Crusader Football - 3
Silence, Please!
In 1922, St. Aloysius played the Holy Cross Micks in the first prep football game for Holy Cross, which wore green and gold in honor of a Midwest college run by the Holy Cross order. HC had lost three games, two to independent teams - Roemers (12-0) and the Triangles (25-0) - and one to Baton Rouge High (34-0). St. Aloysius had fielded its first team the year before, finishing with a surprising 4-2 record under Coach Johnny Brown, a former Tulane player.

The contest was played at Heinemann Park on Tulane and Carrollton. Later called Pelican Stadium, the field was home to New Orleans' minor league baseball team.

Brown's team, missing a number of senior leaders from the season before, lost to the Micks 13-0. An interesting incident occurred in Q4 after the Saints drove the ball to the HC 20. An SA substitute reported to referee Claiborne Andrews and then spoke to QB LeBlanc. Andrews penalized the Saints 15 yards. Why? In those days, the players on the field were expected to compete on offense and defense without interference from the sideline. So the substitute violated the rules by speaking to another player when he joined the huddle!
Heinemann Park
Heinemann Park/Pelican Stadium
First All-Stater
Eddie Daigle
At the end of the 1931 football season, junior FB Eddie Daigle became the first St. Aloysius player named to the All-State team picked by New Orleans States newspaper. From the States write-up:

The big Aloysius star runs with amazing power and elusiveness, passes, plunges, skirts the ends or off the tackles with equal ease and is a good defensive player. Daigle is not a long punter but he is remarkably accurate. His kicks usually go out of bounds or away from the safety man, and while carrying only about 30y through the air, usually add much more by a good roll. … Had he played on a stronger team, there would have been no stopping him.

St. Aloysius finished 5-4 that year under new coach, E. W. "Prof" Jones. He came from Mobile to replace "Kip" Kessler who, according to The Aloysian, "was compelled to put all his time in his Chemistry classes, due to the enormous sizes of them this year."

Victories: @Leon Godchaux (Reserve) 33-0, @Terrebonne 13-7, Commercial High 12-2, Fortier 13-7, McGill 6-0
@Bogalusa 0-33, Holy Cross 6-7, Warren Easton 0-19, Jesuit 6-33
Public vs Private - Nothing New
Brother Peter
Brother Peter, S.C.
Holy Cross won the 1945 State AA football championship over Istrouma 33-32.
  • The defeat so infuriated Istrouma coach "Little Fuzzy" Brown that he hatched a plan to scrap the LHSAA's traditional playoff setup.
  • Instead, schools would form their own conferences as was done in Mississippi. Public school conference members would be prohibited from competing in a state championship game against a private school.
  • Members could compete against private schools in regular season competition.

Underlying the movement was the belief enunciated by Bob House, the sports editor of the Lake Charles American:

The New Orleans bunch don't give a hoot about the State Association's rules and they have been getting away with just about everything. ... For instance, Holy Cross advertises itself as a college, not a high school, and gets athletes from all over the nation ..."

  • House was blissfully ignorant of the fact that HC's teams were composed entirely of New Orleans boys.

When the proposal, formally submitted by the principal of Bolton High of Alex­andria, reached the floor at the 1946 LHSAA annual meeting, Brother Peter, S.C., principal of Catholic High in Baton Rouge, directed his criticism at the real author of the plan, Fuzzy Brown.

It's public knowledge where this move originated. ... If I had a football team, and it was defeated because of the lack of an adequate pass defense, I would concentrate on coaching pass defense and not say, "Let us withdraw." And seek to throw out every Catholic school in the state.

The proposal failed, 51-16. Every New Orleans public school principal voted against it. However, this would not be the last attempt to separate the LHSAA into public and private school subdivisions.
St. Aug. Debuts
St. Augustine High School persevered in its attempts to gain admittance to the LHSAA. Although the school was approved by District 5-AAA (the "Catholic League") during the 1964-5 school year, the general assembly refused to even consider its application. The following year, the membership overwhelmingly voted to deny St. Aug.'s application. Taking the LHSAA to court, St. Augustine prevailed in the Court of Appeals on the grounds that the school was denied admission only because its student body was African-American.

As a result, St. Augustine became a member of District 5-AAA for the 1967-8 school year. As the schedule turned out, the Purple Knights' first district foe was St. Aloysius on Friday, October 13, 1967. The Purple Knights triumphed 26-7 before 20,000 at Tad Gormley Stadium. The lone Crusader score came in Q3 when FB Walter Schwander plunged 3y. Steve Falati kicked the PAT.

The contest proved to be Aug.'s only district win that season. And even that victory was later forfeited because the LHSAA declared a number of Purple Knights ineligible because the association didn't recognize some courses they had taken.
Football vs. St. Aug. 1967
QB Jim Tillette, behind blocking of All-District G Mike McMenemon, runs against St. Augustine in 1967.
8-2 But No Playoffs
The 1982 Crusader footballers started the season 5-0 with victories over South Terrebonne (35-8), H. L Bourgeois (35-6), O. P. Walker (7-0), De La Salle (28-13 in the Superdome), and Jesuit (21-0).
  • However, Rummel ended the streak with a 21-14 victory, scoring the winning TD after recovering a fumble at the 11.
  • After losing to St. Augustine 24-6, the Saders rallied to knock Holy Cross out of the playoffs 16-6 and edge Shaw 20-19 before defeating Chalmette 2-0.
  • Bob Conlin's Mean Machine tied with the Raiders for second in district but did not make the playoffs because of the head-to-head loss.
Football 1982
John Rigney and Ronny Romagosa lead the way for Troy Oddo.
Nobody Does It Better
Bob Conlin
Bob Conlin

The 13-0 Crusader victory over St. Augustine on a wet night at Tad Gormley Stadium in 1989 marked a milestone.

  • The win was Bob Conlin's 150th as head coach at Brother Martin.
  • He thus became the winningest coach in the highest classification in Louisiana history.

It was fitting that the record-setting triumph was a shutout as Bob, imitating his idol, Bear Bryant, valued defense above all else in football.

  • The Crusaders dominated the first half, driving deep into Knight territory three times. The first possession ended with an INT at the 11. Then Pat Stack's 23y run started a 78y drive that ended with Jimmy LaLonde's 8y TD at 8:51 of Q2.
  • Still in the first half, BM drove to the 16, but Eric Escher's 33y FG attempt fell short. Then a 77y punt return by Chad Larose was negated by a clipping penalty. BM rushed for 196y in the first half to SA's 42 but led only 6-0.
  • The Saders scored on their first possession of the second half on Larose's 52y run.
  • Chubby Marks' D repelled two SA threats, one of which reached the 9. The Big Purple ended the night with only 140 total yards.
Bear Bryant
Bear Bryant
The team gathered around Bob after the game chanting "150! 150!" Bill Bumgarner ended his TP article like this: "Although he was surrounded on this night, Conlin stood alone."
West Bank Shootout
Brother Martin 43, Archbishop Shaw 42 in OT. That was the result of a classic 1992 shootout at Hoss Memtsas Stadium. The triumph broke a seven-year BM losing streak to their West Bank rivals and dealt the Eagles their first Catholic League loss since 1988.

Shaw's Bruce James ran wild all afternoon, amassing 203y rushing and returning a punt 90y for a score. However, Danny Fulham countered with a 41y INT return to give the Crusaders a temporary lead. Then, down 33-28 late in the game, Sader QB Steven Thiel hit Frank Caracci from the 5 to take a 36-33 lead. However, Chris Hebert booted a 23y FG to tie the game at the end of regulation.

In the OT, Mark Coates scored for the Eagles, but Hebert, a hero a few minutes earlier, became the goat by missing the PAT. Thiel scored on third down, and Nick Reggio's extra point sent the Sader sideline into a frenzy.
Shaw Game 1992
Crusaders celebrate OT victory over Shaw in 1992