Brother Martin stopped Derrius Guice on a two-point conversion try with no time remaining, and the Crusaders held on to defeat Catholic High 25-23 in Division I playoff action Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Brother Martin’s Jared West and Bruce Jordan-Swilling both rushed for more than 100 yards. Jordan-Swilling ran for 127 and two scores while West had 128 and one touchdown.
“The big thing is, with Catholic having all the momentum, our kids could have folded but they didn’t,” Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis said.
Catholic (9-2) scored on the final play in regulation after Grayson Walsh caught a 10-yard pass, and lateraled to Guice. Guice ran over two defenders as he completed the 26-yard scoring play that began with four seconds left.
After a pass interference call on the first two-point try, Brother Martin threw Guice back after he got close to the goal line.
“It was a little frustrating,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “I saw a ground-level shot. He was in (the end zone), and then he was back out. You can’t do anything about that.”
Guice led Catholic with 69 yards rushing. Ian Brian completed 18 of 34 passes for 207 yards with two interceptions.
Brother Martin (10-2) appeared to have the game well in hand after Bruce Jordan-Swilling’s 69-yard touchdown run put the Crusaders up 25-7 with 10:33 left in the game.
Catholic began its rally four minutes later, punching its first offensive touchdown of the game on Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s 24-yard reception.
Catholic stopped Brother Martin on fourth-and-1 at midfield at the 4:35 mark, and Gonsoulin added a 42-yard field goal cutting the deficit to 25-17.
The Bears’ final possession started at the CHS 19 with 48 seconds left. Four Brian completions brought the ball to the BMHS 26, setting up Guice’s final score.
Catholic wasted no time in taking an early 7-0 lead. After forcing a Crusaders punt on their first possession, the Bears used their punt return team to find the end zone.
Guice fielded a 44-yard punt at the CHS 26 and shook loose for a 74-yard touchdown return. Guice broke a tackle at the 35, hit the right sideline and outran the Brother Martin coverage unit to the end zone.
The Catholic offense had trouble equaling that success once it took the field. The Bears managed just one first down until midway through the second quarter, when they put together their only sustained drive of the half.
Catholic picked up three first downs as they moved inside the BMHS 40. A holding penalty pushed the Bears back, and the drive stalled.
Catholic kicker Jack Gonsoulin pinned Brother Martin back with four punts that were downed inside the BMHS 11. The Crusaders eventually began to find seams in the Catholic defense as Broggi completed his last six throws of the half.
Brother Martin was backed up near its own goal early in the second, but Broggi found tight end Peyton Aucoin for a 38-yard gain on third-and-14. The play turned momentum toward the Crusaders, and they scored three plays later on Bruce Jordan-Swilling’s 43-yard run.
The play capped a six-play, 91-yard drive, and tied the score 7-7 with 7:38 left in the half.
Catholic had a first at the BMHS 35 with less than three minutes to go in the half, but Brendan Brown intercepted Brian. The turnover set up a five-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Broggi completed three passes for 68 yards in the series. West got the touchdown on a 5-yard run, and the Crusaders took a 13-7 lead at the half.