For all the yards Brother Martin’s Bruce Jordan-Swilling has rushed for in his career, he and the Crusaders could have used a couple more Friday night in the Division I semifinals in Scotlandville.
Swilling scored on a 9-yard run with slightly more than a minute remaining to pull to within two points of Scotlandville. Swilling got the call again on a two-point conversion attempt. The Georgia Tech commitment was stacked up by the Hornets’ defense, denying the Crusaders a trip to the Division I state championship game in an 18-16 defeat.
A potential all-Catholic League title game failed to come to fruition as top-seeded John Curtis was beaten by Evangel 27-6 in the other semifinal encounter.
Brother Martin, the No. 6 seed, ended its season 9-4. Scotlandville, the No. 2 seed, improved to 12-0.
The final couple of yards for Jordan-Swilling and company against Scotlandville might not have been as necessary is not for two Brother Martin turnovers in the third quarter.
Brother Martin led 7-6 going into the second half when Scotlandville’s Triston Brown recovered a Crusaders fumble on Brother Martin’s opening possession of the second half. That helped to set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Scotlandville quarterback Levi Lewis to Vernon Powell to give the Hornets the lead at 12-7.
The next big Crusaders mistake came moments later. Scotlandville’s Dervon Campbell intercepted a John-Paul Pierce pass to set up another Lewis touchdown toss to Powell, this one from 8 yards out to extend the Hornets’ lead to 18-7 at the 4:37 mark of the third quarter.
A 28-yard field by Sam Walters made it 18-10 before Jordan-Swilling scored on his 9-yard run to rally the Crusaders to within two points at 18-16.
Each team scored once in the first half.
A 42-yard pass from Pierce to Pat Hughes gave Brother Martin a 7-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the opening quarter.
Lewis raced 47 yards late in the second quarter for a touchdown but a missed extra-point attempt left the Hornets down by a point at halftime.