Bro. Neal’s Chat with Coach Bonis #5: Backyard Brawl with St. Aug. Saturday Night

The Crusaders began district play last week with a 45-16 loss to Curtis. The game was  much closer than the score indicates. “We had five offensive plays and five defensive plays,” says Coach Mark Bonis, “that turned the tide in the game.” Longplays continued to plague the Crusader defense. Curtis had pass-and-run touchdowns of 39 and 54 yards as well as a 35 yard scoring run by QB Collin Guggenheim.

Brother Martin had big plays of its own. L.J. Gilyot had a 95 yard kickoff return for Brother Martin’s first TD five minutes into the third quarter, then another for 67 yards to setup a 13 yard scoring run by Jaylon Spears to pull to within 31-16. The Crusaders continued the momentum by recovering an onside kick, but were not able to take advantage of the excellent field position. The Patriots pulled away with two TDs in the last period, including one in the final minute.

Coach Lance Ledet’s defense stuffed Curtis’s vaunted veer running attack, forcing them to punt on their first three possessions. “Coach L did a great job scheme-wise of forcing them to do what they don’t do as often. Our kids played physical, played tough. We still have a lot of growing to do. But in the grand scheme of things, there were a lot of positives to pull from that film.”

The young Crusader offensive line did a credible job against the Patriots’ dynamic front four. “On our scoring drive that led to Spears’ TD, we had six or seven sophomores on the field. Through the course of four games, those young kids have seen anything and everything. I’m proud of the way they’ve worked and competed.”

Focus now turns to the annual “Rivalry Week” clash with St. Augustine. The Purple Knights come off a tough 28-21 last-minute loss to Jesuit. “They’re extremely fast on both sides of the ball,” says Bonis. The Crusaders must prepare for yet another dual-threat QB, Trevon Woodsen, a transfer from Georgia. “He keeps plays alive with his feet. They have great skill kids. We’ll be challenged in the secondary.” The key will be getting pressure on Woodsen while keeping him contained.

The Knights run a 4-2-5 defense. “They do a great job of pursuing to the football.”

The Crusaders must continue their top-notch special teams play. “St. Aug.’s got returners who will be dangerous.”

“We need to execute the game plan within situational play. We need to be better on third down. When we get into the red zone, we have to capitalize. I expect a tight game the whole way.”

The Crusaders need you at Tad Gormley for the 7:00 p.m. kick off Saturday night. Come show your Crimson and Gold Spirit!

- Bro. Neal Golden, S.C.

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