Years from now, Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis and his quarterback Jake Broggi will likely see each other and sit around and talk about the 2015 football season.
How this season ends remains to be seen.
But at some point, they’ll reminisce about Saturday.
Brother Martin didn’t win a state championship Saturday afternoon at Tad Gormley Stadium.
It’s still September, and this was just the first district game.
But that didn’t stop Bonis from getting a little choked up after his team’s 40-37 overtime victory over perennial power John Curtis.
After the celebration had subdued a little bit and the stadium was emptying, Bonis reflected to seven years ago when he first took over on Elysian Fields and the charge he was given.
“This is a humbling profession,” Bonis said. “Things were bad two or three years ago. The kids and the alumni wanted our program to be relevant. That was left in our care to do that. That was the goal. Everybody wants results immediately and people questioned the process. But the kids are buying into the process. A win like this says your program is arriving and relevant.”
Credit offensive coordinator Mike Leblanc and offensive line coach Ryan Zeringue for the play call — a zone read by Broggi — that finally ended this one, ruining Curtis’ Catholic League debut in a game that lived up to all the hype.
Everybody in Tad Gormley Stadium was keying in on No. 9, Brother Martin running back Bruce Jordan-Swilling, who has put up jaw-dropping stats in the first four games of the season and who torched Curtis in the first half.
“I thought I was getting it too,” Jordan-Swilling said afterward with a wide grin. “I didn’t even know it was a zone read.”
Broggi stuck the ball in Jordan-Swilling’s gut, then snatched it out and ran to the right for the game-winner.
“When Jake pulled it and kept it, I looked up and I saw about five Curtis players in front of me. I’m glad he pulled it.”
So was the Brother Martin student section that broke out with the chants of “Jake Broggi” after the win.
“That’s never happened to me before,” Broggi said about the chants.
But boy did he deserve those cheers on this day.
Jordan-Swilling gets most of the accolades for the Crusaders.
And rightfully so.
Bruce Almighty was in video game mode once again Saturday, rushing for 178 yards and three touchdowns, pushing his season total to 20 touchdowns and 997 yards through just four games.
But Brother Martin showed Saturday that it is far from a one-dimensional team.
Broggi torched the Patriots through the air, completing 12 of 22 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns.
He threw touchdown passes of 68 and 80 yards in a game that looked like it may be headed for a rout. They led 20-7 at the break and 34-20 with 5:55 left.
But Curtis refused to go away.
“We’re not going to quit,” Patriots coach J.T. Curtis said. “I don’t care what the score is. Our kids are going to compete until the end.”
And they did, until Broggi scampered for the score to put the exclamation point on a game that he said was the biggest win of his career.
“It was a sloppy start for me, so just to be able to win this is a great experience,” Broggi said. “We’ve been wanting this win all week.”
Well, actually Brother Martin has been wanting it since November. That’s when Curtis ended their season with a 40-20 loss in the semifinals of the Division I playoffs.
Broggi, despite throwing two first-half interceptions, wasn’t going to let this one slip away.
“I try to forget about the last play and move to the next,” he said.
Bonis knew his three-year starter would.
“That’s what speaks volume about him,” Bonis said. “A lot of people would have tanked it, but he just comes back and runs the offense. He doesn’t get enough credit for being athletic, but you saw him on that last play. I’m telling you, he’s special.”
And although Brother Martin is just 1-0 in District 9-5A play, this win was special, too.
“It’s very gratifying,” Bonis said. “This program really hasn’t be considered relevant since the 80s or 90s. So you have to learn how to appreciate little things like this.”