After a slow start early in the game, Holy Cross upended St. Augustine High School to a final score of 55-30 due to an offensive explosion in the second half and defensive adjustments on Saturday at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.
After St. Augustine (2-4, 0-3) held a 24-13 lead, Holy Cross (6-0, 3-0) scored 35 points in the second half. 28 of the Tigers’ second-half 35 points were unanswered. The Tigers also forced the Purple Knights to turn the ball over four times after junior linebacker Nicholas Digeralamo forced a fumble while defensive back Devin Woodson had one interception and defensive back Reece Gordon would finish with two interceptions. Every single one of those turnovers led to a Holy Cross touchdown
However, nobody had a bigger game than Holy Cross quarterback Cole Canatella. Canatella completed 11 of his 19 pass attempts for 251 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Cantella connected with Georgia Tech commitment Koby Young three times, Krosse Johnson twice and Finn Martin.
Sophomore running back Ke’Rynn Smith also had a big day on the ground as he had 14 carries for 89 yards and two touchdowns, both in the second half, including the 4-yard run that put Holy Cross in the lead early in the third quarter.
“You go in the locker room and tell them we’re not playing our brand of football, and that’s exactly what I did,” Holy Cross head coach Scott Wattigny said on what he told the team during halftime. “It was so uncharacteristic of what we have been doing the last five weeks, and they knew it. I told them that when we went in the locker room, ‘You’re about to prove to everybody in the state of Louisiana right now, that you’re a fluke and you’re a fake if you go out in this second half and not fricking fix it.’ “
St. Augustine sophomore running back Keith Hill tallied two touchdowns, senior Terrill Franklin for one and senior quarterback Dawson Simmons threw a beautiful touchdown pass to freshman Miguel Whitley who caught it in stride. However, those would be the only points the Purple Knights would score until sophomore Vashaun Coulon, who came in relief for Simmons, threw a touchdown pass to junior Lejon Moore in the fourth quarter.
Holy Cross is 6-0 for the first time since 2013 and they have won four games against teams that it lost to last season, with the other three being De La Salle, Rummel and John Curtis. The Tigers will look to continue its revenge tour as they will face Catholic League rivals Brother Martin High School next Friday at Tad Gormley Stadium in New Orleans.
Meanwhile, St. Aug will look to get its first Catholic League victory of the season against Archbishop Rummel next week at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie, Louisiana.