Jesuit rallies, ends Wildcats’ season

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Special to L’Observateur

It was close but no cigar—i n the first half at least.

The Jesuit Blue Jays spotted the East St. John Wildcats 14 points in the first half but came storming back to take a lopsided 49-20 win in the Class 5A regional round of the 2011 state football playoffs at Joe Keller Stadium in Reserve.

Following a scoreless first quarter the Wildcat faithful were in a frenzy as their squad put up two quick touchdowns. The first one coming on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Darion Monroe to Rashad Green. The second score came several minutes later when Monroe hit Kadeem Vance with a pretty 39-yard strike to put the Wildcats up 14-0 after two successful PAT’s by Tramain McQuarters.

You could have heard a pin drop on the Jesuit side of the field as the Blue Jay fans were stunned by this turn of events.

“I was proud of our kids,” said Jesuit head coach Wayde Keiser. “They didn’t panic and stuck to the game plan. Both our defense and offense buckled down and took care of business.”

The Blue Jay offense suddenly woke up on their third series of the game.

Blue Jay workhorse Paul Stanton busted through the Wildcat line and rumbled 71 yards to get on the board.

East St. John (8-4) fumbled on their next possession and Jesuit’s Colby Simoneaux pounced on it.

On the first play of the series Jesuit quarterback Tanner Lee hit Justin Poole with a 45-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 14-14 with 4:50 remaining in the half.

The Jesuit defense then turned up the heat on the Wildcats forcing them into a three and out.

The Blue Jays (12-0) were still hungry for more as Lee threw another scoring strike to Poole this time from 32 yards out to take a 21-14 lead with 2:30 left until halftime..

East St. John’s attempt to score before the half was dashed as Simoneaux got his second turnover intercepting a Monroe pass on the Wildcat 21-yardline.

With 20 seconds left Jesuit’s Ralph Freibert attempted a 26-yard field goal that went wide to end the half at 21-14.

The second half turned out to be a nightmare for East St. John.

On Jesuit’s second possession of the second half it was Stanton again doing the honors. This time he scampered 33 yards for the score and a 28-14 margin.

The ensuing kickoff saw the Blue Jays try what their coaches call a “sky kick” where the kicker sends the ball high in the air and hopes for a tricky bounce that the return team will muff.

And that was just what happened as the East St. John return man mishandled the ball and Jesuit’s Kyle Crabtree recovered it setting the Blue Jays up deep in Wildcat territory.

Four plays later Stanton scored his third touchdown of the night this one coming from three yards out to increase the Jesuit lead to 35-14.

But Stanton wasn’t done yet.

With 1:14 left in the third quarter it took the Blue Jays only three plays to score again. Stanton busted loose on another long run this time from 43 yards out to pad their lead.

Jesuit’s Austin Duncan got into the act late in the second half. Duncan, who had 66 yards rushing, scored from one yard out to push to lead to 49-14.

Monroe was picked off for the second time by Jesuit’s Chad Bender to stymie another Wildcat drive.

With 3:33 remaining the Wildcats got on the board in their last possession of the season.

Monroe hit Green with a 40-yard bomb to narrow the Jesuit lead to 49-20 as time ran out.

Stanton led all rushers with 207 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Cameron Dobbins and Lee shared quarterbacking duties hitting on 7 of 15 for 96 yards.

Monroe led the way for East St. John with 55 yards rushing while passing for 269 yards and three touchdowns.

Simoneaux and Deion Jones had a big defensive game for Jesuit as did Amani Martin and Charlie Payne for ESJ.

Following the game Wildcat head coach Phillip Banko had nothing but good things to say about the Blue Jays.

”They were just a better team than we were tonight. We are a young team and we’re looking forward to next year. Jesuit showed us just what it takes to win.”