REPLAY: Holy Cross controls second half in 27-10 victory over Chalmette
CHALMETTE – The momentum of a tightly matched season opener between longtime rivals Holy Cross and Chalmette flipped on one play early in the third quarter Friday night.
Holy Cross safety Jake Roberts’ fumble recovery at the goal line killed a potential go-ahead scoring drive for Chalmette and the Tigers never looked back in a 27-10 victory over the Owls at Bobby Nuss Stadium.
The game was broadcast live by Crescent City Sports.
Holy Cross led Chalmette 14-10 at halftime, but the Owls were poised to take the lead after recovering a Tiger fumble at the Holy Cross 42 on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
A 29-yard option pass from Kendall Cook to Teryan Nelson put the Owls in the red zone, and two Jadem Bouie runs gave Chalmette a third-and-3 at the Holy Cross 3.
Bouie got the ball again, ran off the right side and reached for the end zone, but the ball came loose and went into the hands of Roberts, who rambled down the Chalmette sideline 99 yards for an apparent score. Though the TD was wiped out by an illegal block, the momentum had clearly switched sidelines.
“It was gigantic,” Holy Cross coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “That was a huge momentum swing for us.”
Starting at its 38, Holy Cross popped off runs of 14, 18 and 19 yards before quarterback Cole Canatella finished the drive five plays later on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to make it a 21-10 game with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers got a Cooper Couvillion 5-yard touchdown run on the third play of the fourth quarter for the final score of the night.
It was an encouraging sign for Saltaformaggio, whose youthful squad features almost all new skill players and no senior starters on defense.
“We had multiple players play their first high school football game tonight,” said Saltaformaggio, who is in his second season at his alma mater. “I feel like we’re gonna be better. Not playing these last couple of weeks hurt us because we needed those reps in practice.”
Canatella threw only three passes in Holy Cross’ new double-slot option offense, but two went for touchdowns of 33 and 32 yards to Koby Young as part of a back-and-forth second quarter.
“(Canatella)’s going to be a very good player,” Saltaformaggio said, “and he’s a competitor.”
The Owls took a 7-0 lead on the first play of the quarter on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Darrell Thomas, and after Canatella’s first TD pass, regained the lead at 10-7 on a 33-yard Julian Abrams field goal.
Both teams head into district play next week – Holy Cross against Shaw and Chalmette against Grace King.
“It doesn’t get easier,” Saltaformaggio said. “Now we get into the meat grinder.”
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Lenny was involved in college athletics starting in the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…