The rivalry between Gonzaga College High School (DC) and St. John’s College High School (DC) goes back to the time when football players were wearing football helmets made of leather and wool shoulder pads, that were sewn into player’s jerseys.
It’s been said that the first documented game between the Lasallians (St. John’s) and the Jesuits (Gonzaga) took place in 1927. There have been historians that believe rivalry goes back to the late 1890s which makes it the second oldest Catholic school rivalry in the country. In 2008, the St. John’s vs Gonzaga game was recognized as one of the Top 25 rivalries in the nation by inclusion into the Great American Rivalry series.
The last time these two teams played one another was on November 8, 2014, where Gonzaga won 20-17. The Cadets were up 17-6 at the end of the first half, but two rushing touchdowns by running back Tyree Randolph led the Purple Eagles to victory.
Going into Saturday’s game, the Purple Eagles has a 45-40-3 record against the Cadets. This season, Gonzaga has been a surprising team. They are undefeated with a 9-0 and a 4-0 record in the WCAC (Washington Catholic Athletic Association). In their last game against Archbishop Carroll (DC), Gonzaga won 41-19. Quarterback Sam Brown threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns. While running back Tyree Randolph rushed for 124 yards and had 121 receiving yards.
The Purple Eagles are ranked 14th in the nation and one of the biggest reasons for that was their 24-14 victory over DeMatha Catholic High School earlier this season. Tyree Randolph, Sam Brown, and wide receiver Max Fisher has been key players for Gonzaga. Sam Brown is having a solid year as he has thrown for 1,005 yards and 10 touchdowns. Tyree Randolph has rushed for a total of 1,167 yards. Wide receiver Max Fisher jumped into the scene when he made that ridiculous catch against DeMatha that made Sportscenter Top 10 Plays.
Through nine games St. John’s has a 6-3 record and a 4-2 record in the conference. In last week’s game against Bishop McNamara (MD), the Cadets lost 42-35 even though McNamara didn’t have their star quarterback Ramar Williams. On the defensive side, St. John’s feature two four-star defensive players. Defensive end Terrell Hall and outside linebacker Aaron Hansford are two of the area’s top defensive players.
In this historical rivalry game, Gonzaga is looking to finish the season with an undefeated record while St. John’s is trying to pull off a big upset and gain momentum heading into the WCAC Playoffs.
Ryan McFadden is a freshman at Iona College and an alumni from DeMatha Catholic High School. He is the founder of Inside The Locker Room and plans to major in Mass Communications. Follow him on Twitter @RMcFadden15
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