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Jesuit NOLA Wins Again, But Has to Work For It

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Jesuit NOLA Wins Again, But Has to Work For It

Jesuit No. 1 Christian Jackson was a force. Photo Enzo Antonio Foster.

New Orleans Jesuit continued on their way with yet another impressive showing, but perhaps a showing that was closer than the score might indicate.

The Blue Jays scored two late tries to pull away from a tenacious Brother Martin, winning 35-19 in a game that was 21-19 until the closing segment.

Jesuit opened the scoring at the four-minute mark with a nifty move set up by flyhalf Andrew Newel. He attracted enough attention from the defense to find fullback Nate Williams who was in. Newel converted. Brother Martin came  roaring back and earned a lineout about 35 meters from the Jesuit line. No. 8 Sam Graffeo took a crashball off of the lineout and weaved his way through the Jesuit defense. But was eventually tackles and penalized for not released the ball.

But that was a short-term respite as Brother Martin came back and after big run from prop Gage Usey on a quick tap, scrumahlf Owen Gibson fed flyhalf Tyler Anclade, who drove over. Alex Selva made the conversion and the score was tied 7 - 7.

An error on the restart—offside on a clearance kick—gave Jesuit good field position and eventually sent it wide where hooker Timmy Peterman was able to crash it in. Newel was again good on the conversion to make it 14-7.

Late in the first half Brother Martin failed to cover the channel next to the ruck and Jesuit scrumhalf Matt Cashio saw the opportunity and was through for a 22-meter run and a try. Newel good on the kick and it was 21-7 for Jesuit.

But Brother Martin certainly felt that they were in the game and showed it early in the half when they pressured the Blue Jay defense. But an overload on the outside wasn't exploited and Jesuit held on until 16 minutes in. Jesuit was shaken when Newel had to leave due to injury, but center Nick Ferina did well to step in. Still, Brother Martin was on the front foot and when hooker Andre Cook charged through, the forwards were in support and they ran the pick-and-goes until they scored. Kick just wide and it was 21-12. Back came Brother Martin and center Anton Brown's charge up the middle set up another chance. The forwards consolidated and then scrumhalf Owen Gibson set up flyhalf Tyler Anclade for the try. Selva's kick was good from the corner.

Poised perhaps to finish the comeback Brother Martin instead saw Jesuit power back. Cashio sliced in for his second and prop Christian Jackson, back on the field after a yellow card for a dump tackle, finished it off with some power and a bit of footwork.

Williams converted the last two.

Anclade was really effective for Brother Martin and helped organize the defense. Jackson was a difference-maker at prop, while Cashio's two snipes around the ruck produced 14 tries out of almost nothing.

"Credit to Brother Martin for their game plan and improved defense," said Jesuit Head Coach Adam Massey. "They were especially good pressuring our scrumhalf off the back of our lineouts. Was good for the boys to have a match close for a bit. They have not experienced pressure like a 21-19 score line all season. They did well in the face of it—despite the score and despite being down Newel, they stuck to the pattern and earned a gritty victory."