Round One was a thriller.
The sequel was a dud.
Three weeks after Brother Martin beat Shaw in a game that went down to the end, the Crusaders delivered an early knockout in the rematch.
Brother Martin, led by Jake Broggi’s arm and Jared West’s legs, put together a near flawless performance to rout Catholic League rival Shaw 63-21 in the opening round of the Division I playoffs.
It was the most points Brother Martin had scored since a 59-point outing against Ruston way back in 1989. That game took three overtimes.
This one didn’t take nearly as long to decide.
It was over early as the Crusaders (9-2) scored 21 points on its first nine offensive plays of the game, rebounding from back-to-back losses to Jesuit and Rummel.
“We had a great week of practice and that showed up on the field,” said Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis, whose team beat Shaw 38-29 in the regular season meeting. “It all kinda came together tonight for us. We talk about peaking and it’s a good time to be peaking. We wish we had been peaking in weeks 9 and 10, but it’s playoffs time. We know we have a good football team and we just have to prepare that way.”
Brother Martin, the No. 5 seed, will play No. 4 Baton Rouge Catholic on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Despite Friday’s chilly temperatures, Broggi was about as hot as you can get.
He completed his first 13 passes of the game and finished the first half completing 15-of-19 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He finished with 245 passing yards and four touchdowns (to Irv Smith, Kyler Johnston, Jeremy Singleton and Jordan-Swilling) and also rushed for another.
“It was a good feeling coming out the gate fast like that,” Broggi said. “That was something we struggled with, coming out the gate fast. I thought we did a good job of executing all our plays well in the first half.”
While Broggi torched the Eagles through the air, West did the damage on the ground. West darted and weaved his way through the Shaw defense for 148 yards and two touchdowns in the first half alone. He finished the game with 205 yards on 19 carries, despite sitting out the fourth quarter.
Jordan-Swilling scored three touchdowns, one on a 35-yard receptions and two more on runs of 11 and 25 yards.
Brother Martin had to play with a bit of a distraction, missing one of its key defensive players.
Star safety Roderic Teamer was booked Thursday on a count of second-degree battery, according to Orleans Parish court records, after an altercation at the school on Wednesday.
“The kids handled it well,” said Bonis.
Teamer’s absence didn’t seem to hinder the Crusaders one bit. They held Shaw junior running back Trey Ragas in check in the first half (16 carries, 69 yards). But Ragas, who entered the games as the area’s leading rusher with 1,597 yards, got going in the second half. He broke a pair of long runs (a 72-yard touchdown and a 61 yard run where he was stopped at the 7) and finished the night with 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Shaw finished 5-6 after getting its first Catholic League win last week against Holy Cross.
“We got off to a slow start on both sides of the ball,” said Shaw coach Scott Bairnsfather. “Field position was a little bit of an issue for us in the first half. That jumped on us and that was that.”
Now the Crusaders will travel to Baton Rouge to play a Catholic team that had a bye this week.
“It’s our brother school and it’s been a game that people have been wanting to happen for a long time,” said Bonis. “So it’s finally happening.”