Many did not think it would come down to the game’s final play in the quarter-final playoff game versus Jesuit last Friday night. A desperation heave near the endzone ended up in senior defensive back Dante’ Thomas’ hands to seal the playoff victory for the Patriots as they outlasted the Jesuit Blue Jays 34-27. With the victory the Patriots advance to the state semi-finals to face the Catholic High Bears this coming Friday night at 7:00. The game will be played at Baton Rouge’s Olympia Stadium that features a rematch of the last two seasons’ state championship. In 2017, the Bears defeated the Patriots to win the Division I title. The Patriots bested them in last season’s Division I state championship to claim the school’s 27th overall state title.
For a majority of the game, the Patriots were in control. However, the Blue Jays did take a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening possession. The Patriots responded on their first possession with a 32 yard touchdown run by Corey Wren to tie the game up at 7. Following a defensive stop, the Patriots struck on the very next offensive play as Collin Guggenheim hooked up with Javon Davis on a deep pass for a touchdown to claim a 14-7 lead. Another touchdown by Wren, this time from 5 yards out, gave the Patriots a 21-7 lead. Jesuit would respond with another touchdown pass to cut the lead to 21-14. Guggenheim hooked up with Davis again, this time for a long gain inside the 10 yard line, to set up a 5 yard touchdown run by Guggenheim for a 28-14 lead. Jesuit closed the high scoring half with a field goal. The Patriots led 28-17 at the half.
It seemed like the Patriots would seize control and pull away from the Blue Jays when they went on an 80 yard touchdown drive to open the third quarter to give them a 34-17 lead when Wren scampered around right end for a 4 yard TD run. The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Jays. The Patriots continuously put themselves behind the chains offensively with penalties to thwart potential game ending drives. The Jays capitalized on those and were able to close the gap to 34-27. The Patriots recovered the onside kick right around two minutes to play in the game and attempted to run out the clock. A penalty on the Patriots with around 20 seconds left forced the Patriots to punt and gave the Jays one last attempt.