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Crusaders edge comets in overtime

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 21, 1998

LAPLACE – Christian Life’s Ronald Johnson scored from three yards out in overtime, giving the Crusaders a nailbiting victory over St. CharlesCatholic for the second year in a row, 19-16, Friday night at Thomas Dupuy Stadium.

The loss dropped the Comets to 0-3 while Christian Life improved to 2-1 on the season.

St. Charles Catholic had the ball first in overtime after Christian Life wonthe coin flip. From the 10, Wayne Stein gained two yards on the first playbut Nick Monica’s next two passes to John Price in the endzone were knocked away. Christian Panquerne came in to attempt a 25-yard fieldgoal, putting it through the uprights to give the Comets a 16-13 lead.

Christian Life took over possession and Johnson gained four yards on the first play. After being stacked up at the line on the next play, Johnsonburst up the middle from 4 yards out for the winning score.

Christian Life had a chance to win the game in regulation after taking over at their own 42-yard line with 6:13 left in the fourth quarter. StefanLefors kept for 12 yards on the first play and Johnson followed with a 5- yard gain to the Comets’ 41. After Brent Boyd was nailed for a 5-yardloss, Lefors connected with Raymond Mason for a 15-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Johnson carried twice for 11 yards, giving the Crusaders afirst down at the 16-yard line.

Johnson appeared to score on the next play on a run up the middle but the Crusaders were flagged for illegally aiding the runner. Lefors then threwincomplete twice and on fourth down, fumbled the snap with the Comets recovering at their 20. The Comets then ran the clock down before puntingback to the Crusaders who knelt on the ball to send the game into overtime.

With the score tied at 13 at the half, St. Charles Catholic had a chance tobreak out on top early in the third quarter. Taking over at the St. CharlesCatholic 41, Monica hit Matt Weber for five yards and Stein carried for seven yards for a first down at the 46. On third-and-10, Price made adiving catch for a 21-yard gain to the Christian Life 25. But two playslater, Price fumbled on a reverse with Michael Clayton recovering for the Crusaders at the 30-yard line.

Christian Life began to drive down the field after the turnover. Johnsongained 28 yards after taking the pitch on the option and Lefors connected with Clayton on the right sideline for a 24-yard gain to the 20. After afalse start against the Crusaders, Lefors scrambled for six yards. But theComets’ defense stiffened as Steven Faucheux and Price knocked down passes in the end zone.

Christian Life appeared to be headed to a lopsided victory in the first half.

After stopping the Comets on their first possession, the first time in three games the Comets had not scored on their opening drive, the Crusaders started at their 21-yard line. Johnson gained 11 yards on hisfirst carry and then added six yards on two more attempts.

On third-and-4 from the 38, Lefors rolled left, broke a tackle and sprinted down the left sidelines for a 62-yard touchdown. Patrick Herbert’s extrapoint was good, giving the Crusaders a 7-0 lead with 9:30 remaining in the first quarter.

Christian Life got the ball back two plays as Monica was sacked by Mark Smith and fumbled with Robert Prevost recovering for the Crusaders at the Comets’ 23-yard line. But the Comets held with Jason Smith nailingBoyd for a 5-yard loss. Herbert’s 41-yard field goal attempt was short andwide right.

St. Charles Catholic began moving the ball on its next possession. Monicaconnected with Price for a 21-yard gain and 15 yards were added to the end of the play when the Crusaders were flagged for roughing the quarterback, giving the Comets a first down at the Christian Life 42. Butthe Crusaders held, forcing the Comets to punt.

Christian Life moved the ball to the Comets’ 38 on the ensuing drive on a 12-yard pass to Mason and a 24-yard gain to Clayton before being forced to punt into the endzone.

On the first play after the punt, Julian Ward fumbled and Erick Schmolke recovered for the Crusaders at the St. Charles Catholic 18. Christian Lifekept the ball on the ground with Johnson diving over the line to pick up a first down on fourth-and-1 from the nine. On the next play, Johnsonbounced up the middle for the 7-yard touchdown. The snap was fumbled butthe Crusaders had taken a 13-0 lead with 6:31 left.

On the ensuing kickoff, Price fielded Quentin Minor’s kickoff at his 35- yard line. As soon as Price touched the ball, Comets’ public addressannouncer David Lowry turned and said touchdown. Sure enough, Price wentup the middle, bounced outside, went down the left sideline and cut inside near the 10-yard line to complete the 85-yard touchdown. The snap wasfumbled on the extra point but the Comets had cut the deficit to 13-6 with 6:31 left.

After Price kicked the ball into the endzone, St. Charles Catholic got theball back on the first play as Tim martin caused Boyd to fumble and Scott Babin recovered for the Comets at the 16-yard line. After Monica kept fora 9-yard gain to the 3 on third-and-6, Ward swept right for the score.

Panquerne’s extra point tied the game at 13 with 4:57 left in the half.

St. Charles catholic had an opportunity to take the lead before halftime,driving to the Christian Life 34-yard line on a 9-yard run by Josh Schexnayder and a 16-yard draw by Stein. But on second down, Monica wassacked by Herbert who recovered for the Crusaders at the 50.

Johnson led the Crusaders with 100 yards on 22 carries. Lefors completed5-of-16 passes for 77 yards.

Stein led the Comets with 86 yards on 15 carries. Monica completed 5-of-14 passes for 50 yards. Price caught four of those passes for 45 yards.St. Charles Catholic will look to get in the win column next Friday whenthey host Redeemer-Seton for Homecoming. Christian Life hosts Northeastin District 7-2A action.

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