BRUSLY — Fans at the Brusly-St. John game in Brusly on Friday night definitely got their money’s worth of ceremony, patriotism and offensive football.
And Brusly got an outstanding game from quarterback Jay Christophe and running back Sherrod Patterson to pull away from St. John 48-38.
After Brusly Mayor Joey Normand flipped the ceremonial Ronald Reagan coin and PA announcer Brian Prejean recognized all the veterans in the crowd in pre-game activities, the Eagles and Panthers proceeded to put on an offensive display in the first half. They rolled up a total of 547 yards and 53 points as Brusly took a 27-26 halftime lead.
Brusly coach Erik Willis was surprised by the early scoring outburst.
“I didn’t expect it at all,” Willis said. “My hat is off to their offensive staff. They had some wrinkles, and they got guys open. It seemed like when we thought we had them, they made a big play.”
St. John running back Davante Williams started the scoring parade with a 65-yard TD run on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage.
Brusly (3-1) answered with a 70-yard punt return by DiMario Jackson with the benefit of a crushing blindside block by Travin Thibodeaux.
Williams scored his second touchdown of the quarter on an 80-yard run which actually covered at least 100 yards. He was pinned in on the left sideline near midfield but reversed his field and won the sprint to the opposite pylon.
Brusly’s Christophe duplicated Williams’ run, carrying down the left sideline, shaking off would-be tacklers and making a move at midfield that separated him for a breakaway touchdown.
St. John (2-2) played the final trump of the quarter on an 80-yard run straight up the middle by Christian Primeaux, and the teams gasped into the first quarter break with St. John ahead 20-14.
With Brusly leading 27-26 at halftime, the Brusly six-man football team of 1958 (state runners-up) was honored, and then Brusly turned to Patterson to keep its running game going. Patterson responded with 64 yards and a touchdown on five carries.
St. John was hurt when Williams went down on the second series of the half. He returned, but was not as effective for the rest of the half.
Down 41-32 early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles had a chance to move from their own 41, but consecutive sacks by Jared Allen and Carlsel Alexander and a tackle-for-loss by Montel Williams resulted in 17 yards of negative offense.
“Our defense played hard the whole game. They just big-played us,” Willis said. “You see the stats tomorrow, you won’t really see the game. Both teams were fatigued in the fourth quarter, but I think we were in pretty good shape.”
On Brusly’s next offensive play Christophe broke a 47-yard run for his third rushing touchdown to put the Panthers up 48-32.
The Eagles got a touchdown on a run by Primeaux, but Brusly took possession after an unsuccessful onside kick and ran out the clock.
St. John was only one-for-six on extra-point attempts, going for two after each touchdown.
“I think we scored enough,” St. John coach Tut Musemeche said, “but we couldn’t get the extra points.
“I expected this kind of game, and both teams played extremely hard. They just made one more play than us,” he said.
Christophe led all rushers with 185 yards while Patterson added 115 for Brusly.
For the Eagles, Williams ran for 168 yards, caught three passes for 79 and completed one pass for 41 yards.
Primeaux carried 22 times for 129 yards.