Replay: Jesuit scores in final minute to down St. Augustine, 28-21

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NEW ORLEANS – After a pair of losing seasons, Jesuit appears poised for a significant turnaround in 2018.

Brayton Whittington scored on a nine-yard run with 48 seconds remaining to lift the Blue Jays to a thrilling 28-21 victory over St. Augustine in the District 9-5A opener for both teams Saturday night aired live at CrescentCitySports.com.

The winning score came just one minute after St. Augustine had taken the lead after a fumbled punt by Will Moran which the Purple Knights recovered at the Jesuit 36-yard line with 3:49 to play.

St. Aug took total advantage as Trevon Woodson hit Broderick Martin with a six-yard touchdown pass. Jaron Marks made the extra point to give the Purple Knights a 21-20 lead with 1:48 remaining, setting the stage for the winning drive by the Blue Jays.

In a game where two good teams made plenty of mistakes, particularly in the passing game, Jesuit had the biggest plays in the end, overcoming a pair of turnovers.

“Mistakes for a lifetime, and we were still able to overcome them,” said Jesuit head coach Mark Songy. “This is the Catholic League. You’re never out of it and sometimes you’re never in it. They’re a very well coached, class football team. They fought us to the end and I’m just proud of our guys for not giving up there when they went ahead after we made a mistake. But it feels good to be on the winning side of this rivalry here.”

The Jesuit defensive front brought consistent pressure on St. Augustine for a unit that prevented big plays the entire game. Most notable was defensive lineman Perry Ganci, who finished with two sacks and three tackles for loss.

Ganci’s last sack came on the final series of the game.

“I knew that we needed a big play, so I just locked in and did what coach told us to do. Just listened to the game plan and that’s what happened,” Ganci said. “We had to overcome a lot of adversity, but we did well with that. I thought the defense was lights out. Even though the score may not say it. We had to overcome a lot today. “

Jesuit scored first following a very short punt by St. Augustine that was blown dead at the Purple Knight 30-yard line. Scheurich drilled a 40-yard field goal to make it 3-0 with 6:21 to play in the opening quarter.

The kicking game figured prominently again when St. Aug took the lead to start the second quarter. A snap went over Scheurich’s head in punt formation, and St. Augustine recovered the bounding ball at Jesuit’s three-yard line.

Three plays later, Purple Knights quarterback Trevon Woodson hit Mahmoud Bailey on a five-yard touchdown pass to give the Purple Knights a 7-3 lead with 10:46 to play in the first half.

Woodson completed 16-of-20 passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns on the night.

Jesuit responded with a seven-play, 63-yard drive to recapture the lead. Willie Robinson scored on a three-yard run to make it 10-7 with 6:54 to play in the half. The big play of the drive was as 39-yard completion from Robert McMahon to Noah Varnado.

The Purple Knights answered quickly to go in front. Albert Quest raced left on a 24-yard touchdown run to make it 14-10, capping a 60-yard drive in five plays.

Jesuit had the final word in the half thanks to a seven-play, 60-yard march. Blue Jays quarterback Robert McMahon connected with Luke Laforge on a 19-yard touchdown pass to give Jesuit a 17-14 advantage.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Blue Jays crafted an impressive 14-play, 68-yard drive but had to settle for Scheurich’s 29-yard field goal to increase the lead to 20-14.

St. Aug benefited from another Jesuit special teams error. A muffed punt set up the touchdown pass from Woodson to Martin. Jesuit also lost a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half, though St. Augustine could not capitalize.

It took the Blue Jays just one minute to drive for the game-winning score in the final minute.

The converted wide receiver McMahon initiated that drive with a 15-yard run, avoiding several tacklers before making it out of bounds.

“I knew we needed a first down and I just kept going,” McMahon said. “My team helped me out and we got it done. It’s the first time we got momentum going into a game like this. It helped us get through it and it’s a huge win going into district 1-0.”

“Outstanding job by Jesuit”, Purple Knights head coach Nathaniel Jones said. “They played a heck of a game. It’s Catholic League play. This is what you expect. When we’re playing in our league the small things really count. That goes from offense, defense, and special teams. Anything we did wrong is my fault. We have to go back to the drawing board and correct it.

“We have Brother Martin next week, so there’s no time to sit and pout about the loss. You take the 24 hours, see what you did wrong and Coach Bonis and the Crusaders will be waiting for us.”

The victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Blue Jays against St. Augustine and evened the all-time series 26-26 between the two long-time Catholic League rivals.

Jesuit will face Holy Cross next Friday night at 7:15 p.m. at Tad Gormley Stadium. The Great American Rivalry Series game will air live at CrescentCitySports.com and on Cox Sports Television.

St. Augustine’s matchup with Brother Martin kickoff next Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Gormley in a game that will air live on WGSO 990 AM and at WGSO.com.

Final
JES 3 14 0 11 28
SA 0 14 0 7 21

Scoring
1st Qtr.
JES—Max Scheurich, 40-yard field goal (3-0 JES @ 6:21-1st)

2nd Qtr.
SA—Mahmoud Bailey, five-yard pass from Trevon Goodson (Jaron Marks kick) 7-3 SA @ 10:46-2nd
JES—Willie Robinson, three-yard run (Max Scheurich kick) 10-7 JES @ 6:54-2nd
SA—Albert Quest, 24-yard run (Jaron Marks kick) 14-10 SA @ 5:18
JES—Luke Laforge, 19 yard pass from Robert McMahon (Max Scheurich kick) 17-14 JESat 2:31-2nd

4th Qtr.
JES—Max Scheurich, 29-yard field goal (20-14 JES at 6:05 4th)
SA—Broderick Martin, six-yard pass from Trevon Woodson (Jaron Marks kick) 21-20 SA at 1:48-4th
JES—Brayton Whittington, nine-yard run (Win Schibler pass from Robert McMahon (28-21 JES at :48-4th)

Final Statistics
First Downs:
JES 16
SA 11

Penalties:
JES 8 for 91 yds.
SA 11 for 88 yds.

Sacks:
JES 5
SA 4

Turnovers:
JES 2
SA 0

Rush Yards:
JES 154
SA 121

Pass Yards:
JES 150
SA 124

Total Yards:
JES 304
SA 245

Individual Statistics
JES Rushing
Brayton Whittington 12 carries for 58 yards, 1 TD
Robert McMahon 16 carries for 60 yards
Willie Robinson 8 carries for 36 yards and 1 TD

JES Passing
Robert McMahon 10-of-16 for 150 yards, 1 TD

JES Receiving
Noah Varnado 5 catches for 93 yards
Luke Besh 3 catches for 22 yards
Luke Laforge 1 catch for 19 yards, 1 TD
Will Moran 1 catch for 16 yards

SA Rushing
Trevon Woodson 15 carries for 58 yards
Albert Quest, V 8 carries for 51 yards, 1 TD
Mahmoud Bailey 8 carries for 12 yards
Justin Doyle 2 carries for 3 yards
Broderick Martin 1 carry for -3 yards

SA Passing
Trevon Woodson 16-of-20 for 124 yards and 2 TD’s

SA Receiving
Broderick Martin 6 catches for 49 yards, 1 TD
De’Andre Cooper 4 catches for 32 yards
Josh White 3 catches for 14 yards
Mahmoud Bailey 2 catches for 7 yards, 1 TD
Khi Mathieu 2 catches for 14 yards
Devin Coatney 1 catch for 8 yards

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Jordan Liuzza

Jordan Liuzza

Prep Sports Contributor

Born at East Jefferson Hospital, Jordan Liuzza is a Louisiana native who grew up in Metairie, before moving to Destrehan after Hurricane Katrina. Jordan graduated Destrehan High School, class of 2012, and thereafter graduated from LSU, class of 2017, with a B.A. in Communications. Growing up in Metairie, Jordan played park ball at Johnny Bright Playground. At Destrehan High School,…

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