Brother Martin came into this weekend desperate for its first win of the season.
Friday night at Hahnville, the Crusaders used a desperation play to pull away.
Nursing an 11-point lead in the third quarter, Brother Martin recovered a surprise onside kick, setting up a touchdown that pointed the way to a 21-6 victory over the Tigers.
“We never concentrate on wins and losses,” Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis said. “We came out to do what we needed to do, and that was win. Our defense played well in last week’s loss (to Warren Easton), and they stepped up again today. One of the state’s better players was on the other side of the ball and we were able to contain him.”
Bonis was speaking about Hahnville running back Anthony “Pooka” Williams, a four-star recruit who has a host of scholarship offers from some of college football’s top programs.
The Crusaders bottled up Williams for most of the night. He finished with just 73 yards on 15 carries.
Brother Martin (1-2), meanwhile, grabbed an early lead and slowly built on it.
Matthew Alfonso raced 11 yards for his second touchdown of the night with 1:12 left in the third quarter, putting the Crusaders ahead 14-6.
On the ensuing drive, he would punched in his third touchdown, this one 3 yards out, to put the game out of reach at 21-6.
Although Alfonso scored three times, teammate Chris Smith was the workhorse, rushing for a game-high 112 yards on 20 carries.
Kicker Dalton Melancon managed all the points for Hahnville (1-2), with field goals of 41 and 33 yards. The Tigers offense sputtered throughout the game.
“We knew we were in trouble once they were able to take Anthony away,” coach Dominic Saltaformaggio said. “Our offense runs through him, and there isn’t a lot more after that. This was a game to see just where we were as a team. We have to get back to practice and continue to develop our kids.”
Hahnville committed four costly turnovers and gained 128 yards frim scrimmage.
Brother Martin went into halftime ahead 7-0, thanks to a red-hot opening drive. The Crusaders marched 73 yards on eight plays to set up a first and goal from the 2-yard line. Two plays later, Alfonso bulldozed ahead for 2-yard touchdown with 6:03 left in the first quarter.
Quarterback Jhaquan Jackson looked out of sync, tossing two first-half interceptions on consecutive drives in the first quarter. The costly turnovers ended any offensive chance for the Tigers to even the score before halftime.