The Holy War: St. Joe vs Marian means so much to both sides

Coaches always say every regular season game counts the same.

But there are some that always mean a little bit more.

Stopping by practice at St. Joe and Marian this week, you know it's the week of the Holy War. The two area parochial schools will battle on the gridiron Friday night at 7pm at Otolski Field in our Pizza Hut Spotlight Game of the Week.

No one knows better than Marian coach and St. Joe alum Reggie Glon
what this rivalry game is all about. He's coached the Knights for 18 years and of course played for the Indians.

"I think the only guy that's been to more games is Father Bly," Glon said with a smile. "For me, it's what high school football is all about. It's a big game, a lot of people here, and having the opportunity to go out and compete against someone you like."

St. Joe coach Ben Downey also played for the Indians in this rivalry game.

"it's just one of those things that historically they look at it more than every other game," Downey explains. "There's a lot of bragging rights involved. The one thing that stands out about this game as usual is that the kids grew up playing against each other--they know each other very well."

For the seniors on both sides, there's no guarantee that their will be a rematch come playoff time. They know this could be their last chance to win the Holy War.

"The goals we set forth as seniors, we have to beat our arch rivals," says St. Joe fullback David Arsenault. "That's how we are facing this week and this week of practice."

Arsenault has quite the family tree that's played in this game.

"My three older brothers, they all played against Marian," Arsenault explains. "They all won a couple of times, they all lost a couple of times. I'm just hoping I get to win."

And then there's Reilly Jeffers. The Marian senior's brother Scott played for the Knights in the late 90s. Reilly's reminded every now and then that his brother didn't lose to St. Joe either his senior or junior seasons.

Reilly, son of WNDU Sports Director Jeff Jeffers, missed last year's games against the Indians due to an injury. While Marian won the regular season meeting, it was St. Joe that won in sectionals.

After the loss, Reilly walked through the line shaking hands with the Indians--and the emotions got the best of him and tears came out.

"This game is always special to begin with but especially losing to them last year in sectionals and not being able to play that year," Reilly explains. "That image is burned into your mind."

"Seeing 27-6 on that final scoreboard, that makes you work so much harder not being able to play in that game and being a returning starter. It just makes you want to work that much more to make sure you come back and win."

St. Joe and Marian is our Pizza Hut Spotlight Game of the Week. The Holy War kicks off at 7pm Friday night.

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