Friday night’s outing in the South Tangi Jamboree at Ponchatoula proved to be a success for Brother Martin against Fontainebleau. The Crusaders asserted themselves on the ground rolling up 224 yards with five touchdowns en route to a 35-14 victory over the Bulldogs.
Junior Jaylon Spears and senior Chris Smith were responsible for the majority of the damage with the former rushing for 102 yards with three touchdowns on six carries while the latter had 80 yards with two scores on six carries.
“Our line did a great job preparing (this week) and we just finished it for them,” Smith said. “They opened up the holes for us and we just got to them.”
“(Spears and Smith) ran well but it’s anchored by that offensive line,” Brother Martin head coach Mark Bonis said. “Those guys were very young last year, and are still young. All those guys are juniors but the way they work at practice, the way coach Green works them and the way they come out everyday to get better is very impressive. Those guys are going to be really successful in life with the work ethic they exhibit with us.”
The vast majority of the fireworks came in the first half as the two teams combined for 42 of the game’s 49 points.
Fontainebleau struck first completing a 7-play, 65-yard drive with a 14-yard run by Jacolby Kirby, but it didn’t take long for Brother Martin to respond.
Sophomore quarterback Garrett Mmahat hit senior John Louis on a slant on Brother Martin’s first play, and Louis nearly took it the distance dashing 61 yards down to the 6-yard line. It took the Crusaders a few tries from there, but they finally punched it in on third down with a 4-yard run by Spears, the first of three touchdowns for the 5-foot-9, 190-pound back.
The Crusader defense followed forcing a quick 3-and-out, and Smith got in on the action ripping off runs of 17 and 20 yards, the last of which went for a score putting Brother Martin on top 14-7 with 7:01 left in the first of two 15-minute halves. Smith also had a 7-yard catch to start the drive and Mmahat hit sophomore Austin Jackson for a 13-yard pickup in between Smith’s long runs during the 4-play drive.
Fontainebleau, however, wasn’t ready to fade away just yet, and found their rhythm again picking up four first downs on a 7-play, 80-yard drive. Josh Bailey and Kirby hooked up for their first scoring connection of the night, which came from 40 yards out on a go route to tie the score at 14-14 with 3:54 left in the first half.
“We didn’t start the way I wanted to defensively,” Bonis said. “We saw some things that we really weren’t expecting, but I was proud of our defense making some adjustments after that first drive and at halftime.”
Before the adjustments took hold, though, it looked like Brother Martin would be in for a long back-and-forth night. They punted on the drive following Fontainebleau’s second score, but Georgia Tech commitment Nick Turner came up with an interception on the Bulldogs’ next drive, and it was all Crusaders from there.
Smith popped free for a 34-yard pickup on the first play, and scored two plays later from eight yards out to give the lead back to Brother Martin with 2:01 left until halftime. The Bulldogs then made what proved to be a critical mistake on the ensuing extra point committing a facemask infraction, which gave Bonis the leeway to attempt an onside kick that was recovered by Turner.
Spears then got back in on the fun racing 34 yards to the end zone on the first play of the series to give Brother Martin a 28-14 advantage going into intermission.
“We’re used to facing adversity and coming back strong,” said Smith, who loves the 1-2 punch he has in the backfield next to Spears. “That’s my brother. I know he’s got my back and we’re not selfish. To me, if I see him eating then I’m eating. We want to see each other eat.”
The duo did more damage out of halftime when Smith hauled in a 12-yard pass on a screen for a first down on third down, and Spears ripped off another long touchdown run on the next play covering 54 yards.
It was the last time Brother Martin would find the end zone, but its defense was airtight shutting out Fontainebleau in the second half for a comfortable victory.
The Crusaders will now turn their attention to Byrd for a Week 1 home game Friday at 7 p.m.
“We’ve got a better team to play next week,” Spears said. “We’ve got to practice, pay attention to what our coaches say and do us…this is just a jamboree and we’ve got to do better and better each week.”
Brother Martin: 332 yards of total offense (224 rushing, 98 passing)
Fontainebleau: 199 yards of total offense (107 rushing, 92 passing)
Rushing: Jaylon Spears, 6-102, 3 TDs; Chris Smith, 6-80, 2 TDs; Torey Lambert, 4-36; Troy Santa-Marina, 4-11; Garrett Mmahat, 1-(-5).
Receiving: John Louis, 1-60; Austin Jackson, 1-20; Nicolas Malek, 1-10; Chris Smith, 1-7.
Passing: Garrett Mmahat, 4-9, 88, 0 TDs, 0 INTs; Corey Lambert, 1/4, 10, 0 TDs, 0 INTs.
Rushing: Josh Bailey, 10-47; Dwayne Bernard, 8-24; Cole Gartman, 4-16; Jacolby Kirby, 1-14, 1 TD; Carson Dearing, 2-3; Colin Gagnon, 1-3.
Receiving: Jacolby Kirby, 1-40, 1 TD; Carson Dearing, 2-23; Dwayne Bernard, 1-15; Kobe Barnes, 1-6; Cole Gartman, 1-4; Braylon Fowler, 1-4.
Passing: Josh Bailey, 8-16, 92 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT.
Fontainebleau — Jacolby Kirby 14 run (Austin Dupuy kick), 10:51, 0-7.
Brother Martin — Jaylon Spears 4 run (Jack Landry kick), 9:21, 7-7.
Brother Martin — Chris Smith 20 run (Landry kick), 7:01, 14-7.
Fontainebleau — Kirby 40 pass from Bailey (Dupuy kick), 3:54, 14-14.
Brother Martin — Smith 8 run (Landry kick), 2:01, 21-14.
Brother Martin — Spears 34 run (Landry kick), 1:49, 28-14.
Brother Martin — Spears 54 run (Landry kick), 14:01, 35-14.
NEXT UP: Brother Martin host Byrd in its Week 1 matchup while Fontainebleau will travel to Lakeshore. Both games will be played Friday at 7 p.m.