REPLAY: Rummel whips Jesuit to continue momentum into playoffs

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METAIRIE – At any level, you want to be playing your best heading into the playoffs.

That would most certainly seem to be the case for the 2020 Archbishop Rummel Raiders.

Rummel forced four turnovers, blocked two punts, and Kyle Wickersham accounted for three touchdowns as the Raiders dominated from start to finish in a 36-13 victory over Jesuit Saturday at Joe Yenni Stadium in a game seen live at CrescentCitySports.com and heard live on 106.1 FM.

It took just one play for the Raiders to take the lead for good.

On the first play from scrimmage, Wickersham connected with Tyler Cook, who raced 75 yards for a score to give the Raiders a 6-0 lead after a missed extra point just 15 seconds into the game.

Jesuit then went 3-and-out and Jalen Pelrean blocked a punt by William Hudlow and Kaden White recovered at the Blue Jay 14-yard line.

Three plays later, Wickersham hit Nicholas Howard on a 15-yard touchdown pass and it was 13-0 less than two minutes into the contest.

Rummel extended the lead to 16-0 with 3:20 to play in the opening quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Ethan Klapatch to cap a 15 play, 65-yard drive, taking 6:01 off the clock.

After an interception by Ashton Stamps, the Raiders drove 39 yards in nine plays before Klapatch knocked home a 25-yard field goal and Rummel led 19-0 with 5:32 to play in the first half.

The Raiders came up with another interception, this time by Marcus Borne, and capitalized with a 29-yard field goal by Klapatch to make it 22-0 with 1:35 to play in the second quarter.

Jesuit had just one first down and 32 total yards in the first half.

On Jesuit’s first possession of the second half, Howard blocked a punt and White recovered in the end zone for a touchdown to extend the lead to 29-0 with 9:52 to play in the third quarter.

The Blue Jays finally mounted a drive, going 65 yards in 13 plays, taking 4:30 off the clock with Jack Larriviere hitting Luke Besh on a 12-yard touchdown pass and it was 29-6 after a missed extra point with 5:09 to play in the third quarter.

After the two teams exchanged turnovers, Rummel put the icing on the cake, driving 62 yards in 10 plays, all runs, taking 5:56 off the clock with Wickersham scrambling right for a 17-yard touchdown and it was 36-6 with 3:20 to play in the game.

Rummel inserted its reserves on offense and the Raiders mishandled a snap to the quarterback which Jesuit recovered and the Blue Jays took advantage against Raider defensive reserves, going 30 yards in five plays with Luke Laforge scoring on a 2-yard run with 42 seconds remaining in the game to cap the scoring.

Wickersham finished 16-of-26 for 191 yards and two touchdowns with an interception and he ran 10 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

“We came out (on the first play), they were in the defense we expected them to be in,” Wickersham said. “We trusted our two wide receivers on the outside to make good blocks, which they did. We trusted Tyler that he was going to be able to split those guys and run and we executed very well on that play.”

Still Wickersham sees room for improvement heading to the playoffs.

“We’ve got to clean up the third quarter, we’ve been terrible as an offense in the third quarter,” Wickersham said. “We’ve just got to finish drives. We’ve got to improve on being consistent and playing the whole game. The last couple of weeks, we’ve come out and scored three times right off the bat and then we go cold. If there’s one thing we have to improve for the playoffs, it’s to keep scoring and play the whole game.”

Jesuit was obsessed with Raider star running back Logan Diggs and held the Notre Dame commit to 15 carries for 46 yards and two catches for 20 yards.

Cook had three catches for 85 yards and a touchdown while Howard finished with four catches for 44 yards and a score.

Larriviere was 7-of-15 for 76 yards and a touchdown with an interception while Laforge was just 2-of-11 for 11 yards with a pair of interceptions. Besh, who came in with 43 catches, was held to three catches for 30 yards but did score a touchdown.

Rummel coach Nick Monica likes what he is seeing with his team heading into the playoffs.

“We wanted to control the football and play good defense,” Monica said. “I thought our defense did that and did a good job of creating turnovers and getting short fields for our offense. Tyler came out and set the tone for the day with the big pass play on the first play of the game.”

Monica agrees that his team has improved and is playing its best football.

“I think our commitment has been better in the last month,” Monica said. “The last three weeks, I don’t know that we could have played any better. We’ve just got to keep moving forward and getting better and we’ve got two weeks now, I think, to get ready for our playoff opponent.”

It was the second straight week that Rummel came up with four turnovers. The 13 points are a season low for the Blue Jays.

Rummel (6-1) won its fourth straight game and defeated Jesuit for the eighth straight time. The Raiders, despite playing outstanding football, are expected to be just the fifth-seed in the Division I playoffs and would play No. 12 McKinley, but the Panthers have opted out and not play, leaving the Raiders with an off week before a likely quarterfinal date at Catholic of Baton Rouge in a rematch of last year’s state championship game. The Bears are expected to be the fourth seed.

The Blue Jays (4-4) are likely to be the eighth or ninth seed and could face St. Paul’s or John Curtis in the opening round of the playoffs.

“We can’t get ourselves behind against a real good team and cannot have special teams mistakes and have a chance to win,” Jesuit coach Scott Bairnsfather said. “We needed to be mistake-free and we were not. They are fast, really good on defense. With the turnovers, you knew it was going to be a long day. We did not help our defense at all. We have to get things corrected for next week.”

FINAL
Rummel 16 6 7 7 — 36
Jesuit 0 0 6 7 — 13

Scoring
1st Qtr.
RUM—Tyler Cook, 75-yard pass from Kyle Wickersham (kick failed)
RUM—Nicholas Howard, 15-yard pass from Kyle Wickersham (Ethan Klapatch kick)
RUM—Ethan Klapatch, 27-yard field goal

2nd Qtr.
RUM—Ethan Klapatch, 25-yard field goal
RUM—Ethan Klapatch, 29-yard field goal

3rd Qtr.
RUM—Kaden White, recovered block in end zone (Ethan Klapatch kick)
JES—Luke Besh, 12-yard pass from Jack Larriviere (kick failed)

4th Qtr.
RUM—Kyle Wickersham, 17-yard run (Ethan Klapatch kick)
JES—Luke Laforge, 2-yard run (Aidan Corbello kick)

Penalties:
RUM 6 for 34 yards
JES 4 for 30 yards

Sacks:
RUM 3
JES 1

Turnovers:
RUM 2
JES 4

First Downs:
RUM 15
JES 8

Rushing Yards:
RUM 132
JES 77

Passing Yards:
RUM 191
JES 87

Total Yards:
RUM 323
JES 164

Individual Rushing:
RUM: Kyle Wickersham 10 carries for 57 yards and 1 touchdown, Logan Diggs 15 carries for 46 yards, Daniel Sabido 7 carries for 27 yards, Keith Robertson 1 carry for 3 yards, Ari Allen 1 carry for -1 yard

JES: Jalen Williams 6 carries for 32 yards, Jake Larriviere 7 carries for 30 yards, Jordan Hughes 5 carries for 17 yards, Luke Laforge 7 carries for -2 yards and 1 touchdown

Individual Passing:
RUM: Kyle Wickersham 16-of-26 for 191 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 interception

JES: Jack Larriviere 7-of-15 for 76 yards and 1 touchdown, 1 interception, Luke Laforge 2-of-11 for 11 yards and 2 interceptions

Individual Receiving:
RUM: Tyler Cook 3 catches for 85 yards and 1 touchdown, Nicholas Howard 4 catches for 44 yards and 1 touchdown, Cameron Francioni 3 catches for 24 yards, Tyrone Hayes, 3 catches for 16 yards, Logan Diggs 2 catches for 20 yards, Keith Robertson 1 catch for 2 yards

JES: Luke Besh 3 catches for 30 yards and 1 touchdown, Luke Laforge 3 catches for 21 yards, Max Milano 2 catches for 31 yards, Preston Berggren 1 catch for 5 yards

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Ken Trahan

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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…

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