Crusader Football - 8
Memorable Crusade: Football 1955

Aloysius Puts A Toe in the Football Water
The date was October 11, 1915.
  • Claude Simons Sr., football coach at Isidore Newman Manual Training High School, held a 4 PM meeting at his school on Peters Avenue for coaches "and those interested in prep school athletics." "Bobo" O'Bryan of Jesuits (as the school on Baronne Street was referred to then) assisted Simons in organizing the meeting.
  • Simons told the Times-Picayune: I believe an organizaton such as we intend to make the Prep School Athletic Association will boost athletics in the city fifty per cent. I always have wanted to organize such an association, but until a talk with Coach O'Bryan Friday, I never had encouragement to do it. We have started now and I hope we will succeed.
    Our plan is this: First we will organize the city schools. If we are successful in this we hope to branch out and make the association a statewide one, with regulations to govern athletics in every school of Louisiana. ...
    In New Orleans there are six or seven prep schools, Boys' High School
    [Warren Easton], Jesuits, Rugby Academy, Holy Cross, Chenets [Chenet's Institute on Carondelet], St. Aloysius, and Manual Training turn out athletic teams that play each other. Some of the schools have several hundred students to pick teams from. Others are not so fortunate. In every case, however, nearly all the city schools are represented by a football team or teams. Baseball brings a prep school league with generally six teams entered.
    Rules to govern contests between teams which participate in such leagues are lax and in many cases we are forced to use the rules that are catalogued. Such rules ... have direct effect on some team and seriously handicap that team. With a prep school association, however, all this would be changed. We would have rules to govern cases that might arise only among school teams. We could meet every arising issue and settle all disputes.
  • No follow-up article appeared. So it is unknown what occurred at the meeting. Attendance may have been disappointing since the city was dealing with the effects of a hurricane that hit at the end of September, leaving 350 dead and hundreds of downed electrical lines.
  • Another meeting was called a week later at the Young Men's Gymnastic Club and it is possible that there may be some action taken regarding the rest of the football games for prep schools.
  • But apparently nothing came of that meeting in terms of a local organization.

In the meantime, an article in the Saturday, October 13 Item proclaimed: St. Aloysius College sends the first football squad out which ever represented the college against the 120 pound team of the Jesuits on Saturday.

  • These players comprised the Aloysius roster as listed in the Item (with assistance from the Alumni Directory): St. Cyr Belou ('19), Clavin, Timothy Discon ('17), Deyanodt, Dumain, D. Fox, J. Fox, Joanen, Landry, Lemaria, Miller, Lex, Francis Tarantino ('20), Wilberly, Delaney, Larue, Lecorgne, Harry Legeai ('17), Yonau, Taylor, and Palletou. [The U.S. high school graduation rate in 1910 is estimated at 10% although it was probably higher in cities.]
  • Coach Thibaut expects a victory for the St. Aloysius squad for they have shown great promise in training.
  • Alas, the "great promise" didn't come to pass. Here's the Item article for Sunday, October 17:
    Jesuit eleven scalped the St. Aloysius team at Loyola Stadium Saturday morning, 50 to 0. Coach O'Bryan's charges tore through the new entry in local prep school athletics and piled up their biggest score in the first two periods.

Undaunted, the Aloysians (newspapers didn't use nicknames for prep teams) tried again November 4.

  • But the results were worse as Boys' High steamrolled Thibaut's boys 78-0. Coach Perry Roehm's 125-pound "Old Gold and Purple" team romped on the lot adjacent to the school building on Canal Street.
  • At no stage of the contest was High's goal in danger. In every department of the game St. Aloysius was outplayed. High School had excellent interference, and whenever the backs skirted the ends there always was a big gain. In many instances spectacular runs marked the one-sided contest. Staris, at end for High School, played a good game and his handling of passes and tackles brought round after round of applause.
  • With the brief football season over, Aloysius students turned to intramural basketball, forming their teams for the Junior and Senior leagues.
  • Football went back into hiatus at Esplanade and Rampart. It would be six years before Aloysius fielded a varsity football team.

While Simon's initiative for a New Orleans prep league failed, 33 public school principals from across the state met in New Orleans in December 1916 and organized the Louisiana High School Athletic Association. No private school would be admitted until 1929.

Note: This article is cast in the colors St. Aloysius teams used in the early '20s. It is no coincidence that red and black were the colors of St. Stanislaus, the first Brothers of the Sacred Heart high school ("college") in the U.S., founded in Bay St. Louis MS in 1854, fifteen years before the French Quarter academy.

Watching the Saints on Sunday

On Sunday, November 20, 1921, St. Aloysius College's first varsity football team played a practice game on the field in City Park. Coach Johnny Brown said a number of his best players didn't show up for Sunday practice games and those who did showed little interest, knowing the game didn't count in the Prep League.

1921 St. Aloysius Football Team
1921 St. Aloysius football team, the school's first

Excerpts from the newspaper write-ups describe the strange encounter, which had a referee, two umpires, a head linesman, and a timekeeper:

The Acropolis Gridders, Tribe 37, Lone Scouts, held the St. Aloysius college to a scoreless tie on the City Park grid last Sunday.
The game was witnessed by one of the largest and most unruly crowds ever seen at a football game at City park. The crowd was unmanageable and choked the field, preventing forward passes and hindering play in every way. The greater part of the time was spent between shoving the crowd back and disputing. The crowd seemed about as ill-pleased with the players as the players were with the crowd.
A considerable amount of time was lost when pictures were taken of the teams and a good play was thwarted when an old man with a baby in his arms attempted to cross the field in the midst of the game.

The Scouts played better, making nine first downs to the Saints' six. The college boys suffered twenty-yards penalization for being off-sides, while the Scouts play­ed the entire game without a single penalization.

Q1: Brown played many substitutes, keeping his starters fresh for Jesuit in two days. The teams played even-steven in the opening period with neither making a long gain.
Q2: After Clark recovered a long punt, the "Discipline Boys" bucked the Saints' line for two first downs, placing the ball on the SA 20 when the whistle sounded to end the half.
Q3: This was Aloysius's best quarter as they made several long gains and kept the ball in 37's territory.
Q4: Brown reserved his two largest players, Raymond Drouilhet and J. Frigerio, for the final period thinking the Scouts would weaken. By agreement the regular backfield was brought in in the last quarter but the score was not to count. However, no score was made and only eight plays were made in the last quarter, when after repeated delays the game was brought to a close before the finish of the quarter. Drouilhet made several sweeping gains in the last quarter. Baldwin, the Saints' 115-lb QB, returned a punt through the large crowd of spectators 65y for a TD, but Scoutmaster Fowler claimed the crowd prevented his team from getting in the play so this score was not counted.

The game stirred so much interest that five different people, including Aloysius students, contributed stories to the local papers.

Public-Private Sparring Nothing New
An article by N. Charles Wicker in the Times-Picayune on November 18, 1962 bore the headline Orleans Public Schools to Break with Catholics.

A "reliable source" told Wicker that the Orleans Parish public schools had decided to drop the Catholic schools from their football schedules starting in 1963.

The news comes as no surprise. It has been mentioned for sometime. The rea­son for the break cannot be pinned to any one thing in particular. Safety of the athletes ... is the main reason for the break.

Public principals reportedly brought the issue before the Orleans Parish school board for decision. But when the board failed to decide ... the principals ... voted to drop the Catholic schools.

Some public school men feel it is asking too much of their boys to play against such terrific odds as the Catholic schools enjoy over the public school. ...

Catholic schools are free to draw from the entire city and adjoining parishes. ... Public school boys are restricted to a particular area un­less they receive a permit from the school board to attend a public school outside the district in which they live.

St. Aloysius would not play an Orleans Parish school on the gridiron in 1963. However, the Crusaders would schedule Behrman 1964-5-6-7 and Warren Easton in 1968.
"Death Knell for LHSAA"
The article below appeared in John Joly's "Prep Parade" column in the August 6, 1967 Times-Picayune.
Death Knell for LHSAA
QB Cousins
The following article appeared in the program for the 2012 Brother Martin-Chalmettefootball game.

The Crusaders met the Owls every year from 1970 through 1988 when Chalmette was a member of the "Catholic League."

  • The series got off to a curious start. For the first ten games, the Saders shut out the Owls eight times.
  • But both games in which Chalmette scored, they won, starting with a 28-14 tri­umph in 1973.
  • At that point, BM had outscored the Owls 92-0 during a trio of seasons that pro­duced a 32-6-1 record.

However, 1973 saw Bob Conlin rebuilding after losing the last of the leaders of the '71 state champions while Chalmette coach Bobby Nuss (SA '48) fielded a veteran unit that would rise to a #9 rating in the state poll by the last week of the season.

  • The  contest at Chalmette Stadium pitted quarterbacking cousins against each other: Joe Ernst for the Owls and sophomore Louis Ernst for the Saders.
  • After Owen Riemer's 14y run gave BM a 7-0 lead heading into Q2, the home team tied the game on Joe Ernst's 21y pass to Rusty Rogerson. The tally was set up by one of Martin's six fumbles on a field made wet by afternoon rains.
  • Chalmette put the game away with a shocking 21-point third period spearheaded by two 22y TD runs by Elphage Caillouette, the district's leading rusher. The Owls capitalized on two more Martin turnovers.
  • The Crusaders made the final score more respectable on a 5y run by Louis Ernst in the final period.
BMHS-Chalmette Action 1973Louis Ernst kicks PAT.
L: Julian Brignac closes in to help a teammate down a Chalmette runner.
R: QB Louis Ernst, who doubled as kicker, boots from Barry Hebert's hold.
First Brother Martin-Ehret Clash

Coach Chubby Marks 1984
Chubby Marks

Jay Rink
Jay Rink

The following article appeared in the program for the Brother Mar­tin-Ehret game in 2012.

The first meeting between the two schools occurred at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in the first round of the 4A State Playoffs in 1984. Coach Ray St. Pierre's Ehret squad completed a wire-to-wire run as the top-ranked team in the Times-Picayune/States-Item's football rankings.

  • The powerful Patriots finished the regular season with a 10-0 mark, outscoring the opposition 283-41, allowing only six TDs, and never trailing in any game.
  • The Crusaders occupied the #7 spot in the Times-Picayune /States-Item standings with a 7-3 mark. Bob Conlin’s squad defeated Shaw 21-7 in their final game to finish third in District 11-AAAA and earn a spot in the post-sea­son.

Chubby Marks' defense, led by DL Troy Tortorich, LB Jay Rink, and DB Robbie Delord, worked hard to contain Ehret's outstand­ing QB Leonard Valentine.

  • They were successful for all but three plays, but those were enough to carry the Patriots to a 21-13 victory.
  • Valentine piled up 148y rushing, the majority of which came on runs of 40, 69, and 20y. The 40-yarder set up a 1y TD plunge, the 69-yarder went all the way to pay dirt, as did the 20-yarder in the last period.
  • The Crimson and Gold were able to run effectively, some­thing no other team had done against the Patriots. Troy Oddo gained 136y out of the total of 184.

That prowess allowed the scrappy Saders to fight back after surrendering back-to-back TD drives midway through the open­ing stanza.

  • Martin closed the gap to 14-7 on its first possession of the second half, marching 59y after recovering a fumble. The longest play was QB Garret Chachere's 10y TD pass to Craig Sauviac.
  • Ehret finally regained some breathing room on Valentine's 20y run early in the fourth quarter.
  • But the Crusaders wouldn’t go away, moving 66y in 11 plays climaxed by Oddo's 12y TD run to pull within 8 but could get no closer.
  • BM actually outgained Ehret 319-307 and had more first downs, 21-15. But, as Conlin lamented, We gave up too many big plays. Valentine is just a super player.

St. Augustine shocked the Patriots the next week, 21-20.

Troy Tortorich 1984
Troy Tortorich

Robbie Delord 1984
Robbie Delord

RB Troy Oddo
Troy Oddo

Crusaders vs Future Pros: Kordell Stewart - I
QB Kordell Stewart led the Pittsburgh Steelers to the AFC Championship Game in both 1997 and 2001.
  • At the University of Colorado, Kordell participated in one of the most famous plays in college football history, the game-winning 74y Hail Mary pass to WR Michael Westbrook in the EZ to defeat Michigan 27-26.
  • The Buffaloes finished in the top ten in both '92 and '94.

The Crusaders faced Stewart his last two seasons at Ehret High School.

Game I: August 31, 1989: Brother Martin vs Ehret @ Hoss Memtsas Stadium

The teams combined for 881y of total offense and 36 first downs.

  • The fireworks started right away as the first three possessions produced scoring runs of 49, 76, and 74y.
    • Patriot FB Elwood Forriest, the game's leading rusher with 188y on 13 carries, opened the scoring with a 49y jaunt around RE with 9:48 left in Q1. BM blocked the PAT.
    • It took Chad LaRose just one play to tie the score with a 76y sprint up the sideline. The PAT gave the Crusaders a 7-6 lead.
    • But one play later, Kavan Donald streaked 74y to put Ehret back ahead 13-7.
  • Stewart's fumble recovered by Fady Masri at the Ehret 21 set up BM's next tally, a 6y run by Jimmy Lalonde three plays later.
  • After three straight punts by the two teams, Forriest ran by LB Larry Moore's stunt and continued 88y for a 20-14 lead.
  • A Martin drive ended with Greg Honore's 1y dive with 0:14 on the clock. Eric Escher's third of five PATs gave the Crusaders a 21-20 halftime lead to culminate a 24-minute spurt that produced 580y of offense, only 69 of which came through the air.
Inevitably, the game settled down some in the second half as Chubby Marks's D held the Patriots scoreless.
  • After a scoreless third quarter, the Saders iced the game on two Pat Stack TD runs.
  • The first, a 25-yarder, was set up by another fumble, this one by Forriest at the Ehret 30.
  • The second came after Martin held Ehret to -2y following LaRose's fumble of a punt at the BM 38. Stack carried the last 7y to culminate the ensuing drive.

The 1989 Crusaders finished the regular season 7-3 to earn a playoff spot. But they caught fire in the playoffs to reach the finals in the Superdome following a 59-56 triple OT thriller at Ruston.

1990 Ehret game - next issue

Jimmy Schug tries to block an Ehret pass.
Jimmy Schug tries to block
an Ehret pass.

 QB Chad LaRose in action
QB Chad LaRose runs.

Crusaders vs Future Pros: Kordell Stewart - II

QB Joe DiSalvo
Joe DiSalvo

Coach Bob Conlin, 1990
Bob Conlin 1990

After defeating Kordell Stewart and the Ehret Patriots his junior year, the Crusaders faced them again the following season.

Game II: August 31, 1990: Brother Martin vs Ehret @ Hoss Memtsas Sta­dium

Martin opened the season against the Patriots once again with a high-scor­ing thriller that went to the final seconds.

  • #9 in the AAAA preseason state rankings, Ehret started fast with two TDs in the first four minutes on a 51y run by Chris Cooper and a 62y sprint by Stewart for a 13-0 lead before Chubby Marks' D could catch its breath.
  • The Saders fought back to set up Eric Escher for FGs of 42 and 23y. The second three-pointer came after recovering a fumbled punt at the 10.
  • But the Patriots lengthened their lead on Kordell's 5y run after he fired a 39y completion to Clarence Barnes.
  • But BM tied the game by halftime on Greg Honore TDs of 1 and 2y.
As in '89, the scoring abated in the second half.
  • A Crusader fumble at their 26 set up Ehret to retake the lead. On the first play, Elwood Forriest broke loose to the EZ to make it 26-20 after the Patriots' second missed PAT.
  • That score continued deep into Q4 until Bob Conlin's wishbone O final­ly cranked up a drive, moving 67y in 13 plays. The tying points came on QB Joe DiSalvo's 8y pass to Brice Williams with 3:32 remaining. But Escher missed the go-ahead PAT.
  • Trying to move his team to the winning score, Stewart launched a pass that Shawn White picked off at the BM 49.
  • Shortly afterwards, facing 3rd-and-18, DiSalvo hit Brice Miears for 30y to the 18. Two plays later, Escher nailed a 35y FG with two seconds left for the 29-26 victory.

Stewart's performance was disappointing.

  • The Patriots piled up 248y on the ground.
  • But Kordell ran for almost twice as many yards (128) as he passed (67).

Postgame comments

  • Conlin: The two interceptions by the defense kind of kept us in there. I thought we played much better in the second half because they came out real fast at the beginning.
    We just wanted to get within about 45 yards on the final drive. That's about his range.
    I'm getting too old for games like this.
  • Fourth-year Ehret coach Billy North: It was a game we should have won. To be honest with you, it was the toughest loss I've ever had here because it comes after a lot of hard work. We had the best off-season program we've ever had since I've been here. And then with the 2.0 [minimum GPA for athletes in Jefferson Parish] and all of the study hall work and tutoring we did, it was tough. We let it slip out of our hands. That's really what we did, let it slip out of our hands.
    Turnovers, penalties and the kicking game was the difference. We were penalized for 105 yards, three of our turnovers led to 19 points and the kicking game; their kid kicked three FGs, and they did a good job with field position. I think those three things cost us the ballgame.
    We didn't need to pass to beat Brother Martin. We would have beaten Brother Martin if it hadn't been for the turnovers and penalties.
    Our passing game needs some improvement. We need to work on that. But it's not just one kid's fault.
    The defense played well. We just put them in bad situations.

The 1990 Crusaders compiled a 6-4 record to miss the playoffs for the first time since '87.

Football Teams of the Decades

Eddie Daigle

Leon Chaplain
Leon Chaplain

In 1980, Ron Brocato published his New Orleans area football Teams of the Decades (1920s-1960s) in The Times-Picayune/The States-Item.

Only two St. Aloysius players made the teams.

  1. Eddie Daigle
    1929: Eddie began his football career as a freshman lineman. He hit Newman's star TB Claude Simons, who was attempting to pass. The ball popped into the arms of teammate Roy Lomax who streaked 40y to pay dirt. But before the season ended, Coach Kip Kessler switched Eddie to the backfield where his size and speed could be used on both offense and defense. He scored seven TDs in the final four games, including a 71y end sweep and a 71y punt return against Rugby Academy, a 58y scamp­er against Catholic High, 40 and 50y jaunts from scrimmage and a 55y punt return against Warren Easton Annex, and a 55y strike against Westwego.
    1930: With defenses keying on him, Eddie scored only four TDs, three coming against Catholic High. But reporters praised his defensive prow­ess as he regularly ran down the opponent's top backs.
    1931: Daigle scored both TDs (23 and 53y) in the 12-2 win over Peters. He roared 85y to pay dirt against Fortier, and scored SA's only TD against Jesuit. The New Orleans States named Eddie to its all-state team, making him the first Aloysius player to be so honored. His punting earned praise along with his running and passing.
    1932: Eddie scored eight TDs during the eight-game season to make the Times-Picayune Class A All-Prep first team.

  2. Leon Chaplain
    1938: He played G as a 155 lb freshman, appearing in every game and starting one to earn a varsity letter.
    1939: Now up to 178, Leon started at LG from the beginning of the sea­son. His stellar play on both sides of the ball earned him a spot on the second team of both the TP and Item All-Prep squads.
    1940: Hap Glaudi wrote in the Item that "Leon Chaplain is as good a guard as you'll find in the league." He moved up to the first team All-Prep level for both local newspaper and also earned All-State honors.
    1941: Ironman Leon finally missed two games because of injuries but returned in time to help corral the powerful Easton offense in the 6-6 tie. He made the Item and Picayune All-Prep teams for the third year, being named captain of the Item squad. He also joined teammate Johnny Cam­pora on the All-State team selected by the Louisiana prep writers.
Now or Never for '71 Crusaders

Holy Cross RB Adrian Lahare
Adrian Lahare

Crusader HB Andre Allen
Andre Allen

The following article appeared in the program for the 2013 Brother Martin-Holy Cross football game.

Trailing 6-0 to John Kalbacher's Tigers as they took pos­session after a punt with just 2:34 remaining, the 1971 Crusaders faced an uphill battle to keep their district hopes alive after an early season loss to Jesuit.

  • Adrian Lahare's 78y jaunt in Q1 had provided the only points of the evening. It followed an HC fumble recovery that ended a Crusader threat.
  • Martin threatened in Q2, reaching the 12 before four running plays gained a net of -2.
  • The closest Bob Conlin's second BM team got after that was the Tiger 24 in Q3, but another fumble de­railed the threat.
  • Fortunately, the Crimson D held the Tigers to just 26y and no first downs in the second half to keep the margin at 6.

HB Steve Treuting began what everyone knew was the Saders' last possession with a 2y run before gathering in a 12y pass from QB Joey Mattingly for a first down at the 35 with a scant 1:34 on the clock.

  • After an incompletion, Kenny Bordelon gained 3 on an end-around.
  • The Tigers were called for interference on the next play to set up a 1st-and-10 at the HC 44.
  • Mattingly hit Treuting all alone in the flat for 16.
  • On the next snap, Joey lofted a high toss to HB An­dre Allen, who snared it in the corner near the 3 and fought off a defender into the EZ.
  • On the crucial PAT try, Pete Farnet turned a high snap into a perfect hold, and T Darryl Brue split the uprights for a 7-6 lead.
  • With only 48 seconds remaining, the Tigers couldn't come close to scoring.
The Crusaders would not lose another game on their way to the AAAA state championship. But that accomplishment would not have happened without the last minute heroics against Holy Cross.

RB Steve Treuting 1971
Steve Treuting

Coach Pat Morris & QB Joey Mattingly 1971
Coach Pat Morris and
Joey Mattingly