BUTLER RUSHES INTO RECORD BOOKS IN CRUSADERS WIN
Ken Trahan, NewOrleans.com
September 27, 2009
There have been many great running backs in Brother Martin history. Names such as Troy Oddo, Phillip Brock,
Chris Ezzell, Leonce White and Benny Burst come to mind. There have been excellent running quarterbacks as
well, including Joe Mattingly, Garrett Chachere and Chad Larose. None have had the kind of game that junior
Dante Butler had Saturday night at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Butler set the single-game Brother Martin all-time rushing record, carrying 27 times for 278 yards and five
touchdowns as the Crusaders outscored McDonogh 35 by a 45-34 count in a wild, long ball game.
The 278 yards broke the record of 248 yards rushing held by Brock, set in 1999 against De La Salle. The 5'10
195 pound junior was stout all night, making decisive cuts and running hard, through would-be tacklers
It did not start well for the Crusaders. McDonogh 35 struck first, going 28 plays in two plays following a
fumbled snap by Brother Martin quarterback Ronnie Arant. Charles Henderson caught a 25-yard touchdown
pass from Theltus Cobbins to make it 7-0 Roneagles with 9:33 to play in the opening quarter.
The Crusaders responded quickly, driving 80 yards for the equalizer. Butler rambled 18 yards for a score and it
was tied 7-7 with 5:03 to play in the first quarter.
McDonogh 35 recaptured the lead, driving 63 yards late in the first quarter, scoring on a five-yard pass from
Cobbins to tight end Chad Griffin to make it 13-7. The extra point failed on a bobbled snap from center.
Brother Martin came right back, tying the game with just 20 seconds to play in the first quarter on an
electrifying 76-yard touchdown run by Arrant. Michael Harrison's extra point made it 14-13 Brother Martin.
In the second quarter, Alvin Stevenson blocked a Nathan Dean punt in the end zone and Trey Carter recovered
for a Roneagles touchdown to make it 20-14 McDonogh 35 with 9:18 to play in the half.
Butler would answer with a brilliant 28-yard touchdown run, set up by a 24-yard run by Arant as part of a 75-
yard scoring drive to make it 21-20 Crusaders with 4:42 to play in the half.
Harrison would add a 44-yard field goal at the end of the half to make it 24-20 at the break.
After a long halftime show, Butler put on a show in the second half. He finished a 74-yard drive with a 30-yard
touchdown run to make it 31-20 with 9:41 to play in the third quarter.
McDonogh 35 again fought back, with Everick Johnson scoring from 16 yards out. Cobbins ran for a two-point
conversion and it was 31-28 Brother Martin with 7:35 to play in the third quarter.
Once again, Butler doused the hopes of the Roneagles, breaking free for a 69-yard touchdown run to make it
38-28 Brother Martin at the end of three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Butler fan five yards for a score to break it open at 45-28 Brother Martin with 7:23 left in
the game, capping a 75-yard drive in 1:48.
Cobbins would complete the scoring, going in from one yard out to make the final count 45-34 Brother Martin.
The Crusaders gashed a good McDonogh 35 defensive front for 355 yards rushing, including 11 carries for 156
yards by Arant. First-year head coach Mark Bonis credited his offensive line for a job well done. "They are
playing very well. Dante stepped up tonight. Chris Sutton (junior running back) didn't play and he had to take
more snaps. Dante is growing up. He's been playing since he was a freshman.
He is a little bigger this year at 195 pounds and has strong legs. We have certain reads. He was precise with his
reads. His footwork was great. A lot of people say just run to daylight. He did all of the little things well. He is
so athletic as well.
We were worried about McDonogh 35. We thought across the board that all of their front four players were
outstanding. If you would have told me that we would run for that many years, I would have told you that you
are crazy. Coach Ryan Zeringue does a great job with our offensive line. They pay attention to details and got
off the ball well.
We work on so much conditioning in the off-season. We work on tempo all the time but they are in great
condition. We believe we can wear people down," said Bonis. Arant complete five of seven passes for 36 yards
and had a long touchdown pass to Malcolm Sutleff called back for offensive interference. His speed played
large role in the victory.
"Arant runs well. It was a point of concern losing a three-year start in Garrett Bean at quarterback. Ronnie has
run out offense very well. He has only been running the offense for four games. He is a student of the game. We
meet twice a week and he studies DVD's after DVD's to study opponents. Maybe he's gotten faster. He is
getting the corner. He's made some nice, long runs," said Bonis.
After going unbeaten in the 2008 regular season, the Crusaders have now won 14 consecutive regular season
games, dating back to 2007. "We're 4-0. I'm happy about that. We have not played a complete game in all three
phases yet. We've had games with one good and another not so good. Defense carried us last week. Offense
carried us tonight. Special teams need to improve.
The Crusaders' defense did force three McDonogh 35 turnovers, including a pair of interceptions by linebacker
McDonogh will continue in search of its first win at Amite next Friday night. Next up for the Crusaders is a date
with Helen Cox next Saturday night (7 p.m.) at Hoss Memstas Stadium on WGSO, 990 AM, WGSO.com and
here at NewOrleans.com Sports. While the Cougars are 0-4, Bonis knows they are a dangerous opponent.
"They are 0-4 but they've played the SEC West. They play four state champions. Willie Brooks does a great job.
We know they will be tough. They will be ready to play. We must be ready to play if we hope to win," said
If Butler, Arant and the offensive line play as they played against McDonogh 35, the Crusaders could well be 5-
0 heading into district play.