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Bulldog defense holds Comets in check

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 31, 1998

DESTREHAN – Earlier in the week, St. Charles Catholic head coach WaydeKeiser commended the Lutcher Bulldogs as having one of their best defenses in years.

After the Comets’ game against the Bulldogs in the Roussel’s Goodyear River Parishes Jamboree Friday night, Keiser had no reason to doubt his assessment.

The Bulldogs held the Comets to 20 total yards offense in the game as they rolled to a 23-0 victory in the jamboree held at Destrehan High School. The Lutcher defense was especially efficient in the first half,holding the Comets to minus 8 yards for the half.

The defense took over early, holding the Comets on their first possession and forcing a punt. Kenneth Johnson caught John Price’s punt at his own 33and cut upfield for 41 yards to the St. Charles Catholic 26-yard line.The offense quickly took advantage of the field position. On the first playafter the return, Rusty Crosslin hit Damian Ursin on a screen pass on the right side. Ursin followed his blockers, juked out a few defenders and doveinto the inside just inside the pylon for the score. Lane Zimmer’s extrapoint was blocked, but the Bulldogs had taken a 6-0 lead with 12:33 remaining in the first half.

The Comets had an opportunity after Tim Martin recovered a fumble by Ursin at the Comets’ 45-yard line on the Bulldogs’ next possession. Butafter a 4-yard run by Julian Ward, Drake Melancon sacked Nick Monica for a 9-yard loss to end the drive. Johnson returned the ensuing punt 56 yards,but the play was called back because of a clip on the Bulldogs.

Lutcher did not let the penalty phase it however as the offense again got rolling. Crosslin hit Ursin for a 13-yard gain and then connected withJohnson for a 31-yard pass to the St. Charles Catholic 40-yard line. Ursinthen gained seven yards, and after an incompletion, tip-toed down the sidelines for a 28 yard gain off a sweep right.

Jerron Wishom capped off the drive by taking a pitch, sweeping right and diving into the right corner of the end zone for the score. Zimmer’s extrapoint was good, increasing the Bulldogs’ lead to 13-0 with 4:24 left.

Ward took the ensuing kickoff, broke through the line and was hauled down by Rodrick Johnson on a touchdown-saving tackle after a 28-yard gain. Thedrive ended two plays later, however, as Bernard Riley intercepted Monica at midfield.

Lutcher again drove downfield as Wishom gained 14 yards on a sweep and Thomas Ricks hit Whitney Hines on a screen for a 9-yard gain. The drivestalled at the Comets’ 26, and Zimmer came in to nail a 43-yard field goal, giving Lutcher a 16-0 with 1:36 left in the half.

St. Charles Catholic had its best opportunity to score on its secondpossession of the second half. Taking over at the Lutcher 49, Monica foundPrice, who made a leaping catch for a 29-yard gain to Lutcher 19. But BradWhitney came up with a 5-yard sack and the Lutcher defense pressured Price into missing a 42-yard field goal attempt.

The Bulldogs capped off the scoring on its next possession. On the firstplay after the missed field goal, Crosslin threw deep down the right sidelines for Johnson. Johnson made an over-the-shoulder catch, stoppedand then shot by his defender down the sidelines for an 80-yard touchdown reception. Zimmer kicked the extra point, giving the Bulldogs a 23-pointadvantage at the 6:31 mark.

The Comets would have one more highlight as Phillip Hoffman made a diving catch of a Jason Waguespack pass for a 20-yard gain to the Lutcher 49-yard line. but the Lutcher defense again held, forcing another punt byPrice.

Crosslin, making a bid for the starting quarterback spot, completed 4-of-6 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson caught two of thepasses for 111 yards and a score. Ursin ran for 63 yards on nine attemptsand caught two passes for 39 yards and a touchdown.

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