Holy Cross and Jesuit have one of the oldest rivalries in the south, having first played in 1922. The game, at one time, drew 35,000 fans to watch it and still delivers crowds upwards of 15,000-20,000 fans to Tad Gormley stadium for this intense matchup.
In a rivalry that has been shaped by the location of the high schools and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina 12 years ago, this game matters to the community. Locals and fans come together to celebrate and enjoy watching their beloved Holy Cross Tigers and Jesuit Blue Jays.
Neehar is a 2-year letterman wide receiver on the varsity football team. He currently serves as the Jesuit student body treasurer and is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta and the Big Brother Program. This summer, Neehar traveled to India and provided more than 100 hours of community service. He also participated in the National Institute of Health summer program working with scientists on cancer research. Neehar hopes to attend Harvard or Stanford next year and pursue a medical career. He is the son of Nipa Shah and Nipun Desai.
Elias is a 3-year member letterman on the varsity football team. He is a member of the Holy Cross Brother James McDonnell Scholars Program. He currently serves as Senior Class President and is a member of the National Honor Society. Elias currently holds a 5.14 weighted GPA. He is accompanied by his parents, Elvin & Inga Brown.
HALL OF FAME
William "Billy" Ladner
Billy played WR and Defensive Back for the Jays his sophomore and junior years and quarterback his senior season. Billy was a three-sport letterman excelling in football, baseball, and track. Billy’s 88-yard TD reception from Richie Petitbon in the 1954 thriller with Holy Cross stands as the longest pass completion in Jesuit history and longest in the rivalry. Billy went on to play baseball and football at Southeastern Louisiana University becoming the only two-sport All-American in Southeastern’s history. His career at Southeastern earned him a spot his the school’s Sports Hall of Fame. Now retired, Billy was a claims supervisor with State Farm for 33 years. Billy and his wife Luana have been married for 52 years and have two children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
David "Buck" Landry
Buck played in this rivalry his Sophomore, Junior & Senior seasons from 1958 to 1960, serving as a captain his senior year. He was on the All-State team in 1960 and a member of the Holy Cross High School Hall of Fame. Buck received a football scholarship to Tulane University where he played offensive guard from 1962-1964. He went on to graduate from American University for his Masters. He would then go on to serve a tour of duty in Vietnam and returned to obtain his Ph.D from Notre Dame.
The Jesuit Bluejays' defense truly stepped up in this one, holding a talented Holy Cross offense to only seven points all evening, leading to a 28-7 victory. The defense was led by star defensive end, Perry Ganci, who would be named Great American Rivalry Series MVP on the night.
The Bluejays used their defensive ability and added some huge plays on both offense and special teams to put the Tigers away. None was bigger than the 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half by Luke Besh. The play truly killed the Tigers' spirits and helped Jesuit run away with this one 28-7.
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