St. Augustine entered play Friday night without a District 10-5A victory but not without willpower or firepower.
Utilizing an almost perfect blend of rushing and passing, the Purple Knights presented first-year Coach David Johnson with his most impressive victory via a 34-14 decision against Brother Martin at Tad Gormley before 4,000 fans.
The victory keeps the playoff hopes alive for St. Aug (5-2, 1-2) which meets Rummel (8-0, 2-0) next Saturday at Joe Yenni at 7 p.m. The Crusaders fell to 5-2 and 0-2 in the Catholic League after a bye last week.
The Knights finished with 182 yards rushing and 181 yards passing, the latter coming on a 14-of-20 passing performance by junior quarterback Terry Lucas who had three scoring passes and a 2-yard touchdown run. After Lucas was intercepted on the Knights' first series by Martin's Karl Butler, the Knights did not commit another major error. The Knights had previously fallen to Jesuit 7-6 and last week to Shaw.
"This was overdue," said Johnson. "The kids were locked in and focused and they played a great game. It takes time because we have a new system. Tonight everybody trusted everybody."
Lucas connected with Robert Picard on a slant pass of 21 yards for a 7-0 first-quarter lead. Martin bounced back on a 54-yard gallop by running back Dante' Butler who finished with 152 yards on 15 carries.
But St. Aug broke the tie with touchowns of 16 yards by Donovan Joseph who, along with Lucas, gave Martin fits all night with their elusiveness, speed and quickness. Lucas' 2-yard sneak with 5:56 remaining provided St. Aug with a 21-7 halftime edge. Joseph gained 78 yards and Shawn Jackson had 68.
Butler broke loose for gains of 26 and then 35 yards for a score that narowed the lead to 21-14 at 10:58 of the third period. After Martin missed a field-goal attempt, St. Aug drove 80 yards on 13 plays to take a 28-14 lead on a 21-yard scoring pass from Lucas to Picard. On the next series, Lucas lofted a perfect pass of 24 yards to Marc Edwards for a 34-14 cushion with 8:20 remaining. St. Aug's Tyrell McCall sealed the victory with an interception in the final minutes.
"We were prepared," said Lucas, who gained 35 yards rushing . "We had no choice but to win tonight. We came out with a better attitude and I feel like I am doing a much better job in the pocket."
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