After he rushed for 333 yards and seven touchdowns in just one half last week, you had to wonder what Brother Martin running back Bruce Jordan-Swilling would do for an encore against perennial Class 4A power Karr.
The Crusaders’ junior running back wasn’t worried as much about repeating his performance from last week.
“Those personal stats don’t matter to me; I just wanted the win,” he said.
Jordan-Swilling finished with 31 carries for 263 yards and five touchdowns, including 31 yards on the game’s deciding drive, to help Brother Martin defeat Karr 44-41 in a nondistrict matchup Friday night at Tad Gormley Stadium.
“You have to take your hat off to Karr; they played a hell of a game,” Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis said. “We made a lot of mistakes throughout the game, but we did what we had to do to close it out at the end.”
Despite falling behind by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, Karr fought its way back into the game.
Running back Tyrik Luckett started things off with a 3-yard touchdown, and after forcing a Crusaders punt, quarterback Aldon Clark tied the score at 41 with less than five minutes left.
But the Crusaders (3-0) leaned on their workhorse back Jordan-Swilling on the last drive, handing him the ball nine times before Brother Martin kicker Blake Perilloux nailed a 33-yard field goal to put the Crusaders up for good.
“I’ve been practicing every day, and it was just my time to step in,” Perilloux said. “I knew it was going to go through.”
Both team’s offenses faced little resistance in an explosive first half that had a combined 638 yards and 53 points.
Brother Martin got 115 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Jordan-Swilling in the first half (29, 24 and 2 yards) and added a 2-yard score from running back Erick Lassair.
Clark countered with three total touchdowns (two passing, one running) of his own in the first half, and Luckett had a 17-yard touchdown.
But Jordan-Swilling’s final touchdown of the first half gave Brother Martin a 27-26 advantage going into halftime.
“(Jordan-Swilling) was a warrior tonight,” Bonis said. “Our offense did a really good job the entire night, and we were able to move the ball pretty much every time we had it.”
After both teams scored at will in the first half, Karr’s offense had trouble finishing drives in the second half, and Brother Martin made it pay.
After the Cougars (0-3) stalled on its 13-play drive to open the second half and turned the ball over on downs, Jordan-Swilling took control of the game. On the ensuing drive, the junior capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive with a 36-yard touchdown.
Karr had another drive end in a turnover on downs on its next drive and, two plays later, Jordan-Swilling broke free for a 67-yard touchdown — his fifth score of the day — to increase the Crusaders’ lead to 41-24.
“My offensive line had it on their mind tonight, and I just pushed behind them,” said Jordan-Swilling, who also had two other touchdowns called back for holding penalties. “We want to go to state this year, but we have to focus on getting better each week.”
After Clark hit Racey McMath on a 54-yard bomb with 8 seconds left, it appeared Karr had an opportunity to get itself back in the game. But the clock began to run before Karr was prepared on offense, and it went down to zero before it could get a snap off. Karr coach Brice Brown declined to comment on the call.
Clark finished competing 30 of his 42 passes for 407 yards to go with 77 rushing yards and four total touchdowns.
Brother Martin faces Catholic League newcomer John Curtis in a huge matchup next Saturday at Tad Gormley.