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The Jesuit Marauders fall to Elk Grove's Thundering Herd, but may be regarded as one of Jesuit's best teams ever.
By Sargon Benjamin
Photos: Joe Jaszewski ('98)

Click for larger image.     The Marauders had tamed the Woodland Wolves November 28 and wished to do the same against the Herd in the Sacramento City Championships. Both Elk Grove and Jesuit came into the game undefeated, and only one team would end the game still undefeated to go on to the Sac-Joaquin Section Championships. With this in mind, both teams entered the game well prepared and motivated with 18,900 people watching the Herd and the Marauders battling for a chance to move on in what some regarded to be "The Game of the Decade." Although the Marauders were a strong team plowing down all challengers in their way, Elk Grove's trickery on offense is just too much for anyone to handle. My eyes began to blur after watching 3 fake handoffs and a pump fake from Elk Grove all in a couple of seconds that most of the time, I had no idea who had the ball until after the play was over. Consequently, Elk Grove just outplayed the Marauders in an entertaining game although the score of 41-7 might imply a blowout.

Click for larger image (Makes a great Windows wallpaper!)

     The 18,900 crowd got on their feet as Jesuit's Jared Siegel opened the game by kicking off to Elk Grove. Right from the start, Elk Grove's kick returner Ric Cottengim, who got third in the State as a Junior running the 100meters and the 200meters in track, had a 56 yard return to Jesuit's 34 yard line. The Herd's wheels and power started moving as, starting fullback and linebacker, Lance Briggs runs a hand off to Jesuit's one yard line. But then, Jesuit's line consisting of Josh Day and Mike Luca stuffed Elk Grove's next attempt to score. Therefore, Elk Grove used some trickery the very next play to get quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie into the land of quick six after a quarterback sneak. Elk Grove's 100+ student band embarked on the score by playing the drums with authority as if they were in battle. However, the Marauders were backed up by the Pep Band, the Sixth Man, and the crowd, and they were not going to let a 7-0 lead in favor of the Herd stop them. Therefore, play makers like Charles Bell did his thing by running 25 yards down the field with the help of the outstanding Marauder offensive line. However, Elk Grove's defense withheld the Marauders on a third down and Jesuit was forced to punt. Justin Thomas, Jesuit's premiere cornerback and special teams player, ran down the field to tackle the returner from Elk Grove during the punt and in the process he recovered a fumble and the Marauder fans were on their feet. The fumble recovery motivated the whole team and the Sixth Man started a couple of loud cheers. So, with great field position, the Marauder offense got onto the field and quickly back off as quarterback Brian Karns threw an interception after getting hit from behind, and Elk Grove capitalized. They would score again and again until finally Jesuit receiver made a one-handed catch in the endzone to get 7 points on the board but it was too little too late and Elk Grove would win 41-7.

Click for larger image.

     The Marauders had many chances, for they did not get any points on 3 of 4 redzone opportunities, missed 2 cacheable interceptions, and had at least 4 interceptions thrown. With these mistakes, it would be difficult for any team to recover in a game especially against number 1 ranked Elk Grove. All in all, the Marauders had a great season led by Jeff Reiman, Charles Bell, Ryan Parillo, Mike Catapano, K.C. Maxwell, Justin Thomas, and the tremendous offensive line who gave Karns plenty of time in the pocket every single game including against Elk Grove. The 1998-99 Marauder varsity football team has left a legacy for all upcoming teams by setting many records which include the most points scored in a game. Although, Jesuit may have lost the battle, in a way, they have won the war.

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Marauders walk away disillusioned

Additional photos: Paul Blair

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Leaping catch!

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Pumped and with painted faces, teammates watched and waited for their chance for comeback

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The undefeated season becomes a blur

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In bounds?

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The spirit never dies as long as there's a camera around... and there were dozens of local stations and papers covering the game.

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