The intense rivalry between St. Paul’s and Jesuit had come down to a Friday night bash in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Big Easy.
After coming off of a blow-out loss against Edna Karr the previous week, the Wolves knew how important this game would be. Jesuit offered many threats to St. Paul’s, especially quarterback Trey LeForge. If the Wolves wanted to come out victorious, they would have to keep him contained and eliminate his long passes. The wolves also had some great attributes in their receiving and running squads.
St. Paul’s started off with a bang on their first offensive possession, scoring on a ten-yard touchdown screen pass to Mitch Brumfield. The Blue Jays were unable to score on their first possession, as a holding penalty ended their hopes of three points. Eventually, Jesuit was able to score when LeForge delivered a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Zimmer. Just before half-time, the Wolves put up seven more points when quarterback Ryan O’Krepki threw a long touchdown pass to make the score 14-7 Wolves at the half.
St. Paul’s quickly continued their offensive success with an 11-yard touchdown run made by Brumfield to put the Wolves up 21-7. The Blue Jays soon answered with a deep touchdown pass to Chris Mills, which put Jesuit only one touchdown away from tying the game up. The Wolves answered with an impressive drive, but the momentum suddenly ended when Jesuit’s Jakirai Wiley intercepted O’Krepki’s pass at mid-field.
LeForge hooked up with Daren Wilford for a 20-yard touchdown pass to tie the ballgame at 21-21. Once again, The Wolves were unable to score, and the ball went back into the hands of Jesuit’s relentless offense. Jesuit was working on another impressive drive when out of nowhere, St. Paul’s Jase Stubbs intercepted one of LeForge’s passes with only 1:44 left on the clock.
The Wolves were able to drive the ball down into Jesuit territory and get into field goal range. With less than five seconds on the clock, Grant Hebert jogged onto the field to attempt a game-winning 33-yard field goal. The snap was perfect, the hold was perfect, but the kick was wide left. Everyone in the stands shook their heads in disbelief that this incredible game had come to a crushing tie.
However, the officials had thrown a penalty flag against Jesuit for roughing the kicker, and Hebert would get another chance to win the game. Now the ball was placed five yards closer, and Hebert jogged back onto the field for a second go. Once again, a perfect snap, a perfect hold, but this time, a perfect kick by Hebert.
The Wolves had done it. By the luck of Friday the 13th, St. Paul’s defeated Jesuit 24-21 in a heart-stopping victory. All of the Wolves ran on to the field to slap Hebert on the helmet for a job well done. The players then ran over to the student section and celebrated with their fellow classmates.
Varsity Head Coach Kenny Sears surely had a thriller of a game, with this being his 100th victory coaching St. Paul’s. In an interview with Jim Derry of the Times Picayune after the game, Sears noted, “This will certainly be memorable against the mighty Blue Jays.”
“We kept our poise, and things swung around things swung around,” Sears added. “At the end, we came up with the plays and put ourselves in position to win.”
One could agree with Sears when he said the boys kept their poise. After all, playing in the Superdome is not an everyday event. After interviewing many players, it is obvious that there is no greater privilege in high school football than to play in a stadium like that.