Al Jones may have been the happiest man in Tad Gormley Stadium last week when he scored his first victory as St. Augustine head coach against Jesuit.
On Saturday night, the first-year coach had to listen from outside the stadium as his team got him his second victory.
Despite Jones being ejected late in the fourth quarter after a dispute with the officials, the Purple Knights pulled off a miraculous 17-point fourth-quarter comeback to defeat Brother Martin 47-44 in a Catholic League matchup.
“This is an unbelievable feeling,” St. Aug quarterback Justice McCoy said. “I think (Jones’ ejection) really pumped everybody up, because everyone saw how passionate our coach was. We just wanted to pull out the win for him.”
Despite going into the fourth quarter down by three scores, St. Aug refused to give up.
The Purple Knights (2-3, 2-0 District 9-5A) scored on a 17-yard touchdown run by Darrell Landry to swing the momentum back in their favor. They followed that by marching 97 yards on seven plays, ending in a 4-yard touchdown run by McCoy that cut the Brother Martin lead to 37-32 with seven minutes left.
The teams exchanged interceptions on the next two drives, and Jones was ejected with three minutes left.
One play later, Brother Martin running back Bruce Jordan-Swilling ran in from 12 yards for his third score of the day to give Brother Martin a 44-32 lead with 3:16 left, but McCoy responded with a 44-yard bomb to Takulve Williams to make it 44-40. With the game on the line, McCoy scored the game-winner on a 9-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left.
The junior quarterback finished 19 of 32 for 352 yards with two interceptions. He added 164 rushing yards and finished with four total touchdowns.
“We teach our kids that part of being a Purple Knight is fighting adversity,” said St. Aug offensive coordinator Jeremiah Scott, who took over after Jones’ ejection. “Coach Jones has done a great job with this team, and all I did tonight was just follow his plan and do what Purple Knights do.”
After neither team could separate in the first half, Brother Martin — the No. 2 team in The New Orleans Advocate’s Large Schools Super 10 — seized control in the first two minutes of the third quarter.
Jordan-Swilling opened the half with a 37-yard kickoff return that allowed the Crusaders (4-1, 1-1) to score three plays later on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Robertson from Jake Broggi.
On the first play of the following possession, Crusaders cornerback Tre Swilling snatched a McCoy pass for an interception and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to balloon the Crusaders’ lead to 37-20 with 10:50 left in the quarter.
Jordan-Swilling had 24 carries for 145 yards and three touchdowns; he added a catch for 38 yards.
“Playing in the Catholic League is almost like being in the SEC,” Brother Martin coach Mark Bonis said. “If you look at the SEC, it’s a challenge every week to get a win, and it’s the same here with us. You just have to give St. Aug a ton of credit; they never gave up.”