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Rams, Comets look for playoff assurance

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 21, 1998

LAPLACE – West St. John and St. Charles Catholic will look to assurethemselves of a ticket to the playoffs when they square off Friday night at Thomas Dupuy Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.West St. John, ranked 11th in Class 2A, comes into the game with a 4-3record overall and a 1-1 mark in District 9-2A. St. Charles Catholic is 0-1in district and 3-4 overall.

West St. John is coming off a 34-7 victory at St. Martin’s last week. TheRams took advantage of two St. Martin’s turnovers to jump out to a 21-0lead at halftime. Carl Gauthier connected with Donriel Louis on twotouchdown passes and Brent Poche scored on 60 and 57-yard runs.

“We had a couple of good runs that were successful,” West St. John coachLaury Dupont said. “We weren’t on offense that much. We only had about 42plays but we did the most with it when we had it.”Poche also had a fumble recovery, one of two turnovers caused by the Rams. Quonn Edwards also returned a blocked punt 20 yards for a score.The Rams’ defense held the Saints to 70 total yards, 41 of which came on the ground.

Gauthier completed six of his 11 passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns.

The River Parishes’ leading passer has now thrown for 770 yards and 10 touchdowns on 57 completions in 109 attempts. The Rams finished with350 yards in total offense, 210 of which came thanks to the ground attack.

On the injury front, running backs/ linebackers De-haven Duronslet and Torrian Thomas will probably still be out for Friday’s game Dupont said.

The Rams will face a St. Charles Catholic squad that is coming off a 21-16 loss at Riverside. The Comets rallied late but could not overcome a 21-point outburst by the Rebels in a 2:30 span of the third quarter. TheComets also had opportunities in the first half and early in the third quarter but came away with no points on three drives inside the Rebels’ 35-yard line.

“Defensively, we played a great game,” St. Charles Catholic coach WaydeKeiser said.

“Offensively, we had opportunities and don’t cash in in the first half. But Iam proud of the way we played. We played hard and with everything wehad. I am proud of the way we hung tough and fought our way back into it.”Wayne Stein led the comeback attempt, scoring on a 28-yard run and a 90- yard punt return. Stein finished the evening with 18 carries for 72 yards.The senior running back has gained 582 yards and nine touchdowns on 92 carries this season.

Junior quarterback Nick Monica was on against the Rebels, completing 15 of his 18 passes for 131 yards. On the season, Monica has completed 47 ofhis 79 passes for 669 yards and six touchdowns. John Price caught sixpasses for 51 yards, giving him 20 catches for 335 yards this year.

Keiser emphasized the importance of the game in the playoff race, saying that the winner will be the one assured of a trip to the playoffs. Dupontsaid his team is also treating the game like a playoff game.

Dupont said the Comets’ Wing-T offense provides a challenge to his team with its misdirection and different blocking schemes.

“Our down people have to read their man and don’t look in the backfield,” Dupont said. “That is the key to the Wing-T.”Keiser said there are a number of things his team must do to come away with the win.

“Defensively, we cannot give up the home run ball like last year,” Keiser said. “We have to get turnovers. “Offensively, we have to be able to convert when we get the opportunity which means winning the turnover ratio.”This year’s game will have a hard time topping last year’s, a 40-31 win by the Rams. West St. John jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to have the Cometscome back with 31 unanswered points. But the Rams would rally with 26straight points in the final 15 minutes of the game to pull out the win on their way to the district title.

The Comets travel to St. Martin’s next week while the Rams hostRidgewood.

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