Jesuit smashes Huntington to set up rematch with Curtis
All season long, Jesuit was a team that was waiting to break out.
The Blue Jays, coming off a state championship game appearance in 2021, faced a brutal schedule, lost some close games against tough competition and finished the regular season with a 4-6 record.
Despite that record, Jesuit is a lower seeded team that no one wanted to play in the first round of the Division I playoffs.
No. 14 Huntington drew the unenviable task and got the unenviable result.
The 19th-seeded Blue Jays spotted the Raiders an early lead then dominated the rest of the way in an easy 45-9 over Huntington at Lee Hedges Stadium.
Huntington actually took an early 3-0 lead, set up by a 50-yard run by Lorenzo White, but that would be the last positive for the home team.
Patrick Berrigan gave Jesuit the lead for good on a 1-yard touchdown run to make it 7-3 with 5:02 to play in the first quarter.
Nick Jacobs then stopped a Raiders drive with an interception.
That led to a touchdown pass from Beau Perez to Hollis McDaniel to make it 14-3 by the end of the first quarter.
Jesuit made it 17-3 on a 32-yard field goal by Aidan Corbello before
Perez hit Jace Larsen on a 17-yard touchdown pass and it was 24-3.
Jasper Parker ran three yards for a score and it was 31-3.
The barrage continued as Perez hit Harry Rhinehart with a 14-yard touchdown pass and it was game over at 35-3 at halftime.
Each team scored a touchdown in the second half to complete the scoring, including a 20-yard touchdown run by Berrigan.
Speaking on Ken Trahan’s Original Prep Football Report Friday night, Jesuit coach Ryan Manale said it was a tough night, despite the big win.
“We’re happy to advance but when you play a first-round game and you were just starting to get healthy, we got beat up pretty good,” Manale said. “We’ve done a good job of kind of developing. We know what we want to do. You want to play your best ball at the end of the year and I think that’s where we’re at.”
The Blue Jays now face a rematch with Catholic League rival and third-seeded John Curtis Christian. The Patriots beat Jesuit 28-10 in district play on September 23. Jesuit defeated Curtis twice in 2021, including a 17-13 regular season victory and a 14-13 playoff win in the Division I quarterfinals.
“We know what is in front of us,” Manale said. “We know who we’re playing. It is going to be a very tough opponent no matter what at this stage of the season. We certainly know each other.”
Jesuit has momentum, with four straight wins after a 1-6 start to the season.
“We’re playing our best ball,” Manale said. “Hats off to our players and coaches for staying together and finding a way to fight and win. It took a little while to realize that Jack Larriviere was not walking through the door, Dennis Dougherty and others were not walking on the field.
Jesuit appears prepared for the challenge.
“We had a demanding schedule and I think we figured out ourselves. We had to look at ourselves in the mirror and that included myself. I think we did a great job of doing so. I’m very happy with where Jesuit football is right now.”
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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…