How time flies: Prep football’s regular season is half over

By Ron Brocato, Sports

Considering the temperature and humidity of southeast Louisiana this time of year, it’s difficult to fathom that it’s autumn, Halloween candy is on the drugstore shelves, and that the 2017 high school football season is entering its sixth of 10 weeks.

Rivalry week ended with convincing victories by Archbishop Rummel and Holy Cross and a thrilling late rally by St. Augustine over their respective archrivals.

Holy Cross handed Jesuit a 31-17 lesson before a crowd estimated as 12,000-14,000 at Tad Gormley Stadium on Sept. 29.

The next afternoon, in the battle of the archbishops, Rummel scored five touchdowns in the first period then coasted to a 56-10 victory at Joe Yenni Stadium before  6,500 spectators.

Prior to the kickoff, Rummel presented four newly inducted members into its sports hall of fame: basketball standout Eddie Ard (Class of 2003), baseball pitcher Thomas Diamond (2001), running back Jim Cuerto (1993) and the late Kirk Koppens (1970), who was also a pitcher.

St. Augustine received another stellar performance from former wide receiver Josh White, who stepped into the quarterback position following injuries to two veterans at that position.

As he did in a 37-24 win over Jesuit on Sept. 22, White rushed for 70 yards on 14 carries and threw a touchdown pass to defeat Gentilly rival Brother Martin, 14-10.

The Crusaders rallied from  a 7-3 deficit with a fourth-quarter touchdown set up by a 31-yard pass from running back Matt Alphonso to Brady Faust that put the ball at the Purple Knights’ 7 on a fake punt situation. Chris Smith gave the Crusaders a 10-7 lead when he punched the ball in from the 4-yard line.

The lead was short-lived. Three plays later, following a 46-yard White-to-Joseph pass, running back Garland LaFrance scored the game-winner from the 6-yard line to spoil the Crusaders’ hopes of a victory.

The attendance was about 9,000, bringing the estimated total attendance for the three Catholic League rivalry games to around 30,000.

In the fourth game, which was part of the Archbishop Philip M. Hannan Classic series, De La Salle handed the reigning Division III champion Riverside Academy a 42-21 defeat in Reserve.

The victory marked the No. 1 ranked Cavaliers’ fourth victory and third defeat for the Rebels.

Led by quarterback Julien Gums, De La Salle ran for 317 yards. Gums rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns. The only pass he threw accounted for a third touchdown.

After four consecutive victories in which the Comets held their opponents to 14 total points, St. Charles Catholic suffered its first defeat of the season.

It came in Gonzales on Sept. 29 when the LaPlace school lost to Class 5A East Ascension, 21-2.

St. Paul’s set the stage for its Oct. 6 showdown with rival Covington by beating Hammond, 27-7. Covington defeated Slidell, 30-0.

Both teams are 2-0 in District 6-5A play. Covington hasn’t lost a game.

Archbishop Hannan, 5-0 after beating Class 4A St. Michael, 35-21, hosts winless Jewel Sumner on Oct. 6.

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