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Bro. Neal’s Chat with Coach Bonis #4: St. Augustine Review, Rummel Preview

October 7, 2021

Chat with Coach Bonis #4: St. Augustine Review, Rummel Preview

by Brother Neal Golden, S.C. (CJ ’57)

The Crusaders moved their record to 3-0 with a 45-21 victory over St. Augustine last Saturday afternoon at Tad Gormley Stadium. With most of the first half played in rain and wind, teams needed to depend on their ground game. And that’s where the Crusaders excelled. Running behind an offensive line that was fully healthy for the first time this season, junior RB Torey Lambert ran 23 times for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

The offense was led by junior Clayton Lonardo. He replaced senior Garrett Mmahat, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury to break his streak of starting 26 consecutive games.

Lonardo did his best Joe Burrow imitation on the run-pass option by hitting senior TE Simon Provenzano in stride down the middle for a 28 yard touchdown to make it 14-0.

Leading at the half 17-7, the Crusaders took the second half kickoff and marched to their third touchdown. Lambert contributed runs of 49 and 20 yards to the drive. Later in the period, senior Jahron Manning returned a punt 88 yards to the two to set up another Torey Lambert touchdown. Senior Jordan Thomas and sophomore Jordan West tallied the last two touchdowns.

The Crusaders finished with an astounding 364 yards rushing on 51 attempts for an average of 7.1 yards per carry in what Coach Mark Bonis called “our best game offensively so far this year. Our offensive line exhibited mental and physical toughness. Torey will get all the accolades, but our young running backs did a good job. Clayton Lonardo did a fine job of managing the game and making wise decisions. Overall, we did a good job of imposing our will on the opponent. I call it our ‘red collar’ work ethic.”

“Our special teams aren’t as strong as in the past. We gave up a big return to give St. Aug. new life, and we had a bad snap on a punt. Defensively, we played well, but at times we relaxed too much.”

Bonis analyzed his star running back’s style. “Torey doesn’t look like he’s running that fast, but he pulls away from people. He’s such a smooth runner. As a track guy, he has strong legs and is efficient in how he runs. He has the athletic ability to do it all, up the middle, outside, catch the ball out of the backfield. This was only his third game playing tailback. He was a cornerback last year. As he learns to be patient and explode through the hole, he will continue to improve throughout this season and into his senior season.”

The Rummel Raiders pose the next challenge Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at Joe Yenni Stadium. “They’re 3-0 and know how to win. They didn’t play particularly well last week but found a way to win against Calvary Baptist, which is an outstanding team. Defensively, they’re athletic and fast all over. They’re small up front because they’re young, but they’re fast and quick. They swarm to the football. We will have to establish things at the point of attack to have success. We can’t be one dimensional.”

“They’re big up front offensively. Their starting running back is injured, but the other two tailbacks are young but very talented. They play two quarterbacks who are very capable at running their offense.”

When asked who will play quarterback for the Crusaders, Lonardo or Mmahat, Bonis answered, “We plan on playing both quarterbacks.”

Livestream Our Game on Friday

If you're unable to physically make it to Friday's game versus Rummel, then you can watch our Friday, Oct. 8th game at 7:00 p.m. via Crescent City Sport's livestream on YouTube.

Brother Martin vs. St. Augustine

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Most Photos Courtesy of SVP Media Group, LLC.

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