It came as no surprise Saturday night that a senior-laden Rummel squad handled business against a youthful and banged up Shaw team.
The Raiders totaled 320 yards of offense while the defense tallied its third shutout of the season en route to a 42-0 homecoming victory at Joe Yenni Stadium. The win preserved the Raiders’ unblemished record while giving them their first Catholic League win, and kept the coveted “Megaphone” in Rummel’s possession for the 11th straight season.
“We’ve had it since 2009 and we told our guys we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t change,” Rummel coach Nick Monica said. “We want that thing to sit up there and start collecting some dust on the shelf and the guys did a good job of showing up tonight and doing what we needed to do.”
Rummel (5-0, 1-0) wasted little time asserting its dominance over Shaw (2-3, 0-2) scoring touchdowns on all five of its first-half possessions for a 35-0 lead at the break.
Their touchdown drives covered 68, 46, 40, 6 and 67 yards with three different players reaching the end zone. Junior running back Logan Diggs had a pair of touchdown runs from 3 and 2 yards out that gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 9:02 left in the first and a 28-0 lead with 10:10 to go in the second.
Diggs finished with 59 yards rushing on 10 carries while hauling in two passes for 35 more yards. His backfield mate senior Jaelen Sturgis was the team’s leading rusher with 76 yards on 13 carries as Rummel totaled 195 yards on the ground.
The Raiders also had another strong day through the air with junior Kyle Wickersham completing 9-of-13 passes for 125 yards with no interceptions and three touchdowns, all of which came in the opening half as he didn’t attempt a pass in the last two quarters.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder threw a pair of touchdowns from 20 and 11 yards out to senior Ivory Wilright for 14-0 and 21-0 leads with 5:10 and 28 seconds left in the first quarter. He also capped off the first-half scoring with a 2-yard fade route to LSU commitment Koy Moore, and the attention the Tiger commit garners has opened things up for Wilright on the opposite side.
“It feels good and all glory goes to God,” said Wilright, a Bonnabel transfer who sat out last season but has now caught four touchdowns in the last two weeks. “We’ve just been working and making sure we execute the way we did over the summer working with Camp Hardy.”
Wilright’s only two grabs went for touchdowns while Moore had three catches for a team-high 37 yards, and the defense put forth yet another dominant effort as well.
The unit held Shaw to just 57 yards of offense, and most of those came late in the game with the Raiders’ second-teamers on the field. In the first half, Rummel forced Shaw into 3-and-outs on three of their four full possessions, and a roughing the passer penalty resulted in the Eagles’ only first down of the half.
The Raiders allowed minus-6 yards in the first two quarters and put the final points of the game on the board themselves. The Eagles were facing 3rd-and-13 shortly after picking up their first first down of the second half, and freshman Brandon Edinburgh hit freshman Michael Williams on a screen pass.
Rummel was all over it, though, with multiple defenders converging on the play, one of which was senior safety Donovan Kaufman. The Vanderbilt commitment was looking for a big play, and stripped Williams before recovering the fumble himself and racing 27 yards to the end zone for a 42-0 lead with 1:03 left in the third quarter.
It was the second straight week the defense scored a touchdown and the unit has now shut out Slidell, Ruston and Shaw while holding Charlotte Catholic (NC) and Oak Grove (MS) to just three points each.
“(The no touchdown streak) is very important to us and we want to keep throughout the whole season,” said junior defensive lineman Caboz Craig, one of the unit’s more unheralded but productive players who had two tackles for loss and several other near the line of scrimmage against the Eagles.
“Shoutout to the (second-teamers) because we held them to zero again. We’ve got to turn up for the two’s.”
The Raider backups came up clutch again for Rummel after 34 and 21 yard catches by Williams got Shaw inside the Raiders’ 15-yard line about midway through the fourth quarter. The second unit stopped a run for no gain, though, before forcing consecutive incompletions, then junior safety Jalen Peleran picked off Edinburgh in the end zone on fourth down.
“I learned from the best,” said Peleran, affectionally referred to by his teammates as “Boosie” due to his likeness to the Baton Rouge rapper. “We’re keeping the streak — 5-0!”
The Raiders will take on fellow unbeaten Brother Martin next week in the biggest game of the Catholic League so far. They are two of three unbeaten teams in the league along with John Curtis, who Shaw will have to deal with in Week 6.
The Eagles are hoping to be a bit healthier as a trio of key players in senior quarterback Tyler Nichol and senior defensive backs Dorian Lewis and Dawson Guidry all missed Saturday night’s game with injuries.
An already-young Shaw team can ill afford to have its more experienced players on the bench in arguably Louisiana’s toughest district, but third-year coach Tommy Connors has confidence in his team’s ability going forward.
“Their time will come if we do what we need to do every day for the next, however long it takes,” Connors said. “What I told them is ‘look, y’all played a senior-heavy team that limits their mistakes and is a good football team. They make you earn everything you get and we looked like a team that had four seniors.
“We made some mistakes that young guys will make, but we got got better tonight, so that was important for us. As long as we do that…these guys have a bright future.”
Shaw: 57 yards of total offense (-7 rushing, 64 passing)
Rummel: 320 yards of total offense (195 rushing, 125 passing)
Rushing: Angelo Dolce, 8-15; Clint Langford Jr., 6-3; Rayon McGrew, 5-(-9); Brandon Edinburgh, 2-(-16).
Receiving: Michael Williams, 3-58; Jace Weileman, 1-6.
Passing: Brandon Edinburgh, 4-16, 64 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.
Rushing: Jalen Sturgis, 13-76; Logan Diggs, 10-59, 2 TDs; Daniel Sabido, 3-45; Kyle Wickersham, 5-12; Logan Bertucci, 1-3.
Receiving: Koy Moore, 3-37, 1 TD; Logan Diggs, 2-35; Ivory Wilright, 2-27, 2 TDs; Keith Robertson, 1-16; Tyler Cook, 1-10.
Passing: Kyle Wickersham, 9-13, 125 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs.
Rummel — Logan Diggs 3 run (Patrick Vanderbrook kick), 9:02, 0-7.
Rummel — Ivory Wilright 20 pass from Kyle Wickersham (Vanderbrook kick), 5:10, 0-14.
Rummel — Wilright 7 pass from Wickersham (Vanderbrook kick), 28.6, 0-21.
Rummel — Diggs 2 run (Vanderbrook kick), 10:10, 0-28.
Rummel — Koy Moore 2 pass from Wickersham (Vanderbrook kick), 1:12, 0-35.
Rummel — Donovan Kaufman 27 fumble return (Vanderbrook kick), 1:03, 0-42.
NEXT UP: Rummel will return to action Saturday against Brother Martin at Joe Yenni Stadium at 2 p.m. Shaw will host John Curtis Friday at 7 p.m. at Joe Zimmerman Stadium.