By Ron Brocato
One new chapter of high school football history in New Orleans will be made and an old rivalry will be renewed on Sept. 8 when Tulane’s Yulman Stadium hosts a non-district game between former Catholic League rivals St. Augustine and De La Salle.
The event will mark the first high school game ever to be played in the 30,000-seat stadium on the Tulane University campus since Nov. 3, 1979, when Chalmette defeated Jesuit, 23-9. That game was the last to be played at Tulane Stadium before the historic edifice was dismantled.
The rivalry between St. Augustine and De La Salle lasted from 1967, when St. Aug joined the Catholic League, to 2003 when De La Salle voluntarily dropped down in class due to a shrinking enrollment and the team’s inability to compete against the district’s other larger Catholic schools.
Before the 36-year-old rivalry ended, De La Salle managed to win three times – the initial game in 1967, again in 1972 and the final time in 1997. St. Augustine won 33 times, including a string of 15 consecutive years from 1982-96.
Today, De La Salle is ranked one of the top teams in Louisiana Class 3A football. Just a year ago, the Cavaliers enjoyed their finest season since 1961 when they won their first 13 games before losing to Parkview Baptist in the Division II championship game on Nov. 25.
The 1961 De La Salle team advanced to the Class 3A state championship game, but lost to Istrouma, 20-7.
St. Augustine is a three-time state champion, having won in 1975, 1978 and 1979.
The Purple Knights’ biggest rout of the Cavaliers came in 1992 when they won, 58-6.
De La Salle’s largest winning margin was 31-7, the Cavaliers’ last win over St. Augustine in 1997. The Cavs also won the 1972 game by forfeit.