The stakes were high in Saturday’s game between Rummel and Brother Martin.
Unbeaten Rummel went into the game the No. 1 ranked Class 5A team, seedings for next week’s playoffs were up for grabs, and three teams (the Raiders, Crusaders and Jesuit) had a chance to share the District 9-5A championship.
It was stakes that were right about where the Raiders, state champions the past two seasons, are accustomed to reaching.
Both in the first and third quarters, Rummel turned in big plays, stole the momentum, and finished with a 45-24 win, a 10-0 regular season and the District 9-5A championship with a 5-0 mark.
The third-quarter math was particularly impressive for coach Jay Roth’s Raiders.
By the time Rummel broke open the game with its third touchdown of the third period, Brother Martin’s offense had run three plays in the quarter and a 17-10 halftime lead quickly ballooned to 38-10.
The Raiders took the second-half kickoff and drove 80 yards on 15 grinding plays that ate up almost seven minutes. Quarterback Chase Fourcade scored from a yard out.
“It started off with us driving 80 yards,” said Roth, who has won 11 district titles in his 20-year career at Rummel. “Then, defensively we got two turnovers and two short fields and were able to convert 14 more points.
“I thought we kind of blew the game open right there, but then it tightened up a little bit at the end.”
Two defensive plays started the draft. On the kickoff after Fourcade’s touchdown, Rummel’s Christopher Boudreaux recovered a fumble at the Martin 36.
Fourcade connected with Brandon Phillips on a 28-yard pass. From the 8, Maurice Bailey bolted into the end zone untouched. It was 31-10 and Martin had not had a third-quarter snap.
Following the kickoff, Brother Martin’s third snap led to another big defensive play. Rummel’s Michael Mosley jarred the ball loose from a receiver and safety Kristian Fulton grabbed his second interception of the day at the Brother Martin 16.
“We got a little separation to make it 17-7 and then (Fulton’s) play makes it 24-7 and then the other turnover,” Roth said. “That was big. That gave us a chance to breathe a little bit.”
Fourcade, who also passed for one touchdown, scored his second rushing touchdown on a 4-yard, third down run. It was 38-10 with 26 seconds remaining.
It was Fulton’s interception late in the first quarter that initially jolted the momentum from Brother Martin (8-2, 3-2).
Leading 7-3 and driving, the Crusaders were at the Rummel 37. Quarterback Jake Broggi found Kyler Johnston streaking down the sideline, apparently unattended.
Fulton streaked over and timed his leap to grab the ball from Johnston at the sideline, somehow keeping his feet inbounds.
“Big-time players make big-time plays,” Roth said.
Mark Bonis saw his team become the highest-scoring Martin team in history ironically when linebacker Bruce Jordan-Swilling scooped up a fumble and ran 4 yards, one of two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders’ 395 points eclipses the 1989 team’s 381. The 39.5 points per game is also the highest average, surpassing the 29.6 compiled in 2004.