Rummel toughs out 14-7 win over Holy Cross
Bend but don’t break.
One of the oldest axioms in football was on full display Saturday afternoon at Joe Yenni Stadium in a game that looked a lot like the old days of the 1970’s.
With points at a premium, Archbishop Rummel yielded yardage grudgingly all afternoon to Holy Cross but never broke as the Raiders topped the Tigers 14-7 in the District 9-5A opener for both teams in a game heard live on NASH ICON 106.1 FM.
With just over a minute to play and Holy Cross in business at the Rummel 30-yard line with fourth-and-four situation, Cole Canatella elected to throw deep to his best weapon, wide receiver Koby Young.
The Raiders matched up LSU commit Ashton Stamps with Young and he produced blanket coverage and the throw to the end zone sailed over the heads of both, incomplete, to clinch a hard-earned victory for the Raiders.
“We had to fight,” Stamps said. “We weren’t having too game at the beginning but we had to manage it and fight. I just knew they were coming to me so I just stayed back, played it slow, and I just made the play. I actually moved to that side because I know that was coming. We have a lot of potential. We worked for it.”
Holy Cross had the edge much of the afternoon, dominating time of possession and offensive snaps and moving the ball well with 316 total yards but the Tigers simply could not finish drives as the Raider defense stiffened coming up big time after time with stops on third and fourth down.
Stamps played a huge role in the victory, returning a kickoff 67 yards, returning a fumble recovery 30 yards and returning a punt 29 yards, along with his outstanding pass defense on the final play.
The punt return by Stamps set up Rummel’s first score, giving the Raiders a short field at the Holy Cross 43-yard line. Eight plays later, Norman Taylor ran two yards for a touchdown to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 1:56 to play in the first quarter.
That would be the score at halftime.
Rummel looked to take control of the game to begin the third quarter as Stamps returned the kickoff 67 yards to the Holy Cross 20-yard line which set up a three-yard touchdown run by Ruben Ramirez to make it 14-0 with 10:45 to play in th4e third quarter.
The Tigers responded with a big play late in the third quarter as Canatella connected with Finn Martin on a quick slant. Martin broke a tackle and raced 53 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 1:40 to play in the quarter.
Holy Cross got a stop, got the ball back and drove to the Rummel 26-yard line but the Raiders got a stop on fourth-and-two, the second stop on fourth down by the Rummel defense.
After getting another stop, the Tigers again drove it, this time to the Rummel 29-yard line but once again, the Raiders came up with the final big stop on fourth-and-four with 1:10 to play in the game.
“I thought both our offensive and defensive lines played well,” Holy Cross coach Nick Saltaformaggio said. “It was a throwback 1970’s Catholic League game. We got beat in that one important aspect of the game, the kicking game. Those decided the game. We have to get back to work in our kicking game. I like where our program is.”
The Raiders were able to take a knee twice to expire the clock for an important victory.
“I think we gutted out all four of them (games),” Raiders coach Nick Monica said. “I think we have a lot to improve on and the kids know that. They just need to understand the importance of doing the little things right. The schedule is not going to get any easier. We signed up for a bunch of fourth quarter games and that’s what we’ve had.”
Casey Avrard completed 8-of-14 passes for 87 yards and rushed eight times for 35 yards as the Raiders had just 198 yards of total offense against a Holy Cross defensive front which played very well. Jaidyn Martin was held to 14 carries for 49 yards.
C.L. Johnson led the Holy Cross attack, rushing 22 times for 105 yards. Young had five catches for 62 yards.
“We won the game with third and fourth-down defense,” Monica said. “On the flip side, our offense needed to convert some third downs and I thought that was the story of the game. They crossed the 50 numerous times but our defense was able to get off the field on third down and sometimes on fourth down.”
Rummel (4-0, 1-0) returns to action next Friday night in a non-district game against Scotlandville at Joe Yenni Stadium.
Holy Cross (2-2, 0-1) will face John Curtis Christian next Friday night at 7 p.m. at Yulman Stadium.
“We’re like a tractor stuck in the mud,” Saltaformaggio. “We have to push our way out of it. We will get back to work in 24 hours.”
“We need to get better to put us over the hump and make us a good team,” Monica said.
Rummel 7 0 7 0 — 14
Holy Cross 0 0 7 0 — 7
Holy Cross 18
Rummel 4 for 38 yards
Holy Cross 2 for 32 yards
Holy Cross 1
Holy Cross 2
Holy Cross 197
Holy Cross 119
Holy Cross 316
Rummel: Jaidyn Martin 14 carries for 49 yards, Casey Avrard 8 carries for 35 yards, Ruben Ramirez 5 carries for 26 yards and 1 touchdown, Norman Taylor 1 carry for 2 yards and 1 touchdwn, Xavier Powell 1 carry for -1 yard
Holy Cross: C.L. Johnson 22 carries for 105 yards, Kayden Andoh 14 carries for 60 yards, Cole Canatella 9 carries for 32 yards
Rummel: Casey Avrard 8-of-14 for 87 yards
Holy Cross: Cole Canatella 8-of-16 for 119 yards, 1 touchdown
Rummel: Ruben Ramirez 3 catches for 32 yards, Kendrick Joseph 3 catches for 31 yards, Chris Wallace 1 catch for 6 yards
Holy Cross: Koby Young 5 catches for 62 yards, Finn Martin 1 catch for 53 yards and 1 touchdown, C.L. Johnson 1 catch for 5 yards, Chris Serovich 1 carry for -1 yard
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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…