Special Teams and Defense: Central Beats Brother Martin to Advance to Quarterfinals

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It was like watching the end of a Hollywood sports flick. Brother Martin attempts a field goal from the Central 18 yard line with less than 5 seconds remaining to win the game 10-7. CENTRAL BLOCKS THE KICK!!!!! CENTRAL PICKS UP THE BALL AND RUNS 82 YARDS FOR THE WINNING TOUCHDOWN!!!! Truly a storybook ending. And maybe it is appropriate to start seeing Central in the familiar storybook role of Cinderella.

Eight teams remain in the 5A state playoffs and three games from now two of these eight will meet in the Superdome to play for State. Seven of the eight remaining teams started the playoffs ranked 11th or better and five of the remaining 8 were ranked in the top 6. Central was ranked at #14. Knocking off number 3 Brother Martin is indeed a Cinderella story, especially since the game-winning touchdown occurred with no time remaining. Now for a reality check: for Central the dance gets no easier next Friday when #6 Acadiana travels to Wildcat Stadium to take on Central.

The Wildcat Nation travelled well tonight. It looked like there were more fans from Central than there were from the home team Brother Martin. It seemed there must have been well over a thousand Wildcat fans going crazy as the winning touchdown was scored. With a home game next week, plan on packing Wildcat Stadium with a record crowd.

Defense and Special Teams indeed carried the night for Central.  Sean Brown, Stacy Osezemwinde and Zack Pourciau combined for 22 tackles, 22 assists, 1.5 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss.  Josh Johns racked up an interception and two blocked field goals, including the key block on the final play, which Josh Veals returned for the winning TD.  Antonio Dunn scored on a “Hook and Ladder” trick play with Thibodeaux adding the PAT.  The cold weather seems to have caused the Wildcats hands problems and all but shut down the offense, leading to several dropped passes, interceptions and fumbles.  However, it is a team game and the special teams and defence stepped up and did the job.

The Stats can be found at the following links:  GAME    SEASON

Stats and possibly Video will be added to this article later tonight or tomorrow.

Here are picture sequences of three key plays: a blocked field goal, an interception, and the game-winning blocked fieldgoal and resulting touchdown.


 And here are a few other pictures giving you a feel for the evening:


 Here is the article posted tonight on

Baton Rouge Central stuns Brother Martin
Pierce W. Huff, November 21, 2008 10:58 p.m.

The Brother Martin fans, players and coaches stood motionless in the cold at Joe Yenni Stadium moments after Baton Rouge Central defeated the Crusaders 13-7 in a Class 5A regional playoff game. This wasn’t the way the Brother Martin faithful expected their season to end.

Before the last play in the game, overtime seemed as certain as frostbite on Friday. Then, Brother Martin lined up for Michael Harrision to kick a 35-yard field goal on the last play of regulation.

It had not been a good game for the Crusaders special teams. Brother Martin had a punt blocked in the first half. Harrison was short on a field goal and had another kick blocked. Then, bad luck struck again. Central senior Josh Johns blocked Harrison’s kick. Junior Josh Veals picked up the loose ball and raced 70 yards for a touchdown with the last 10 yards coming with half of the Wildcats team sprinting behind him.

When Veals reached the end zone the Central sidelines erupted and Brother Martin’s collective hearts were broken. “I was praying that we could block a field goal again,” Veals said. “All I was thinking was don’t get caught from behind..”

When it was over Central Coach Sid Edwards was awestruck. The Wildcats (10-1) will play the Rummel-Acadiana winner in the Class 5A regionals. “I’m speechless,” Edwards said.

Brother Martin Coach Jay Pittman said he didn’t have any second thoughts about calling for the kick. “I was trying to win the game,” Pittman said. Pittman said he was thinking about trying to pull Central offsides before the kick, and that’s the only thing he regrets not doing. Pittman said he did not want the game to go to overtime.

Edwards said he was proud of the way Central players fought during the game. Central led 7-0 when it scored a 75-yard touchdown on a hook-and-ladder play in the second quarter. Facing third and 27 at its 25-yard line, Wildcats quarterback Will Briscoe threw a 10-yard pass to receiver Shedrick Davis, who pitched a lateral to running back Antonio Dunn, who ran 65 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown with 9:58 remaining in the first half.

Central had a chance to add to its lead when defensive end Sean Brown recovered a fumble at the Brother Martin 26-yard line with 9:38 left. But the Brother Martin defense held Central to two yards on the next four plays.

Brother Martin (9-1) then drove 75 yards on nine plays for a touchdown to tie the score at 7 with 3:58 remaining. Crusaders quarterback Garrett Bean threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to receiver Kevin Bohte, who was wide open by 25 yards after sneaking behind the Baton Rouge Central secondary.

Brother Martin had a chance to score on the last play of the first half when it drove 39 yards on six plays to the Central 19-yard line. But Crusaders kicker Michael Harrison missed short on a 36-yard field goal at the first half buzzer.

Brother Martin had a chance to take the lead when it drove 55 yards to the Central 12-yard line in the fourth quarter. But Johns blocked a 30-yard field goal by Harrison with 9:31 remaining in the game.

“I thought our defense was spectacular,” Edwards said.

Pierce W. Huff can be reached at or 504.826.3809.