Jesuit handles Rummel with punishing ground game

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Records can be deceiving.

A year removed from playing in a state championship game with a brilliant senior quarterback in Jack Larriviere, Jesuit faced one of the most difficult schedules in Louisiana.

The record, along with a few injuries, reflected the loss of a superb quarterback, others who graduated in the toughness of the schedule.

The Blue Jays finished the 2022 regular season with a losing record (4-6).

Pay no attention to the record.

You would be happy if you do not draw the Blue Jays in the opening round of the Division I playoffs, unhappy if you do.

Jesuit closed the regular season with a solid 24-14 victory over rival Archbishop Rummel at Strawberry Stadium Friday night.

When you dominate the line-of-scrimmage, you are going to win virtually every game.

Jesuit dominated up front from start to finish.

Senior running back Jaron Duplessis ran through and over the Raider defense, rushing 26 times for 299 yards and two touchdowns as the Jesuit offensive line controlled play.

Jesuit bulldozed Rummel to the tune of 423 rushing yards.

Jesuit took the early lead on its first possession, completing a 75-yard drive in nine plays with Duplessis scoring on a 13-yard run to make it 7-0.

Duplessis then ran 70 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown by Patrick Berrigan to make it 14-0 in the second quarter.

The Raiders got on the board, driving 61 yards on the strength of two good runs by quarterback Casey Avrard who then finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown to make it 14-7 by halftime.

Jesuit had a chance to add to the lead on a Hail Mary pass completion on the final play of the half but the completion was ruled just short of the goal line.

It did not matter.

The Blue Jays took the early lead at 21-7 in the third quarter on a 2-yard run by Duplessis.

The Raider fought back to cut the deficit to 21-14 as Casey Avrard hit Ruben Ramirez on a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Duplessis then raced 49 yards to the Rummel 14-yard line and that set up a 21-yard field goal by Aidan Corbello to account for the final margin.

Jesuit kept it on the ground throughout with quarterback Beau Perez throwing just five passes.

Speaking on Ken Trahan’s Original Prep Football Report on NASH ICON 106.1 FM Friday night, Jesuit coach Ryan Manale, an offensive line coach throughout his career, heaped praise on his big guys.

“I was extremely happy with the play of our offensive line,” Manale said. “They lined up and simply did a great job all night. I thought we played really hard in the trenches. We had too many penalties which extended a drive or two.”

The Blue Jays have overcome injuries to get to this point.

“I’m super happy with the job of the players to come out and to get better and better,” Manale said. “You always have men down. I hope we continue to get healthier and find a way to win one more.”

Manale knows his team will be formidable for any playoff opponent.

“We’re a top 20 team in the state,” Manale said. “Just like every team in this district, every week, we played a tough opponent. We beat each other up, we get toward the end of the year and we are the walking wounded right now. We’re playing our hearts out.”

Jesuit (4-6, 2-4) figures to be either 19th or 20th in the Select Division I playoff bracket when pairings are released Sunday.

Rummel (5-5, 2-4) is most likely to be 15th and get in as a home team in the first round of the playoffs.

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Ken Trahan

CEO/Owner

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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