Shaw, Rummel resume historically even series

Advocate staff photo by MARK SALTZ -- Archbishop Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather argues with officials at the LHSAA 2007 Prep Classic in New Orleans.
Advocate staff photo by MARK SALTZ -- Archbishop Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather argues with officials at the LHSAA 2007 Prep Classic in New Orleans.

It’s one of the city’s most storied rivalries.

It’s also one of the most competitive, as you can see by the series standings: 24-23-2.

That’s 24 wins for Rummel.

Twenty-three for Shaw.

And two for Mother Nature.

It’s those back-to-back victories by Mother Nature that makes this year’s game, set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Hoss Memtsas Stadium, even more special.

Rummel and Shaw didn’t get to play in 2011 and 2012 because of the weather.

So the current Raiders and Eagles players will get their first chance to play for the Megaphone on Thursday night in a series that has been played since the mid-60’s.

“It’s weird because these seniors were freshmen the last time we played, so they have never really don’t know about the rivalry,” Rummel coach Jay Roth said.”Both coaches have had to try to clue our players in on just how intense this thing was three and four years ago. We’ve had to teach them and educate them about the series, because we haven’t played this thing in a while.”

It’s also the District 9-5A (Catholic League) opener for both teams as well.

“It’s historically a big rivalry,” said Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather. “Some of our kids are just starting to realize, how big it is, particularly the young ones.”

Count Shaw quarterback Quentin Gibson among those who is finding out just how big it is.

“A lot of my coaches and the alumni have told us about the rivalry, so (Thursday night) will be real intense with the alumni and the players,” Gibson said.

“Everyone is fired up about it. We know it’s a big game, so hopefully we play well enough on both sides of the ball and bring the Megaphone back to Shaw.”

Shaw will be looking to claim the Megaphone for the first time since 2007.

If the Eagles are to do so, it will perhaps take a big game from Gibson and running back Trey Ragas. Gibson has thrown for 460 yards and eight touchdowns and Ragas has rushed for 689 yards and eight touchdowns.

They have helped the Eagles win four straight games after the season-opening loss to Thibodaux.

The Raiders, meanwhile will look to continue its recent success in the series. But they will have to do so without running back Keith Fulton, who broke a bone in last week’s game.

Fulton underwent surgery on Wednesday and Roth isn’t sure when, or if, he’ll return this season.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Roth said. “He was our top running back and our leader and he can do so much.”

Ivan Phipps will be expected to pick up the slack in Rummel’s potent ground attack.

Rummel, which slipped to No. 6 in The New Orleans Advocate large school rankings this week after falling to Dutchtown 31-28 in overtime last week, will be looking to get back on track.

It will be the second time this season the Raiders have tried to rebound from a loss after going undefeated last season on their way to the Class 5A state championship. Rummel lost to Acadiana three weeks ago and responded with a 32-7 romp over previously unbeaten Baton Rouge Catholic. But that was followed by last week’s loss when they were unable to hold on to a 21-0 lead.

“That last one was disappointing,” Roth said. “We felt we had that one, and let it get away from us. I’m anxious to see which Rummel team shows up this game. Will it be the one that played so well against Catholic or the one that really didn’t show up last week?”

I say it’ll be the one that played against Catholic.

My pick: Rummel 27, Shaw 21