with Bonnabel

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While the records do not reflect the importance of the rivalry, no one underestimates the significance of the annual football battles between the two.

When Bonnabel emerged out of East Jefferson in the early 1970’s after the new school had platooned with the old school on the Metairie campus, the rivalry was born and it has been special to watch.

Friday night was another reflection of how good it is.

East Jefferson built a two touchdown lead and survived a furious Bruin rally to win a thrilling 41-40 contest at Muss Bertolino Stadium in Kenner Friday night as the Warriors ruined Homecoming for the Bruins.

It was the Isaiah Lee show for the Warriors.

Lee rushed 27 times for 254 yards and five touchdowns on runs of 48, 26, 6, 6 and 2 yards.

Speaking on The Three Tailgaters Show on 106.1 FM NASH ICON Saturday morning, East Jefferson coach Frank Allelo had nothing but praise for his new quarterback.

“Lee has been our slash-guy,” Allelo said. “He was forced into action this week. We lost our first quarterback coming out of summer. Arthur Oliver got injured last week against Riverdale. He is a devastating runner. He has come through a lot of adversity. He threw an interception last night and all he could do was apologize. He showed how special he was by bouncing back the way he did.”

Deaune Nicholas rushed for a pair of scores for Bonnabel.

Torrence Bardell thew a 76-yard touchdown pass to Chris Toler, the Homecoming King for Bonnabel and Bradell added a touchdown pass to Tyron Williams.

Alfredo Avendano scored the game winning touchdown from a yard out.

Bardell threw a touchdown pass to Lawrence Joseph with less than two minutes to play to cut the deficit to one point but the extra point was wide right, giving the Warriors an amazing victory.

Bonnabel was going to go for two and the win but a penalty pushed the Bruins back five yards and coach Brett Bonnaffons opted to go for the standard extra point.

East Jefferson overcame four turnovers to post the win.

“I’m not surprised it was that type of game,” Allelo said. “We are just trying to get a win but for everyone around us, it is always, ‘beat Bonnabel.’ It’s kind of like Army-Navy. I’m sure in Kenner it is ‘beat East Jefferson.’ You are on one side or the other. Brett Bonnaffons is doing a great job at Bonnabel. We jumped on them early but I told the sideline it was not over. They fought back. It was back-and-forth at the end.”

Despite winning, Allelo is getting weary of facing elite quarterbacks.

“Bardell is fantastic and he played like it,” Allelo said. “We have faced T.J. Finley on Ponchatoula, Justin Ibeita of Country Day and Arch Manning of Newman and now Bardell. I’ve got to schedule-maker. Those guys are ridiculously talented.”

While the win was big, more challenges await the Warriors.

“We still have a tough road ahead,” Allelo said. “There is no time to relax or be happy. It’s the life we live, it’s the life we live. We like the opportunity we have to compete in District 8-5A.”

The win was the second straight for East Jefferson (2-3) after the Warriors downed Riverdale a week ago. East Jefferson will host Grace King next Friday. Bonnabel (2-3) returns to action at John Ehret next Thursday night at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.

East Jefferson won the Class 4A state championship in 2013 and the Warriors have been battling to return to glory since then.

“The 2013 season was so special,” Allelo said. “It is tough to match that kind of success but we are building something here. We are fighting an uphill battle every single day but we have a good coaching staff with a lot of experience. The kids had bought into what we are doing. They are warriors and that is not a pun. They want to succeed. I love my kids. We will keep battling. I like our future.”

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Ken Trahan

Ken Trahan

Chief Executive Officer

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 NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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