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PREVIEW: Jesuit vs. Holy Cross (LA)

September 5, 2012

The Jesuit Blue Jays host the Holy Cross Tigers in the 92nd meeting between the schools at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans. This historic rivalry dates back to 1922 and is the oldest rivalry in the state and one of the oldest in the nation. Jesuit won last year’s battle 37-0 and leads the all-time series 53-37-1.

Jesuit has won 22 games over the last two seasons and is coming off back-to-back district championships. The Blue Jays went a perfect 10-0 in their district last season before losing in the playoffs of state quarterfinals, finishing with a 12-1 overall record. This year will be different. The Blue Jays will have some rebuilding to do as they lose 7 seniors from last year’s team who are all now playing at the collegiate level. Of the 7 who left, linebacker Deion Jones and running back Paul Stanton were both All-State. Jones is now playing at LSU. Jesuit does return one of the state’s top passers in senior Tanner Lee. Lee threw for 906 yards and 7 touchdowns last season despite splitting snaps under center. He will have 3 returning linemen to help protect him and senior Mitch Alexander will pose as a weapon to throw to. The defense features 4 returning linemen and 2 returning starters to the secondary. The Blue Jays will be competing in a 5-team district that features Rummel, West Jefferson and Brother Martin who all seem poised to earn a Metro Top 10 ranking this season.

Holy Cross is trying to rebound from a disappointing 2-8 season where they were the favorites to win their district. The Tigers ended up going 1-3 in district 10-4A. Just like last season, the Tigers are returning 15 starters, 9 on offense and 6 on defense. Junior James Tabary beat out senior Tucker Herzog in spring practice for the starting quarterback position. Tabary is a dual-threat quarterback who will have plenty of protection from an offensive line that remains intact from last season. There is no shortage of talent at the wide receiver position as head coach Barry Wilson will have a tough time figuring out who to start. Among the receivers is seniors Wardell Robinson and Kevin Spears who will competing with junior Jerry Cook and sophomore Michael Chigbu. The Tigers defense must replace All-Metro cornerback Ed Eagan who earned All-State honors twice. The defense will be highlighted by returning senior cornerback Ki-Jana Curtis.

This will be the last season that Holy Cross competes in Class 4A competition. Next year they will be moving up in classification and rejoining rival Jesuit in a reconstructed Catholic League.

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