Brother Martin dominates Holy Cross, 42-0

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NEW ORLEANS – The Brother Martin Crusaders started the week on top of the Catholic League, but by kickoff Friday, found themselves at the bottom of the league.

The Crusaders were forced to forfeit their first five wins of the season when the LHSAA determined the team had played two ineligible players. The school is appealing the ruling.

Trusting the process, as their head coach always preaches, Brother Martin looked to move forward against Holy Cross. Handling their business, the Crusaders ran away with a 42-0 victory at Tad Gormley Stadium

“These kids are laser focused right now on getting better,” said Brother Martin head coach Mark Bonis on his team handling adversity. “When I gave them the news Monday, we went out and had our best practice that afternoon.”

The Crusaders offense rolled up 504 yards including 374 rushing with six touchdowns.

Junior running back Torey Lambert anchored the Brother Martin offense, leading all rushers with 150 yards on 16 carries with three touchdowns. Senior running back Jordan Thomas recorded his second consecutive two touchdown game, scoring on runs of 1-yard and 13-yards and finishing the night with 96 yards on 14 totes.

Senior quarterback Garrett Mmahat contributed another 146 yards of offense through the air, going 8 for 13 passing.

For Holy Cross (3-4, 1-4), senior night will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. A smothering Crusaders defense held the Tigers to 88 yards of total offense.

Sophomore quarterback Cole Canatella ran for 21 yards on 18 carries and completed 4 of 8 passing attempts for 25 yards.

The only blemish for the Brother Martin offense came in the turnover department with three including a pair of fumbles that self-destructed potential scoring drives in the first half. Lambert fumbled into the end zone at the Holy Cross 1-yard line and Simon Provenzano lost the ball after a 32-yard reception at the Holy Cross 20-yard line.

“We were inconsistent on offense in the first half,” said Bonis. “We left three scores on the field in the first half with turnovers and stupid penalties.”

Brother Martin (2-5, 1-4) took the opening kickoff and imposed their will immediately with a 65 yard drive in eight plays, capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Lambert.

The Crusaders finally righted the ship mid-way following the drive-killing fumbles in the second quarter. Taking over at their own 40-yard line, Brother Martin doubled their lead with Lambert’s second touchdown run of the night on a five-yard run with 5:20 to play in the first half.

Following another three and out, the Crusaders marched down the field with ease again. Mmahat fired a 19-yard strike to heps set up Thomas for a 1-yard score with 1:37 before the break.

Holding Holy Cross to yet another three and out to start the second half, Brother Martin picked up right where they left off in rhythm offensively. Thomas scored his second touchdown of the night, scampering up the middle for a 13-yard score to stretch the lead to 28-0.

Holy Cross threatened to break the shutout on their second possession of the half. Starting at their own 20-yard line, the Tigers picked up their initial first-down of the game and advanced further on a 15-yard personal foul to move the ball across midfield to the 41-yard line. After a 17-yard pass to the 25-yard line, the threat was extinguished on an interception in the end zone.

It took just four plays on the ensuing drive for Lambert and company to find points yet again. His 25-yard touchdown run made it 35-0 with 25 second remaining in the third quarter.

A 17-yard touchdown run by Jordan West with the second-team offense at the 6:37 mark provided the final points on a night where the Crusaders let out some of their frustrations.

“This is a special bunch of young men,” Bonis said. “I told them they are 7-0 on the field and have done everything right. We are prepared for whatever challenge awaits us.”

Brother Martin will look to keep their on-field momentum going next Friday when they take on John Curtis in the regular season finale. Holy Cross hopes to end a two-game losing streak when they take on St. Augustine in a Thursday night contest at Tad Gormley Stadium.

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