Rummel, Brother Martin square off for fourth time in two years

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Rematch central is alive in well in the confines of the ridiculous configuration of Division I prep football in Louisiana.

After having to defeat Catholic League rival St. Augustine for the second time in less than a month in a 35-34 in a thriller a week ago, unbeaten top seed Archbishop Rummel gets the reward of facing a good team in fourth-seeded Brother Martin for the fourth time in two years.

Game time Friday night is 7 p.m. and you can listen to it live on 106.1 FM NASH ICON and watch it live at

Rummel defeated Brother Martin 30-0 on Oct. 12 at the same venue. A year ago, the Raiders defeated the Crusaders 17-0 in the regular season before holding off the Crusaders 27-23 in the Division I state quarterfinals.

The Raiders (11-0) saw their vaunted defense dented for the first time this season by a talented St. Augustine team a week ago but Rummel still allows just 7.2 points per game.

First-year Rummel head coach Nick Monica did not enjoy the win over St. Aug right after it was over but he appreciates it now.

“We feel like we beat one of the more talented teams in the tournament,” Monica said. “They were very good and they gave us a run for our money the first time we played them so it wasn’t a fluke. Those guys are really good and they deserve the credit. I just wish we would have played a little bit better.”

In the first meeting with Brother Martin, Rummel committed a pair of turnovers but the Raiders forced five Brother Martin turnovers and took advantage of good field position to score a convincing victory.

“No question about it, that was our best game of the season,” Monica said. “We’re going to need something similar this week to move on. They give you a ton of formations on offense and try to get you out-flanked. We have to line up correctly. We handled that well the first time. Now, they are a little bit more advanced. It was almost two months ago when we played. On defense, we’re anticipating some changes there.”

Junior quarterback Kyle Wickersham has come on strong against top competition late in the season to play quite well.

Wickersham has completed 118-of-198 passes for 1,379 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions and he has added four scores rushing. Junior running back Logan Diggs has 138 carries for 810 yards and six touchdowns and 22 catches for 146 yards and two scores. Senior LSU commit Koy Moore has 40 catches for 483 yards and three touchdowns. Senior Ivory Wilwright IV has 28 catches for 480 yards and eight touchdowns.

“Kyle is a tough kid,” Monica said. “He also battled the flu last week which nobody really knew so he lost some weight during the course of the week. He got knocked out the game and took a few shots during the course of the game and he came back in and led us down the field in the two-minute offense and got us here.”

Defensively, Rummel is led by all-district performers in Vanderbilt commit Donovan Kaufman, Quinton Cage, Nicholls commit Corey Smooth, South Alabama commit Jordon Williams and junior linebacker Kolbe Fields. All-District kicker Patrick Vanderbrook is a weapon on field goals and in the punting game.

The Crusaders advanced with an impressive 46-13 win over Scotlandville in the quarterfinals as Brother Martin faced the Hornets for the fourth straight year in the Division I playoffs under Mark Bonis.

“I’m very happy with our student-athletes,” Bonis said. “These guys never disappoint. They’ve really worked hard. Our staff has done a great job in putting our defense in great positions. They execute well at practice.”

Brother Martin is led by sophomore quarterback Garrett Mmahat, who has completed 82-of-158 passes for 1,171 yards and 16 touchdowns with five interceptions. Mmahat has a rushing touchdown as well.

Senior all-district running back Chris Smith has 136 rushed for 859 yards and nine touchdowns along with a touchdown catch while junior Jaylon Spears has 156 carries for 817 yards and six touchdowns, along with 11 catches for 266 yards and three scores. Joe Delaney, Austin Jackson and John Louis are all solid receivers and junior right tackle Adam Bourgeois earned all-district honors.

Defensively, Brother Martin allows just 15.2 points per game. Senior Noah Labbe is outstanding up front, an all-district performer. Linebacker Trevor Tate is a solid tackler while in the secondary, all-district performer Davonn Moore has been outstanding, along with Georgia Tech commit Nick Turner. Like Vanderbrook, Brother Martin has a fine kicker/punter in Jack Landry, another all-district choice for punting.

Bonis knows what he and his team are up against.

“Their defense is outstanding and their defensive staff does a great job,” Bonis said. “They’ve got some great players, too! You look at what they’ve done and they’ve done some really great things. As an offensive coach, they cause us a little bit of headaches. They present some issues but we really are excited about the opportunity.”

The Crusaders have not forgotten the whipping they took the first time around against Rummel.

“We didn’t play our football game the first time around,” Bonis said. “That’s what we’re looking forward to doing. We’re looking forward to coming out here on Friday, playing Brother Martin football and taking our best hack at it.”

“You want to do anything it takes to get to that final game,” Bonis said. “This opportunity doesn’t come along all the time. We’ve got to play Brother Martin football. That’s really what it comes down to.”

The Raiders, who won back-to-back state championships in 2012-13, are seeking their fifth state championship game appearance in 11 years while the Crusaders are seeking their first title game appearance since 1989. Brother Martin won its only state championship in 1971.

“You want to do anything it takes to get to that final game,” Bonis said. “This opportunity doesn’t come along all the time. We’ve got to play Brother Martin football. That’s really what it comes down to.”

While the rivalry burns hot, there are good relationships which will sustain themselves.

“I have the utmost respect for Rummel and Coach Monica,” Bonis said. “Same thing with Coach (Jay) Roth before him. They are fine men and coaches whom I have always admired and enjoyed competing against.

“Coach Bonis is one of my good friends,” Monica said. “He does a fabulous job with his offense. He’s a great offensive mind. Their new defensive coordinator has done an excellent job. It’s a good, complete team that will not beat themselves.”

The friendships will be put aside between 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Friday night.

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Ken Trahan


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…

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