Rams rally in fonal minute to upend Comets
ROB ROMANCIK / L’Observateur / October 26, 1998
LAPLACE – Friday nights along the river were never more exciting as the West St. John Rams beat the St. Charles Comets, 32-24, in the finalminute of the game last night at Thomas Dupuy Stadium.
West St. John improved to 5-3 overall and 1-0 in District 9-2A play. St.Charles Catholic fell to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in district action.
Four St. Charles football players were injured last night when their carlost control and hit a tree. Last reports were that three were notseriously injured, but one was undergoing surgery at East Jefferson Hospital. The accident happened at 5 p.m. while on route to the game. West St. John drove down the field after holding the Comets to three andout on their first possession. With a 14 yard pass from Carl Gauthier toDehaven Duronslet, and a nine yard run by Jamar Bailey, the Rams suddenly found themselves on the 12-yard line of teh Comets.
That iss when Jamar Bailey shook off the defenders and scampered the 12 yards for the Rams’ first touchdown of the evening with 8:18 left in the first quarter. The Rams converted the two point play with a roll-out passfrom Gauthier to Duronslet.
With St. John out to an early 8-0 lead, John Price took the next kick-offand this time gained 26 yards. Wayne Stein was then handed the ball andblew by the Rams’ defense, going 48 yards for the score with 5:56 left in the first quarter. The extra point was good, cutting the Rams’ lead to 8-7.On the next series, Christian Panquerne intercepted a Gauthier pass and St.
Charles Catholic took over at the Rams’ 47-yard line. The Comets movedthe ball, featuring a 17 yard run by Josh Schexnayder, to the Rams’ 4-yard line. A tough Rams’ defense along with an off-sides penalty against St.Charles Catholic, forced the Comets to go for a 23 yard field goal.
Panquerne split the uprights with 1:48 left in the first quarter, putting the Comets on top 10-8.
West St. John rebounded in the second quarter with a 32-yard run byDehaven Duronslet and a 37-yard touchdown pass from Carl Gauthier to Brian Lumar that put the Rams ahead 14-10 at the half.
On St. Charles Catholic’s first possession of the second half, Wayne Steinbullied his way through he defense and hurried 34 yards for his second touchdown of the night. Adding the extra point, the Comets once againnosed past the Rams 17-14 with 8:47 left in the third quarter.
A few minutes later, Nick Monica found his favorite receiver, John Price, on a 53 -yard pass play that moved St. Charles Catholic to the Rams ’20-yard line.
On third-and-13, the Rams were charged with a roughing the passer penalty and it advanced the ball to the 10 -yard line where Julian Ward ran it in with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. With the extra point, theComets increased their lead 24-14.
But West St. John’s refused to quit and once again moved into the Comets’Red Zone, and eventually getting a first and goal at the Comet 1-yard line.
Dehaven Duronslet then powered it in with 9:19 left in the game. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the score 24-20.
Julian Ward grabbed the next kick-off and this time flew 40 yards to mid- field. Then Wayne Stein just about single handedly brought the Cometsdown to the 4-yard line of the Rams.
On fourth and one from the four the Rams defense rose to the occasion and stuffed Stein and the Comets for no gain.
The Rams once again crossed mid-field, this time with just over two minutes remaining in the contest. Then came a crucial third- and-1 fromthe 30-yard with the Rams picking up the first down.
Carl Gauthier hit Troy LaGrande with a quick pass and moved them inside the 20. Two plays later, the Rams fumbled into the end zone and offensivetackle Cody Francis jumped on it with 45 seconds left. The two pointconversion was no good but the Rams had jumped ahead 26-24.
On the last play of the game, Nick Monica’s last pass was intercepted by Pendarvis Morris who ran it in for the touchdown to make the final score West St. John 32 St. Charles 24.Stein had 163 yards on 23 carries. Monica was five for 10 for 140 yardspassing with one touchdown and one interception. St. Charles Catholic had340 yards in total offense.
For the Rams, Bailey gained 128 yards on 17 rushes. Duronslet added 76yards on 12 carries. Gauthier was 11 to 19 for 165 yards with onetouchdown and one interception, giving the Rams a total of 380 yards total offense.
West St. John battles Ridgewood at home next Friday while St. CharlesCatholic travels to St. Martin’s
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