Another exciting season of high school football comes to an end on Friday as #1 Vermilion Catholic hosts #4 St. Martin’s at 7:00 PM CT on YurView Louisiana. The winner advances to play in the Division IV select championship game at the Caesars Superdome on Thursday, December 8th.
Vermilion Catholic has won two state titles, 2003 and 2013 and they are 12-0 this season, allowing just four points a game. St. Martin’s is in the semifinals for the first time in school history. In fact, the Saints appearance last week in the quarterfinals was their first appearance in the quarters since 1974.
St. Martin’s from Metairie has several seniors on their team that have been playing varsity football since their freshman season, but the star is sensational sophomore running back Harlem Berry.
The six-foot, 165-pounder is ranked as the state’s top player in the state for the Class of 2025 by on3.com and ranked as the second-best running back in the nation in the Class of 2025 by 247sports.com.
Watch the game live on YurView Louisiana (Cox channel 4) or streaming at watch.yurview.com.
He’s already rushed for over 4,000 yards in his high school career and this season Berry has rushed for 2,218 yards and 36 touchdowns. Berry rushed for 306 and four touchdowns in the quarterfinal win over St. Mary’s.
70-year-old head coach Frank Gendusa says Berry is probably the best all-around athlete he’s ever coached. Gendusa formerly coached at Newman High School in New Orleans and coached the Manning brothers.
Berry has a solid supporting cast. Senior Seth Mandella has rushed for 510 yards and six touchdowns. He’s also caught two touchdowns.
Quarterback Matthew Mannino has thrown five touchdown passes.
The defense has several veteran players including Mandella and three-year starter Chris Profit in the defensive secondary. A strong group of linebackers in Tim Roberts, Grant Gendusa, the grandson of Coach Frank Gendusa, and on the defensive line Dominic Hogan and on the defensive line Garrett DeViney.
First down catch for the win pic.twitter.com/x4TJyGBWPo
— matthew mannino (@mattmannino12) August 27, 2022
Speaking of defense, VC has one of the best units in the state. They shut out seven teams in the regular season and gave up a total of 37 points. In the quarterfinals, they held a good Southern Lab team to a touchdown in a 17-7 victory.
Linebacker is the heart and soul of the defense. Belaire puts in the work on the practice field, in the weight room and analyzing game film. It’s resulted in multiple District MVP honors.
Belaire leads the team in tackles with 83. Rhett Taylor and Travin Moore are also disruptors with each having 13 tackles for a loss.
Numbers Don’t Lie, We Are Special! @TravinMoore1 @lewisjr32 @clentbriggsll @RecruitLouisian @louisiana1A @LSL_Sportsline @NCSA_Football @ncsa @coach_wwright @LAPrepZone @LApreprecruit @abfilms33 @LAFBReport @PrepRedzoneLA pic.twitter.com/BjldFTwUR5
— Ashton Belaire (@AshtonBelaire) November 30, 2022
Vermilion Catholic has also intercepted 17 passes this season. Free safety Rhett Leblanc has six interceptions followed by linebacker Lewis Briggs who has five interceptions.
On offense, Vermilion Catholic is averaging 40 points. Sophomore quarterback Jonathan Dartez runs the show. He got some starts last season as a result of an injury to Mikey Bazar.
This year, Dartez has rushed for 1,304 yards and 16 touchdowns. Travin Moore has found the end zone 14 times on the ground and Tyjh Williams is averaging 13 yards a carry and 733 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.
The Eagles run a spread offense, so they throw it around too. Dartez has completed nearly 70% of his passes for 1,222 yards, 16 touchdowns, and six interceptions.
Ethan Landry is the leading receiver with 17 catches for 189 yards and three touchdowns. Dane Richoux has also had a nice season catching the ball with 13 receptions for 232 yards.
Vermilion Catholic goes into the game as the favorite, but St. Martin is not ready for its best season in school history to come to an end.
Join us Friday night at 7 PM on YurView Louisiana (Cox Channel 4). You can also stream the game at watch.yurview.com.