Week 2 was a success for most Catholic League teams as the group of seven went 5-2.
John Curtis, Rummel, Brother Martin and St. Augustine all moved to 2-0 while Holy Cross also picked up its first win of the season over Covington on the road. Jesuit and Shaw dropped matchups to St. Paul’s and Belle Chasse, respectively, but both have good chances to get back in the win column in Week 3.
JOHN CURTIS (2-0) AT LANDRY-WALEKR (1-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Behrman Stadium
Last Week: John Curtis rolled over Westlake (GA), 55-27, in Battle on the Border in Shreveport. Landry-Walker lost to St. Augustine, 44-6.
Notable: To absolutely no one’s surprise, Curtis is well on its way to putting together yet another dominant season. The Patriots set the Battle on the Border rushing record with 444 yards on the ground and Georgia running back commitment Corey Wren accounted for 209 of those with a pair of rushing scores with a touchdown reception as well. Senior Shane Goins also had 97 yards rushing and Curtis was never really threatened opening up a 36-13 lead by halftime. The same will likely be the case this Friday as Curtis and Landry-Walker have met each of the last four seasons with the Patriots winning each time by an average of over two touchdowns.
Landry-Walker struggled mightily last week against against St. Augustine managing just 141 yards of offense while surrendering 480. The Chargin’ Bucs’ only touchdown came after a muffed punt that gave them a short field, which led to a 24-yard touchdown from junior quarterback Justin Hudson to senior receiver Ramon Coleman in the first quarter. Curtis’ defense has struggled a bit in Weeks 1 and 2 in certain aspects as they battle through a few injuries, but look for the unit to get on track this week against Landry-Walker.
Pick: John Curtis, 49-6.
RUMMEL (2-0) AT OAK GROVE-MS (3-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Oak Grove High.
Last Week: Rummel beat Slidell, 37-0. Oak Grove defeated Hattiesburg, 42-34.
Notable: Rummel’s defense is living up to every bit of the preseason hype as the Raiders have allowed just three points in two games following last week’s shutout against a talented Slidell team. The Raiders didn’t allow a first down until under four minutes left in the second quarter and held the Tigers to under 40 yards of offense in the game. If that wasn’t enough, they also scored their second touchdown of the season when South Alabama commitment Jordon Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone for the Raiders’ final points of the night.
Colorado commitment Gavin Holmes also had an interception along with Vanderbilt commitment Donovan Kaufman, who also returned a kick 80 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. The offense also got on track a bit after going scoreless in the opener as Kyle Wickersham threw his first regular season touchdown to senior receiver Ivory Wilright. Wickersham also ran in one of Rummel’s two scores on the ground with the other coming from senior running back Jaelen Sturgis. The Raiders’ biggest challenge was actually themselves as they committed 20 penalties, and if they can get those cleaned up as the offense rounds into shape, they could be a dangerous team throughout the season.
Oak Grove is no slouch in Mississippi and was the Class 6A runner-up last season falling, 31-27, in the championship game. They’re off to a strong start this season as well with an undefeated 3-0 mark that includes a scoring average of 40.7 points per game. That includes a 42-34 victory last week in which 3-star receiver Brandon Hayes hauled in eight catches for 220 yards with four touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder is the top threat for the Warriors’ offense on a team that appears to be littered with experienced seniors and juniors on both sides of the ball. Oak Grove’s defense surrendered 28 and 13 points in Weeks 1 and 2, and all signs point to a competitive matchup on Friday.
Pick: Rummel, 27-21.
BROTHER MARTIN (2-0) AT PONCHATOULA (1-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: “The Swamp”, Ponchatoula High
Last Week: Brother Martin beat Carver, 10-0. Ponchatoula defeated Denham Springs, 31-24
Notable: Brother Martin unexpectedly found itself in a defensive battle last week against Carver, but came out on the winning side recording its second straight shutout. The Crusaders and Rams were scoreless through the first half before Jack Landry got Brother Martin off the snide with a 29-yard field goal.
A fumble recovery by Noah Chachere on the ensuing series then led to an impressive 42-yard touchdown run by senior Chris Smith on the first play of the drive for Brother Martin’s 10-0 advantage and eventual margin of victory. The Crusaders were just a bit off in terms of execution in their passing and running game, but those appear to be correctable mistakes coming off a 28-point performance in Week 1 and a 42-point explosion in the jamboree against Fontainebleau.
After suffering through back-to-back 2-8 seasons, the Green Wave are hoping this year yields different results. The inhabiters of “The Swamp” are led by LSU quarterback commitment T.J. Finley, a poised and talented 6-foot-7, 230-pound prospect who has some talent around him in receivers Jacoby Mathews, Amorion Walker, Kody Finley and running back Braydon Johnson. The Green Wave got off to a rough start falling 35-14 to Live Oak in Week 1, but seemed to find their rhythm last week against Denham Springs putting up 31 points. These two teams haven’t met this decade but shared the same field in the South Tangi Jamboree at Ponchatoula when Brother Martin faced Fontainebleau (story) while Ponchatoula hosted De La Salle (highlights).
Pick: Brother Martin, 20-17.
HOLY CROSS (1-1) AT CHALMETTE (2-0)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Bobby Nuss Stadium at Chalmette High
Last Week: Holy Cross beat Covington, 24-14. Chalmette defeated Sophie B. Wright, 65-14.
Notable: Holy Cross bounced back from a 28-7 Week 1 loss to St. Thomas More (highlights/story) with a good showing on the road against Covington. The Tigers opened up a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter and held on down the stretch after the Lions pulled as close as 17-14 with under a minute left in the third quarter.
Holy Cross benefited from a blocked punt by Connor Wensel that set up a short field for a touchdown, then John Wooton hit Tyler Kirkwood for a 45-yard touchdown on the next drive for a 14-0 lead just before the midpoint of the opening period. Covington answered scoring 14 of the next 17 points over the next two quarters and change, but a big kick return by Amiri Franklin gave the Tigers good field position once again to start their first drive of the fourth quarter. That also turned into a touchdown as Holy Cross took a 24-14 lead with 9:59 left to play, and a couple of fourth-quarter sacks by Barryn Sorrell along with an interception by Kolbe Cage iced the game for the Tigers.
Chalmette has quietly become a high-powered offense over the past few seasons and have started this year on fire putting up 43 in an overtime win over Hannan in Week 1 (live broadcast) before a 65-point explosion last week against Sophie B. Wright. The Owls also scored at least 36 points in three of their last four regular season games last season, but were held to just seven points in three separate games as well including a 35-7 loss to Holy Cross in Week 3. Chalmette will have its first chance to prove it can put points on the board against a more quality team this week jumping from two 3A opponents to 5A, and if they can, this one could get interesting.
Pick: Holy Cross, 30-27.
JESUIT (1-1) VS. HELEN COX (1-1)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Tad Gormley Stadium.
Last Week: Jesuit lost to St. Paul’s, 19-16. Helen Cox lost to John Ehret, 19-8.
Notable: After starting out hot with impressive wins over Higgins in its jamboree and a talented Terrebonne team in Week 1, Jesuit suffered a bit of a setback falling to a St. Paul’s team that was thought to be in a rebuilding phase. The Blue Jays mustered just three points through 3 1/2 quarters, but came to life in the last six minutes putting up a pair of touchdowns cutting the lead to 19-16 late in the game. Jesuit then had a chance to tie or take the lead with the ball near midfield with under a minute to go, but St. Paul’s recovered a sack-fumble to end the game.
Senior quarterback Grant Jordan had another strong outing throwing for 257 yards with two scores, most of which went to junior receiver Luke Besh (12 catches, 156 yards). Jesuit rushed for just three yards, though, and St. Paul’s was also motivated by a pair of losses to the Blue Jays last season, one of which ended the Wolves’ season in the Division I playoffs. Jesuit should be able to get back on the winning side of the ledger this week as they return home against a reeling Helen Cox squad.
Helen Cox lost in more ways than one last week against John Ehret. The Cougars fell, 19-8, and also saw senior starting quarterback Jordan George go down with a broken bone in his leg in the opening quarter. Understandably, it took the Cougars a while to regroup as they fell behind 17-0 before pulling with 17-8 before halftime on a short run by Tyrone Wilson.
That was the only score Cox could manage, though, against a stout Ehret defense, and the Cougars were also without interim head coach David Davis who had to tend to a family emergency. Cox also doesn’t have the services of Virginia safety commitment Donovan Johnson, but do have UTSA linebacker commitment Kelin Burrle in the fold. Sophomore Ray Ruffin will step in for George, and Ruffin does have some experience at the quarterback spot seeing extensive time as a freshman as well as during the preseason.
Pick: Jesuit, 27-12.
SHAW (1-1) AT WEST JEFFERSON (0-2)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
Last Week: Shaw lost to Belle Chasse, 28-14 (story/highlights). West Jefferson lost to Frederick Douglas, 23-22.
Notable: Shaw was in an all-out battle last week against Belle Chasse in a matchup that came down to the wire. The Eagles made their way into Belle Chasse territory on four straight possessions down, 20-14, but threw an interception at the Cardinals’ 28, turned it over on downs at the Cardinals’ 11, punted from their own 45, then threw a pick-6 at the Cardinals’ 27 with under two minutes left that sealed their fate.
Shaw also muffed a punt against Belle Chasse and five turnovers sapped their chance at starting 2-0. There were certainly some positives to take away from the matchup for the Eagles, though, as they out-gained Belle Chasse, 405-280. They continue to show improvement under third-year head coach Tommy Connors and have a good chance at picking up win No. 2 against a rebuilding West Jefferson squad.
West Jefferson hasn’t had more than three wins since the 2016 season, and this year looks like it could be another uphill battle. The Buccaneers were handled, 47-7, by East St. John (story) in Week 1 and were toppled, 23-22, last week against Frederick Douglass, formerly KIPP Renaissance, which finished 3-7 in 2018. There aren’t many notable names on West Jefferson’s roster after the graduation of current Arkansas freshman Greg Brooks Jr., but receivers Tremell Withrow and Shiloh Childs have flashed their potential to make plays in the passing game in the past.
Pick: Shaw, 27-13.
ST. AUGUSTINE (2-0) AT KENNEDY (0-2)
When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
Where: Tad Gormley Stadium.
Last Week: St. Augustine dominated Landry-Walker, 44-6 (highlights/story). Kennedy lost to Booker T. Washington, 36-15.
Notable: St. Augustine rolled to a huge victory last week as their offense caught up the defense and special teams’ production. The Purple Knights racked up 480 yards of offense and Kendell Sampson Jr. threw for 174 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions while rushing for another score. The junior hit seven different receivers in the game including touchdowns to Jaheim Walters, Khi Mathieu and Javen Nicholas, and appears to have found his rhythm in the offense again after a few solid showings last season.
St. Aug’s special teams unit also blocked a punt for the third straight week including their jamboree, and the defense appears as fierce as ever wreaking havoc in opposing backfields. They have allowed just 19 points including a shutout in the jamboree against Booker T., and have a potent front-seven led by Kansas linebacker commitment Taiwan Berryhill.
Kennedy continues to go through some growing pains as it heads into its fifth varsity season. The Cougars’ best year was a 4-6 finish in 2016, but they haven’t had more than two wins in any of their other three seasons. They’ve gotten off to a rough start to this season as well falling to Booker T., 36-15, last week and Landry-Walker, 18-6, in Week 1. If logic follows, the Cougars will be in for another tough week facing a Purple Knights team that had no trouble at all with the Chargin’ Bucs last week.
Pick: St. Augustine, 33-3.