Last year on Sept. 13 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the St. Paul’s Wolves marched in to face heated rivals, the Jesuit Blue Jays. The rivalry between these two teams has gone back for nearly a century, and neither side was willing to lose a single down in a battle that ended in controversy at the buzzer.
Now not only are these two schools rivals in football, but rivals in nearly every school competition. Whether it may be baseball, lacrosse, or a Mu Alpha Theta event, these two schools are extremely, almost unreasonably competitive.
And, so it was for this football game. It was Friday the 13th, and both teams felt a slight bit of the unlucky curse. Jesuit was being killed by careless holding penalties, often causing them to lose possession. St. Paul’s, on the other hand, just could not seem to be able to stop Jesuit’s relentless offense led by quarterback Trey Leforge.
Then before you know it, the clock reads two minutes left in the fourth quarter, all tied up at 21-21. Leforge has been playing fantastic all night long, but with only 1:44 left on the clock, Leforge delivers right into the hands of St. Paul’s Jase Stubbs. Now, St. Paul’s has less than two minutes to score.
The Wolves were able to get the ball in kicking range for senior Grant Hebert. With only five seconds left, he jogs out to attempt the winning field goal. Perfect snap, perfect hold, but he hooks it right. Luckily for the Wolves, a late flag was thrown for roughing the kicker, so Hebert will get another try at victory. Perfect snap, perfect hold, but this time, perfect kick. Hebert nails the 33-yard field goal to beat the Jesuit Blue Jays.
Not all ended well that night. That roughing-the-kicker penalty was very, very controversial. Not many Blue Jays believed in that call. In fact, some found it outrageous. Jesuit Head Coach Mark Songy was so upset with the call that The Paper Wolf can’t even quote what he said to the Times Picayune that night. Jesuit left that game with a disgusting taste in their mouths, and they want revenge. That is going to be a difficult challenge for the Jays, especially against this year’s squad.
St. Paul’s is ready to show off a new and improved squad against the Blue Jays. The Wolves started off their season with a hard-fought 26-25 win against Edna Karr, and they would love to continue the season with a 2-0 record. The Wolves surely lost some big impact players last year; most notably running back Marcus Gaines, receiver Mitch Brumfield, and linebacker Jase Stubbs. Yet with all of these players gone, the coaches believe they are ready to show off some new and returning talent to the Blue Jays.
The Wolves are bringing back quarterback Ryan O’Krepki for one last season, and he seems ready to give it his best. But this year the Wolves, along with O’Krepki, are adding a new threat to the quarterback position, junior Kenny Sears. Sears has himself a cannon of an arm, and has impressed coaches in the first two matches of the season. While 5’11’’ 170-pound O’Krepki poses a running threat, 6’3” 205-pound Sears likes to sit back in the pocket and use his cannon all night long.
The Wolves are also ready to show off their impressive receiving squad, as well, led by senior Oklahoma State commit, Jalen McCleskey. Make sure to look out for the two on-the-rise sophomores, Timothy Bedford and Matt Meyers, who also look very promising. The Wolves also look to have a strong running game led by Dominic Davenport, who uses his speed and nimble abilities to find holes in the defense. The defense looks pretty strong, but seems to lack experience in the backfield.
Jesuit, on the other hand, looks very impressive, as well. Ponchatoula, however, did manage to defeat Jesuit in last week’s game, but Ponchatoula has been picked by most experts to win district this year. Nevertheless, Jesuit still looked impressive in their 24-21 loss. Jesuit looks just as impressive as the previous years, but the Wolves feel like they’re ready to win.
St. Paul’s will play Jesuit tonight at Hunter Stadium in Covington. Kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m.. Unlike last year, St. Paul’s feels like they have a home to protect, as opposed to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The atmosphere of Hunter Stadium will be a true showing of Friday night in Louisiana. Be prepared for the Wolves and Blue Jays to show their colors.